Grand Prix Cycliste de Marseille La Marseillaise 2024

What a ridiculous long name for a race. It occurred to me I didn’t preview this race last year, but I still believe Mole’s recipe for this race stands. This year, they’ve decided to go back to the 2021 route. That means a bit less climbing but makes Routes des Cretes play a larger role in the outcome.


Unfortunately, not the best profile but does not provide profiles (yet) for 1.1 races.

As I said, usually it is down to Routes des Cretes. It is the climb you see 30 km from the line. They use a different version compared to 2023 and 2022.

It is followed by a long climb that is not very difficult but it disrupts the chase. Powless attacked here last year and stayed away.

The last 10 km are mostly downhill. The long run in is difficult to time correctly, which as Capiot take a surprise win for many in 2022.


Strong wind from the east means a tailwind in the last 31 km means the attackers have the big advantage. It is a tailwind from the foot of Routes des Cretes to the line. Dry and cold.

How will the race unfold?

A tailwind on Routes des Cretes. 7 m/s. The attackers should have this. The start list is fairly weak this year, it seems to be a trend. It is likely do the Olympics. We will have to look for the climbers first, because they will have to make the differences on the climb.

That means looking at the French teams and UNO-X. For AG2R, it means setting up Aurélien Paret-Peintre. For TotalEnergies, it means setting up Mathieu Burgaudeau. I’m mostly curious to see what Cofidis have in mind. With Zingle and Oldani present, I think they have to be on the defence and hope things get back together. Arkéa-B&B Hotels have Kévin Vauquelin who had a very good spring in 2023 with the second part of the season being influenced by crashes and bad luck.

The vikings are sending three options to Marseille for a possible invasion. Cort, Leknesssund and Tiller provides them with three options. Cort and Leknessund should be the best on the climb.

I think these teams would rather take on the fight themselves instead of worrying about beating Menten, Sarreau and others in the sprint. I think we will see the attackers winnning.


Aurélien Paret-Peintre – not many riders starting here have a stage win in the Giro d’Italia. It says something about his caliber. He had a good start to his 2023 season but the results only got worse after the Giro-Tour double. He has a win here in 2021, where he also had a strong start to the year. Therefore, history tells he is a strong starter and he should be one of the better climbers here.

Mathieu Burgaudeau – he is a very gifted climber. With three top-10’s in the 2023 Tour from breakaways on tough mountain days. His sly win in Paris-Nice 2022 stage 6 shows he is a rider, who could potentially adopt Powless’ strategy of attacking on the flat. I think he will be one of the strongest tomorrow, though he usually doesn’t start the racing off in flying colors.

Kévin Vauquelin – I followed him closely last year and he is a big talent. He is one of the superior climbers here who also packs a fine engine. Hopefully he has recovered from his crashes in La Vuelta, which saw his autumn level being quite low. With Capiot sitting in the chase behind, it offers him a few skip-a-turn cards.

Magnus Cort – I love the move to UNO-X. I expect he will more or less be offered the captain-role in every race from now on. We will just have to see how consistent he can be, as a “breakaway specialist” I imagine the change can be difficult. With the not-so-strong climbing presence here, I think he can follow the best on the climb.

Andreas Leknessund – same goes for Andreas. Taking a step down to get more chances. He was 8th in the Giro d’Italia GC 2023, a very strong performance. He should be the better climber of the UNO-x trio and with Magnus Cort in the group (potentially), the best defence is to attack giving Cort some time to rest.

Rasmus Tiller – I think this is too difficult for him but he will be in the group chasing and hoping for a sprint.

Capiot – one of the favorites if we somehow get a sprint.

Zingle – if we see a sprint, I wouldn’t write him off.

Axel Laurance – how good is he just now? He is one of the best U23 riders out there taking the step up. He is quick in a sprint.

Trentin – fast and consistent. Not good enough anymore to follow the best on the climb.

Who will win?

As you’ve read, I’m going with the attackers. I will take a win for Kévin Vauquelin.

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