Paris – Nice 2024 – GC Preview

I thought the race started Monday and I had plenty of time to write this. It seems I don’t. This race sometimes has it all.

Stage 1

On paper an easy stage. I think Côte de Bazemont is too far out but I need a closer look on Montainville and Côte d’Herbeville. Maybe a team decides to make it tough for the sprinter.

Stage 2

A joy to watch if the winds comes out to play. By the looks of things, it doesn’t. A sprint stage.

Stage 3

A team time trial with the same format as last year. It is an odd style, where they usually lead-out their captain. I think you’d want a strong team and to stay together for as long as possible.

Stage 4

Climbing day. The finale looks hard enough to create small gaps.

Stage 5

It is easier than you think. A sprint stage.

Stage 6

They have found a very odd climb 30 km from the line. It has a steep section of 700m at 14.4%. I’m wondering, who is going to control the stage? This will likely not end in a sprint as there is bonus seconds to be won 21 km from home and on the line.

Stage 7

Two climbs that are longer than they look. But they are not very steep. I expect the best climbers to stand out and sprint for the win.

Stage 8

Just full gas from the start to the finish. We will have to wait and see how far out the decide to open up, maybe we simply have to wait for Col des Quatre-Chemin.

Breaking it down.

The time trial will make the first big difference if the weather forecasts hold true. Then, we will get to the climbing. It is more of a medium mountain edition and one that suits someone who packs a sprint. La Colmiane and Auron don’t strike me as very difficult climbs and I doubt we will see big time gaps on them, simply because you can benefit from drafting. I think the Nice stage on the last day will make the difference, the shortness and amount of climbing just makes it very tough.


Roglic – he starts his season here. A bit late perhaps but there is a plan behind as his season will solely focus on building up to the Tour de France. With Vlasov as a super-domestique, he will have the help required for the tough days. Then, we will have to see how they go against the clock. They have some strong riders and Sobrero will be worth a lot on stage 3. Roglic himself is a master of steep and short climbs and he packs a good uphill sprint. He starts as one of two main favorites.

Gaudu – the timetrial will be an issue and he has not looked 100% in his races this season. A top-10.

Evenepoel – here with a strong set of riders. They should have a good TTT and plenty of help for Evenepoel on the tougher days. Van WIlder in particular. It is a good route for him as we don’t have the toughest climbs (in terms of length and gradients). Plus his form is very good as usual. It ultimately makes him the favorite with Primoz.

Almeida – he too starts his season off here. It is a very strong team and as Pogacar is not here to be the boss, we will have to see if they can work for Almeida or everyone works for themselves. In both cases, he is a solid podium contender with his TT, his punch and his climbing attributes.

Jorgensen – time to see him in different terrain. I enjoyed watching him in the opening weekend, his legs were clearly good. He is a gifted climber and the team will likely perform better than most expect against the clock. I don’t see him winning, I don’t think the climbs in this edition is suited for him. He is more of a diesel than a drag race car.

Bernal – positive signs in O Gran Camiño. He got an ass-kicking by Vingegaard but everyone did so not to much to criticize there. It will be good to see him against a larger set of riders in order to compare him. I think the podium is unrealistic but he should for sure finish in the top-10.

Skjelmose – it is a good route for him. His sprints recently in Faun-Ardeche and Faun Drome was below my expectations and likely not something that is fixed just yet. But his legs did a lot of talking on the climbs. Then he will be isolated fairly early on in some stages as the team also bring help for their sprinter.

Gall – he can climb but he can’t time trial. And he does not have the best sprint either. He too is more of a diesel and this year’s edition doesn’t match that. A top-10 nonetheless.

Bilbao – the form is good but I think the team looks a little weak for the TTT. Still, he should be good enough to challenge for a top-10.

Who will win?

I think Evenepoel will win this round. The time trial will make a difference and I don’t think they can challenge him on this terrain.

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