Paris – Nice 2024 – Stage 8 Preview

The last preview for almost a week. I need a short break to recharge before La Primavera and the cobbled classics. It is time to rewatch and prepare. The importance is the distance. That makes it full gas.


More or less the same stage as last year. At least for the first four climbs. The rest is new. A fantastic bonus sprint on Col d’Éze which is possible as they’ve changed the road down from Côte de Peille.

Then, Col des Quatre-Chemins is actually the first half of Col d’Éze from last year, they just turn right on Avenue des Caroubiers instead of going all the way up.

As they are not going all the way up, the descend for home is shorter (as there naturally is less ground to cover). The riders may have ridden the last 6 km of the descent, the rest is new too.


They contribute to making the stage very difficult. Usually, it is where the breakaway forms.

The finale starts at Côte de Peille. We had the main move happen here in 2022 where the elite group got clear. In 2023, they caught the breakaway.

What is different this year is the bonus sprint 25 km from the line. Usually, the excitement would build up from Côte de Peille to Col d’Éze. I don’t see it happening this year. Here you have the climb and bonus sprint, it is a punchy one last used back in 2019.

Afterwards, the riders are on a plateau for a few kilometers before the descend to Col des Quatre-Chemins. They do the descent from Col des Quatre-Chemins on their way. A good descender can use it to his advantage.

Then the most important part. Col des Quatre-Chemins. Pogacar attacked here last year. S. Yates in 2022. The roadbook says 3.6% at 9% – I can’t get that to fit with SanLuca or Veloviewer. They’ve pumped the numbers to make it look more interesting. I’m kidding, but in reality, this is the section.

Then the descent. If you look closely, you will see that some of it (9 km – 3 km) was done before Col des Quatre-Chemins.


The riders will be very happy as it should stay dry without much wind. The temperatures will be above 10 degrees C too. Afterall, the race to the sun.

How will the stage unfold?

Since it is the last preview for almost a week, I thought it wise to do a proper analysis. The general classification is interesting. Let’s try to break down the teams and riders.

UAE Team Emirates are about to cock it up. I don’t know whose call it was to try and bring Almeida back but it was foolish. We have more of a medium-mountain day tomorrow, Almeida and Vine seem worse than expected. On the plus side, Grossschartner looks good. The game plan must be to bring McNulty to the top of Côte de Peille and hope he can fend off his opponents. Plus, will they be able to manage the breakaway too? I doubt it. On the other hand, letting the breakaway take all the bonus seconds makes his job slightly easier.

Visma-Lab are just showing everyone why they have been such a dominating team the past years. Matteo Jorgesen has the “Laporte-effect”, he has clearly become better – and he was already good. I think we saw quite clearly that Jorgensen does not have the fastest sprint in the world. Now, that does not equal being poor on steep gradients. The main job must be to distance McNulty. How? I would anticipate and wait. Someone will force McNulty’s hand, meaning Jorgensen’s attack will sting even more. They may need to work hard and early for Jorgensen but Quick-Step have been eager to do their job for them so far. I expect that to continue tomorrow.

Lidl – Trek they can’t do much for Skjelmose. You can expect everyone to help him in any way possible. He is very good on these medium-mountain stages, especially when you fit in steep ramps as well. And as we know by now, he will be tough top drop on a stage such as this. And tough to beat on the line.

Soudal – Quick-Step will the try to think outside the box or is the gameplan the same? Just drill it, use all your domestiques and not carry through with the attack? I’m being harsh, yes. The reason why is because he a lot of there is talking him up to be a candidate for Tour de France and you can see he isn’t. Not yet at least. To me, the biggest issue is they try to force every stage to be an Evenepoel stage. For the Wolfpack, only one thing matters. That is a victory. They will be very happy to do it all again tomorrow and they should. Why? The stage tomorrow suits Evenepoel very well. The last climb reminds me a lot of the terrain he excels at in the Ardennes Classics.

Bora – Hansgrohe will hope for another stage win. It was not the race they hoped for but so it goes sometimes. For every rider. It is better to find out know at Paris-Nice than in June a few weeks shy for the Tour de France. Both Vlasov and Roglic will enjoy the finale tomorrow, it is right up their alley.


I’ve talked about most of them but they deserve a few words more. Plus, does the breakaway stand a small chance?

McNulty – I think he loses the jersey tomorrow. There is simply too many bases to cover. He has a good gap to Skjelmose and Evenepoel. Could it mean he is willing to let it go? And hope Jorgensen close that move? One mistake and the stage is gone and that is not what he is after. We saw on stage 4 that the American doesn’t enjoy double digits. The stage win in Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana tells a different story. I think there are simply better puncheurs here. One thing I do know is this, he goes damn fast downhill and that can maybe save him tomorrow.

Jorgensen – he is good on double digits despite his size. Does it get a bit to punchy tomorrow? Maybe. Then again, it will be all about timing. If I was a DS at Visma-Lab, I would have him attack on the plateau just after the intermediate sprint at Col d’Éze when McNulty is in the red zone. Then just not look back. Follow the recipe from stage 4, it worked wonders.

Skjelmose – a very good stage for him. The main issue will be defending the podium, it puts him in a pickle. It means he must be able to follow Evenepoel and I wouldn’t wish that for my worst enemy. He has proved he is in good shape throughout the spring calender. If he can, I think he might give him a run for his money in the sprint. He is confident going up against him on the double digits.

Evenepoel – time to go all out. It is better to lose and have tried everything. The team will likely take control, then they should just drop him off at the foot of Col d’Éze and hope he carries through. No more holding back and hoping people will cooperate with him. To me, he looks frustrated. Almost in a way that makes me believe, that he thought he could walk over the competitors here. I think the last two climbs look perfect for him, as the climbs continue for some time and are not merely murs.

Roglic – today was a positive sign. I will say it for every stage he races and he has a chance of winning. Do not rule him out.

Vlasov – smart racing today. I didn’t see that scenario at all. It is possible for a repeat tomorrow the chances of it are just slimmer.

Buitrago – goes well on double digits. He is out of the GC and it gives a rider freedom. He will be one of the best on the climbs and he will beat some of the above mentioned on the line.

Bilbao – Breakaway hope #1.

Scaroni – Breakaway hope #2.

Who will win?

I will take a win for Mattias Skjelmose.

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