British climber Dan Fleeman will be racing Paris-Nice this Sunday. Provisionally down as a reserve for France?s second biggest stage race, Fleeman was selected after a top 20 finish in the GP Lugano.
?I got a phone call on Monday from the team telling me I was going,? Fleeman told Cycling Weekly on Wednesday evening.
?I?d hoped I would get into Paris-Nice since last winter and to be honest when I wasn?t selected at first I was a shade miffed.?
?But I was still on the long list of 12. The team told me if I did some good rides then I would have a chance of getting in there, I made sure I was riding well and after Lugano they gave me a call.?
Fleeman?s team-mate Thor Hushovd, winner of the Paris-Nice prologue and points jersey last year, will not be taking part. According to Fleeman Hushovd had always planned to Tirreno-Adriatico, which clashes with the ‘Race to the Sun’.
This year?s Paris-Nice exceptionally mountainous route, particularly in the final four stages, could have discouraged a rider like Hushovd from taking part. But Fleeman says the climbing has given him an extra boost to his motivation for his Paris-Nice debut.
?When I looked at the route I was pleased with how much climbing there was, rather than grinding along the flat in the cold and wet.?
?I don?t know any of the climbs in south-east France, but that mountain top finish on stage six looks interesting. It?s 13 kilometres long, which is my kind of climb.?
Overall, Fleeman says his objective will be to ?gain as much experience as possible and help the team.?
?For me personally, I see this as a great opportunity to measure myself against the top climbers in the world and see how I can get on.?
Team Cervélo for Paris-Nice Daniel Fleeman (GBR), Xavier Florencio (ESP), Jose Angel Gomez Marchante (ESP), Heinrich Haussler (ALL), Jeremy Hunt (GBR), Inigo Cuesta (ESP), Serge Pauwels (BEL), Hayden Roulston (NZL).
Cervélo confirm Lloyd and Fleeman for 2009 team