Paris-Nice, nicknamed the ‘Race To The Sun’, dates back to 1933 and sees riders tackle eight days of racing, including flat stages, mountains stages and a time trial as the race works its way southwards through France.

The key stages of the 2018 race will be stage four’s 18.4-kilometre individual time trial; climbing stages six and seven; and the final stage around Nice itself.

Sergio Henao (Team Sky) took the victory at Paris-Nice last season, the first stage race win of his career.

The Colombian moved into yellow on the penultimate day of the race, as home favourite Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) dropped out of contention.

>>> Paris-Nice 2018: Latest news, reports and race info

Henao and Alaphilippe both return for 2018, and are joined by other general classification hopefuls such as Daniel Martin (UAE Team Emirates), Henao’s team-mate Wout Poels (Team Sky), Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), Esteban Chaves, Simon Yates (both Mitchelton-Scott), and Gorka and Ion Izagirre (both Bahrain-Merida).

Sprinters in the race will have several opportunities to grab a win, with Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ), Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates), Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors), Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo), John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) and Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) among the fastmen in attendance.

Stage four features an 18.4km individual time trial from La Fouillouse to Saint-Etienne, which should see the general classification shaken up.

The race continues on Thursday with stage five, from Salon-de-Provence to Sisteron covering 163.5km and featuring four categorised climbs.

The 2018 edition of Paris-Nice runs from March 4-11.