The 2015 Paris-Nice stage race, March 8 to 15, will start with a prologue time trial, include a summit finish on La Croix de Chaubouret and spend the final two days on the Côte d'Azur in Nice. Organiser ASO will present the entire course on February 3 in Versailles, but much of it has already been leaked.
Website Velowire received an official document that confirmed the start and finish cities of 73rd edition, and published it this morning. The only question mark remains over the final day, which will likely be a time trial from Nice to the Col d'Èze.
Paris-Nice 2015 stages
March 8, Prologue: Maurepas - Maurepas, 6.7 km
March 9, Stage 1: Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse - Contres
March 10, Stage 2: Zoo Parc de Beauval - Saint-Amand-Montrond
March 11, Stage 3: Saint-Amand-Montrond - Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule
March 12, Stage 4: Varennes-sur-Allier - La Croix de Chaubouret
March 13, Stage 5: Saint-Etienne - Rasteau, 192 km
March 14, Stage 6: Vence - Nice
March 15, Stage 8: Nice - Col d'Èze? (ITT)
Organiser ASO already announced that the French stage race would kick off with a 6.7-kilometre prologue in Maurepas, in the Yvelines department west of Paris. On December 15, it said that one stage will finish up the Croix de Chaubouret climb on March 12, and that the stage the next day will start from Saint-Etienne. And it already announced the teams: 17 WorldTeams including Sky and three Professional Continential teams Bretagne, Cofidis and Europcar.
The leaked document filled in most of the remaining blanks.
'The Race to the Sun' will feature sprint finishes for riders like Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) and John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin), winners of three stages in 2014. Besides the 14.9-kilometre Croix de Chaubouret summit finish, the remaining four stages are rolling and technical, and keep with the formula that ASO introduced for the 2014 edition.
Stage five, nearly 200 kilometres, winds is way through vineyards, climbs the Col du Buisson and descends for the final eight kilometres to Rasteau. Stage six starts in Vence and ends in Nice. The direct route is only 22 kilometres, but ASO will go further inland from the Côte d'Azur to climb some of the many surrounding mountains like the Col de Vence.
Stage seven, according to local media and Nice's city website, will not be a road stage, which means the race will conclude a time trial and likely up the 9.6 kilometres to the Col d'Èze at 501 metres.
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