Full details of the updated 2023 Paris-Nice route have been published and it includes some appetising highlights.
The 2023 edition will include a climb that was used in the 2017 race, the Col de la Couillole, which saw Richie Porte, then of BMC, triumphant at the top, and all but secured Sergio Henao (Team Sky)'s overall victory.
Last year's event was dominated by Jumbo-Visma as they held the yellow jersey from the first stage through Christophe Laporte, then Wout van Aert, then eventual winner Primož Roglic. It was also a race dominated by illness, with just 59 riders finishing the eight stages, less than half the peloton, thanks to a non-Covid bug.
Paris-Nice, now in its 81st year, runs from 5 March to 12 March 13 and features three key stages for the general classification – a team time trial on stage three of 32.2km, and summit finishes on stage four and seven, before the final day loop around Nice.
The race opens in the northern Yvelines department in France for the 14th consecutive year with La Verrière taking over from Mantes-la-Ville, who hosted stage one last year.
In the early stages, the famed crosswinds could be decisive as they have been in recent years, with stage two from Bazainville to Fontainebleau containing a change in direction seemingly designed to catch the unaware out.
Stage three, early in the race, will be key with its lengthy team time trial at 32.2km. It is the first such race against the clock since 1993, and is incredibly flat. However, one team won't be allowed to dominate, where the time won’t be taken on the fourth of fifth rider like usual, but the first rider across the line from each team.
The first proper climbing day comes on stage four, as the race finishes atop La Loges des Gardes, a ski station in the Massif Central, after an almost seven kilometre climb which averages 7.1%. Expect it to be selective.
Stage five is long at 212.4km and the race could be blown apart here again, although if the Mistral does not come into action it will be a day for the sprinters who can climb in Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux.
Stage six could catch some riders out with its six categorised climbs and 2665 metres of elevation over 197.4km, but it is likely that the GC guys will be saving their powder for the next day.
The penultimate stage will see the race go up the Col de la Couillole (15.7km at 7.1%), which tops out at 1,678m above sea level, which will surely decide the direction of the yellow jersey.
The final stage will see the peloton return to the Promenade des Anglais on the seafront in Nice. On the way, riders will face the Col d’Eze, Paris-Nice's famous final climb. In a twist, the hill will be ridden up a different way from tradition, taking the gradient from 6.1% to 7.6%.
Paris-Nice 2023: Stage-by-stage
Stage 1: La Verrière - La Verrière, 169.4km
Stage 2: Bazainville - Fontainebleau, 163.7km
Stage 3: Dampierre-en-Burly - Dampierre-en-Burly, 32.2km (team-time-trial)
Stage 4: Saint-Amand-Montrond - La Loge des Gardes, 164.7km
Stage 5: Saint-Symphorien-sur-Coise - Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux, 212.4km
Stage 6: Tourves - La Colle-sur-Loup, 197.4km
Stage 7: Nice - Col de la Couillole, 142.9km
Stage 8: Nice - Nice, 118.4km
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