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Professional Cycling => Road Races => Topic started by: search on March 04, 2019, 16:25

Title: Paris - Nice
Post by: search on March 04, 2019, 16:25
(https://scontent-dus1-1.cdninstagram.com/vp/da6073a9e1dedca5424c8719dd06dc24/5D0D3E61/t51.2885-19/10296980_423480087825233_402789000_a.jpg?_nc_ht=scontent-dus1-1.cdninstagram.com)
Paris - Nice[1]

March 10th to 17th

This is the start of the season for everyone. Whether they are a sprinter, rouleur, climber or team mate, the serious business gets underway with Paris-Nice, the first WorldTour stage race of the year contested on European soil. For this race that sparks the conversations among the prognosticators, the roles seem straight forward where it will be the sprinters in the spotlight for the first day of action in the affluent Parisian suburb of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. And even though a similar scenario will be expected the following day in Bellegarde and then the day after that in Moulins, there will not be enough flower bouquets to go around for all the world-class sprinters that will line up at the start.

10/3: Stage 1 - Saint-Germain-en-Laye › Saint-Germain-en-Laye (138.5k)
(https://img.aso.fr/core_app/img-cycling-pnc-jpg/pnc19-et01-stgermainel-stgermainel-11/1303/0:0,1000:536-960-0-70/6f677)

11/3: Stage 2 - Les Bréviaires › Bellegarde (163.5k)
(https://img.aso.fr/core_app/img-cycling-pnc-jpg/pnc19-et02-les-breviaires-bellegarde-11/1309/0:0,1000:605-960-0-70/3fe39)

12/3: Stage 3 - Cepoy › Moulines/Yzeure (200k)
(https://img.aso.fr/core_app/img-cycling-pnc-jpg/pnc19-et03-cepoy-moulins-11/1306/0:0,1000:438-960-0-70/d261e)

Only the strongest among them will be concerned about the finish at Pélussin whose surroundings could inspire attackers at the half-distance point of the race but also create a first selection among the favourites. Whoever is the big winner in this series of races, these riders will have a small chance to battle again at Brignoles if they manage to spoil the illusions of the breakaway specialists, but more surely, they will battle again a few days later in San Remo. And an entirely different strategy will take over after the Barbentane individual time-trial.

13/3: Stage 4 - Vichy › Pélussin (210.5k)
(https://img.aso.fr/core_app/img-cycling-pnc-jpg/pnc19-et04-vichy-pelussin-12/1310/0:0,1000:562-960-0-70/a00dc)

14/3Stage 5 (ITT) - Barbentane › Barbentane (25.5k)
(https://img.aso.fr/core_app/img-cycling-pnc-jpg/pnc19-et05-barbentane-barbentane-11/1305/0:0,1000:981-960-0-70/a12ec)

15/3: Stage 6 - Peynier › Brignoles (210.5k)
(https://img.aso.fr/core_app/img-cycling-pnc-jpg/pnc19-et06-peynier-brignoles-11/1304/0:0,1000:621-960-0-70/e6310)

They mountain specialists will not necessarily be the fastest on the 25km time-trial on the outskirts of Avignon, however, they will be expected to star on the marquee stage, and its mountain finish on the Col de Turini, where it will be a nearly 15km long battle royal among the climbers. Paris-Nice will tackle a terrain more familiar to Monte Carlo rally drivers than to climbers when the race goes up to the Turini pass on the penultimate day of the 77th edition. While it is a first for the Race to the Sun, it is not for the peloton, since the Tour de France took riders up the 1,607 metres of the climb three times in 1948, 1950 and 1973. The names of the men coming first at the top (Louison Bobet, Jean Robic, Vicente Lopez Carril) speak for the calibre of the riders who should shine in this stage. It will be when they reach the summit that they will know if they still have a chance for the win at the conclusion of the Nice stage on Sunday. Every one of them knows it is going to be a nail biter!

16/3: Stage 7 - Nice › Col de Turini (181.5k)
(https://img.aso.fr/core_app/img-cycling-pnc-jpg/pnc19-et07-nice-col-de-turini-11/1307/0:0,1000:601-960-0-70/e33dd)

17/3: Stage 8 - Nice › Nice (110k)
(https://img.aso.fr/core_app/img-cycling-pnc-jpg/pnc19-et08-nice-nice-11/1308/0:0,1000:751-960-0-70/d9b6d)

In addition to the eighteen World Tour teams, the organisers have awarded the following wildcards:
 
#cofidis COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS
#delko DELKO MARSEILLE PROVENCE
#direct DIRECT ENERGIE
#arkea TEAM ARKEA – SAMSIC
#vital VITAL CONCEPT – B&B HOTELS
 1. Source of all text: ASO press release
Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: Leadbelly on March 04, 2019, 18:17
#direct DIRECT ENERGIE
#arkea TEAM ARKEA – SAMSIC
#vital VITAL CONCEPT – B&B HOTELS

Final (and main) chance for these teams to impress ASO before they name the last two wildcards for the Tour.

I think Direct Energie are already there. Nice wins at home races for Calmejane and Turgis already this season. Bonifazio hit the ground running in Bongo, and while he's not overly impressed since, that's no different from his sprint rivals in the other two teams.

For Arkea, the most impressive results are coming from Barguil. No win yet for him, but looking better than the trio of Vichot/Rolland/Gautier at Vital. Greipel must be a bit of a let down for them so far. Just not got the top end speed any more?

As you can probably work out, I think Vital are in last position currently and with the most to do. Therefore this news won't help them...

https://twitter.com/WielerFlits/status/1102608784315305984
Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: Joelsim on March 04, 2019, 21:14
There are some good GC contenders in this, even without a full startlist yet.
Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: t-72 on March 04, 2019, 22:15
https://twitter.com/WielerFlits/status/1102608784315305984

Revealing my dutch skills, I first thought he had broken his artery in two places  :S Almost good for him that I am so bad at translating  :D
Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: search on March 05, 2019, 10:11
https://twitter.com/TrekSegafredo/status/1102857537362251776
Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: t-72 on March 06, 2019, 23:00
I was going to post "I love Paris-Nice because" and then an image of crosswinds on the French plains with a small dot on the horizon behind 2 groups of riders forming bordures - and that little dot would be Richie Porte in the 2017 edition. Porte and some other "GC favorites" lost 14 minutes(!) on one stage. It is not that I don't like Porte I just love to watch racing in crosswinds!!

With that in mind....stage 2 - about 130 kms of exposed plains, and a moderatealy strong westerly wind expected.

I will post a map later (the one on the PN website isn't good).
Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: Joelsim on March 07, 2019, 11:27
Three days to go and there isn't even a full startlist yet!
Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: search on March 09, 2019, 18:12
there's even a star rating though:

*lu le Quotidien
:*:*:*:*:* I. Izagirre
:*:*:*:* S. Yates. Jungels, Bernal
:*:*:* G. Izagirre, Lopez, Kelderman, S. Henao, Uran
:*:* Bardet, Quintana, Soler, Kwiatkowski, Zakarin
:* Teuns, Aru, Konrad, Großschartner, van Garderen, Gallopin, Calmejane

tomorrow's stage is likely to be a very windy one by the way
Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: t-72 on March 10, 2019, 15:10
Today's stage was short and intense, and about as far from an excuse for the teams to show off their sprint trains asyou can get. With really strong gusts of winds several riders were literally blown off road, and the peloton split into smaller and smaller groups as the crosswinds hit them. This despite today's course being quite protected in forests (ok, without leaves) and small tributary-river valleys most of the time, and despite the parcours being a turny-twisty affair of a lap raced 1 time, so the riders had to face the wind at all orientations, not just crosswinds.

So, if the best sprinter with the best sprint train happens to come from the country where there's less to stop the wind, and cyclists seem to spend all their youth days racing in bordures , then today's victory was hardly a suprise - as the King Bee #jumbo Groenewegen managed to hold off a cleverly positioned #lotto Caleb Ewan with a few hair widths . Ewan was very well poisitoned on Groenewegen's wheel and started his sprint with very good timing, but lacked jus the little extra to win it. There were several other quite fast finishers present, but all the others clearly lacked the top speed that the top 2 were able to produce.



With such a hard stage, we saw quite a few out the back relatively early on, including a few sprinters 
Cavendish just looked off the pace, while Kristoff had some shoe trouble at the wrong moment and could never get back to the front.

The stage of course also had bad consequences for some GC candidates, the first thing I saw was
so the claim that Colombians and  crosswinds is a difficult combination still has some merit. 

Other GC riders most likely dropped out of contention (most likely because....there may be more tomorrow, who knows):



Top of GC situation so so far:
also in the front group:

Bottom line:  Even with a few of the contenders out, this is tarting to look like it will be a good race :cool
Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: t-72 on March 10, 2019, 16:52
Hello, this is today's bulletin from the Centre Nationale de Contrôle des Bordures[1].

The previsions for tomorrows étape to Bellegarde is ready:

Unfortunately, it does not look like it will be as spectaculaire as it was today. Le weather conditions will start out with some wet roads and a chance of showers tomorrow, but during l'étape winds will gradually become lighter, there will be less rainshowers (and less wind gusts) and at the ligne d'arrivée[2] only light winds are expected.

The winds will come from the North-West so for most of the way, the cyclistes will have the wind in their back, but in a couple of sections the wind will come from the side and behind the cyclistes. If it is strong enough, we can get the  bordures spectaculaires everybody is hoping for, but - the longest of these sections, and where the winds will be strongest, is in the beginning of the exposed open terrain very far from the ligne d'arrivée, immediately after the tres petit montagne sprint, at 109-90 kilométres left to go.
 
Aprés this,  the cyclistes will get a long section of tailwinds until about 51 km left to go, where a new section of 9 kilomètres from Neuville-sur-Essone to Boynes should provide for more bordures, if the wind stays a little bit stronger than le prévision.

Finalement, there is a finshing circuit course which also has orientations favorables for les bordures, but the prévision is very negatif concerning not having strong enough winds for le formation des bordures at this moment anymore. The wind is expected to die down completely until nightfall.

Below is an overview showing le parcours,  all the exposed terrain (there are more woods at the start), and the bordure zones  from the prévision:
(https://i.imgur.com/oAM073Z.png)
(I think you can click it for a full-size version).

I think this looks like it will come down to le sprint!
Bon Nuit, from the CNCB!  :)
 1. also known as the CNCB
 2. finish line
Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: search on March 10, 2019, 22:46
The stage of course also had bad consequences for some GC candidates, the first thing I saw was
  • #sky Ivan Sósa -  riding into the ditch
  • #ef Rigoberto Uran  - did the same
  • #uae Henao -  supposed to have been in a crash as well

in the end Uran finished with the front group and even was able to cover some moves, so by the look of it, it was half bad.

#uae UAE (Bystroem), #sunweb Sunweb (Kelderman), #cofidis Cofidis (Laporte), #katusha Katusha (Zakarin) and #delko Delko (Siskevicius) only managed to get one rider into that group by the way. #ccc CCC no one at all.
Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: search on March 11, 2019, 08:35
Kristoff had some shoe trouble at the wrong moment and could never get back to the front.

it's a bit strange though, as he said that his problems started with ~35k to go - and live on TV he was shown in basically the grupetto (~5th group on the road, together with Antunes and Soler) with over 40k to go already - which would mean, that he didn't stood a chance anyway, even without the mechanical. But probably he just mixed things up, and it started earlier on already.

At that point, the first group consisted of following riders by the way:

so if there are major splits again today, this list could be a good indication of what to expect.
Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: search on March 11, 2019, 15:11
looks like it was just a poor excuse from #uae Kristoff indeed. Hopeless again today
Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: Mellow Velo on March 11, 2019, 17:09
 Today's casualties from the winds of war:

DNF   Meintjes Louis    #didata      
DNF   Izagirre Gorka    #astana       
DNF   Urán Rigoberto    #ef       
DNF   Barguil Warren    #arkea   
DNF   Bouet Maxime     #arkea         
DNF   Cavendish Mark    #didata
Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: t-72 on March 11, 2019, 18:01
looks like it was just a poor excuse from #uae Kristoff indeed. Hopeless again today

Haven't watched today's stage and may never find the time for it but concerning today's stage Kristoff was involved (caused?) an early crash with about 100 km to go. Afaik the crash that sent #astana Gorka Izagirre and #didata Lois Meintjes out of the race. No news if Kristoff was injured in the crash., but he might have been feeling less than ready for racing the final afterwards.
Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: Flo on March 11, 2019, 18:24
Today's casualties from the winds of war:

DNF   Meintjes Louis    #didata      
DNF   Izagirre Gorka    #astana       
DNF   Urán Rigoberto    #ef       
DNF   Barguil Warren    #arkea   
DNF   Bouet Maxime     #arkea         
DNF   Cavendish Mark    #didata
Uran, fractured collarbone
Barguil, fractured vertebra
Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: search on March 11, 2019, 20:35
Haven't watched today's stage and may never find the time for it but concerning today's stage Kristoff was involved (caused?) an early crash with about 100 km to go. Afaik the crash that sent #astana Gorka Izagirre and #didata Lois Meintjes out of the race. No news if Kristoff was injured in the crash., but he might have been feeling less than ready for racing the final afterwards.
thanks, I didn't know, just noticed his absence from any of the front groups

Jungels received a 10 second penalty for getting a slingshot by the way.
Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: Archieboy on March 11, 2019, 21:05
thanks, I didn't know, just noticed his absence from any of the front groups

Jungels received a 10 second penalty for getting a slingshot by the way.

Was wondering why he copped 10secs, thanks
Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: Leadbelly on March 12, 2019, 08:59
Weather forecast for Yzeure today:

(http://i68.tinypic.com/dz5fk.png)

Headwind for most of the day, but it might have swung round enough to make that final section where they're riding SE a crosswind.
Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: Leadbelly on March 12, 2019, 09:17
Barguil, fractured vertebra

Not good news for Arkea's chances of getting the TdF wildcard. Not only in impressing here at PN, but when will he back and would he be in any sort of shape for the Tour? While Greipel has been prominent in the echelon action the past couple of days, he's not got anything result wise. One last chance for him (and the team) today.

The only consolation is that Vital haven't done much either so far, but at least they have a few options for breaks or chasing some KoM points.
Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: LukasCPH on March 12, 2019, 10:23
Not good news for Arkea's chances of getting the TdF wildcard. Not only in impressing here at PN, but when will he back and would he be in any sort of shape for the Tour? While Greipel has been prominent in the echelon action the past couple of days, he's not got anything result wise. One last chance for him (and the team) today.

The only consolation is that Vital haven't done much either so far, but at least they have a few options for breaks or chasing some KoM points.
And what's arguably more important: Despite the accent aigu in his first name, Greipel isn't French. ;)

A gutsy breakaway (possibly topped with a stage win?) by Pichon, Moinard, Gesbert, or Bouet may be what's needed for #arkea to get to the top of the list again (or at least above #vital).
Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: Flo on March 12, 2019, 10:30
Not good news for Arkea's chances of getting the TdF wildcard. Not only in impressing here at PN, but when will he back and would he be in any sort of shape for the Tour? While Greipel has been prominent in the echelon action the past couple of days, he's not got anything result wise. One last chance for him (and the team) today.

The only consolation is that Vital haven't done much either so far, but at least they have a few options for breaks or chasing some KoM points.
Yeah. Bad news for Arkea (and for Barguil, of course). Maybe the recovery will be faster than expected but it would be surprising to see him back before July. That is a heavy injury.
Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: Mellow Velo on March 12, 2019, 10:43
Weather forecast for Yzeure today:

(http://i68.tinypic.com/dz5fk.png)

Headwind for most of the day, but it might have swung round enough to make that final section where they're riding SE a crosswind.

At least today we might be able to blink (siesta) before it's all over.
Looking at the following day, it appears that the wind is swing more westerly, which supports the possibility of a crosswind in that final section. Especially if they are on a slowish schedule.
Best time and place to pick up a crosswind, at least.

(https://img.aso.fr/core_app/img-cycling-pnc-jpg/pnc19-et03-cepoy-moulins-yzeure-carte/1299/0:0,849:1200-960-0-70/cfe49)
Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: search on March 12, 2019, 16:58
not much action today, wind wise, but the past two days took its toll for some of the sprinters



Tomorrow's stage should be an interesting one, with a lot of up and down in the finale. Here's a closer look at ist, via @LasterketaBurua

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dwe_uhlWsAASEuT.jpg:large)
Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: Flo on March 12, 2019, 17:20
Not good news for Arkea's chances of getting the TdF wildcard. Not only in impressing here at PN, but when will he back and would he be in any sort of shape for the Tour? While Greipel has been prominent in the echelon action the past couple of days, he's not got anything result wise. One last chance for him (and the team) today.

The only consolation is that Vital haven't done much either so far, but at least they have a few options for breaks or chasing some KoM points.
Yeah. Bad news for Arkea (and for Barguil, of course). Maybe the recovery will be faster than expected but it would be surprising to see him back before July. That is a heavy injury.

Reassuring news: apparently it's not a fracture after all, but just a sprain. Will take a while to recover still but looks a bit brighter for Barguil and the team.
Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: AG on March 13, 2019, 12:19
Race has been pretty fun to watch so far.  I have been catching the replays so not chatting - but crosswinds are always fun

Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: Flo on March 13, 2019, 15:51
Gaps for those that can still hope for a good GC result:

1. Kwiatkowski
2. Sanchez +5
3. Bernal +11
4. Gallopin +15
5. Molard +17
6. Bardet +17
7. Grossschartner +18
8. Calmejane +19
9. Quintana +19
10. Kelderman +19
11. Haig +19
12. Bennett +19
13. Zakarin +19

14. Jungels +29

15. Teuns +1:06
16. Konrad + 1:19
Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: search on March 13, 2019, 16:38
yep, no changes in gc today, after a breakaway stayed clear till the end, with #astana Cort as the winner



That list of contenders up there may shrink considerably tomorrow though ;)

ITT time:

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DwfClw4WoAAHEZS.jpg:large)

Not too technical, but with a small climb in the middle and a hill top finish (something like 500m at 6%) in the end

Edit: ~pdf Start Times (http://www.tissottiming.com/File/0003110200010105FFFFFFFFFFFFFF02)
Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: search on March 14, 2019, 18:18
well, seemes like the wind had a bit more of an influence on that one than expected. Here are the results and split times of the Top 30 + the other gc contenders from Florry's list up there:

RANK NAME INT INT -> FIN FIN
1      #mitchelton   YATES Simon      19:00 (2.)      <- 11:26 (14.) ->      30:27
2      #katusha   *POLITT Nils      19:27 (7.)      <- 11:06 (2.) ->      30:34
3      #sky   KWIATKOWSKI Michal      19:33 (12.)      <- 11:04 (1.) ->      30:37
4      #ef   VAN GARDEREN Tejay      19:29 (8.)      <- 11:12 (4.) ->      30:41
5      #ef   *MARTINEZ Daniel      19:30 (9.)      <- 11:11 (3.) ->      30:41
6      #sky   *BERNAL Egan      19:26 (6.)      <- 11:15 (5.) ->      30:41
7      #ef   CRADDOCK Lawson      19:24 (5.)      <- 11:17 (6.) ->      30:42
8      #ef   SCULLY Tom      18:56 (1.)      <- 11:57 (56.) ->      30:54
9      #movistar   SOLER Marc      19:23 (4.)      <- 11:34 (22.) ->      30:56
10      #astana   SANCHEZ Luis Leon      19:32 (10.)      <- 11:25 (11.) ->      30:57
11      #quickstep   JUNGELS Bob      19:42 (14.)      <- 11:24 (9.) ->      31:06
12      #astana   IZAGUIRRE Ion      19:43 (16.)      <- 11:27 (16.) ->      31:09
13      #dimension   BOASSON HAGEN Edvald      19:42 (15.)      <- 11:28 (17.) ->      31:10
14      #mitchelton   CHAVES Esteban      19:33 (11.)      <- 11:38 (26.) ->      31:11
15      #mitchelton   BAUER Jack      19:11 (3.)      <- 12:00 (61.) ->      31:12
16      #sunweb   KELDERMAN Wilco      19:49 (20.)      <- 11:27 (15.) ->      31:16
17      #movistar   QUINTANA Nairo      20:01 (32.)      <- 11:18 (7.) ->      31:19
18      #bahrain   TEUNS Dylan      19:55 (24.)      <- 11:29 (18.) ->      31:24
19      #bora   GROSSSCHARTNER Felix      20:00 (29.)      <- 11:24 (10.) ->      31:25
20      #ccc   DE MARCHI Alessandro      20:03 (33.)      <- 11:25 (12.) ->      31:28
21      #direct   *TURGIS Anthony      19:37 (13.)      <- 11:53 (46.) ->      31:30
22      #sky   *GEOGHEGAN HART Tao      20:00 (28.)      <- 11:32 (19.) ->      31:32
23      #lotto   DE GENDT Thomas      19:59 (27.)      <- 11:34 (23.) ->      31:33
24      #mitchelton   HAIG Jack      20:07 (39.)      <- 11:26 (13.) ->      31:33
25      #sunweb   VERVAEKE Louis      19:49 (20.)      <- 11:47 (38.) ->      31:36
26      #fdj   MOLARD Rudy      20:05 (37.)      <- 11:33 (21.) ->      31:39
27      #dimension   *DAVIES Scott      20:16 (55.)      <- 11:23 (8.) ->      31:39
28      #ag2r   BARDET Romain      20:09 (43.)      <- 11:32 (20.) ->      31:42
29      #ef   DOCKER Mitchell      19:48 (19.)      <- 11:57 (57.) ->      31:45
30      #direct   TERPSTRA Niki      20:08 (40.)      <- 11:39 (27.) ->      31:47
                           
40      #jumbo   BENNETT George      20:17 (56.)      <- 11:40 (28.) ->      31:57
41      #ag2r   GALLOPIN Tony      20:06 (38.)      <- 11:53 (48.) ->      31:59
                           
50      #bora   KONRAD Patrick      20:27 (64.)      <- 11:43 (32.) ->      32:09
51      #katusha   ZAKARIN Ilnur      20:17 (58.)      <- 11:52 (44.) ->      32:10
                           
63      #direct   CALMEJANE Lilian      20:41 (80.)      <- 11:53 (45.) ->      32:34
(edit: those numbers initially included digits after the decimal point, which I just cut off to fit them into the spreadsheet. That's why some figures are not adding up)

Bob Jungels for example said that - based on his numbers - it was the best time trial he ever did.

Well, but anyway, some guys definitely did great there, among them #ef #ef #ef #ef #ef, or #sky Egan Bernal, now right up there in GC. And #ag2r Romain Bardet's work with the Ridley guys over in the winter seems to have paid off as well :cool

Tomorrow the race heads further east for a stage with lots and lots of wind. And a lumpy one it is. Here is a closer look at the final part of it:

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DwfDHPUX0AcZajB.jpg:large)

With the Turini looming on the horizon you'd expect it to be a relatively calm breakaway stage I guess, but some teams want a sprint, they said (Lotto for example), and with the wind, others may see an opportunity to fetch back some time before the mountains...
Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: Leadbelly on March 14, 2019, 20:06
Most disappointed will have to be Jungels and Kelderman. Both would have wanted (and expected) to be a bit further ahead of Bardet and Quintana after the TT. Just to give them a bit of breathing room for Saturday. Wilco might be okay, but Bob will probably now have to have a big roll of the dice on Sunday to stand any chance of a podium.
Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: search on March 14, 2019, 20:13
probably. Whatever Sky rider ends up not in the lead on the Turini, could end up with a lot of work to do on Sunday though, any maybe tumble off the podium
Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: Mellow Velo on March 15, 2019, 09:17
 Giving the direction of today's near gale force wind, a quick look at the map shows that much of the stage will have a tail/crosswind and the potential for echelons to form, almost at any exposed point.
 So, likely the stage will be raced at a speed that far exceeds the fastest schedule.......................right up until the final 17 kms, when the race turns north, then finally North West into the teeth of the headwind.

 Can someone shift Brignoles, please? :D
Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: search on March 15, 2019, 09:56
in French media it said the the terrain is far less exposed to wind than in the early stages. But well... let's hope for the best ;)
Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: search on March 15, 2019, 18:16
well, ultimately, it was a fairly straight forward sprint stage. #bahrain Bahrain and #mitchelton Mitchelton had made some efforts to reduce the bunch even further, but in the end more sprinters were (more or less) taken out of contention by crashes (Kristoff, Ewan, Laporte, Greipel) than due to the tempo on the climbs (Groenewegen, Jakobsen).



After his good showing in the time trial, #ef Tejay lost ~6 minutes today though.

Tomorrow the race moves further into Bernalland.

(https://i.imgur.com/Gfogfxn.png)

(apparently this profile is more accurate than the very irregular one on the official website)
Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: Mellow Velo on March 16, 2019, 07:24
 More accurate?
Completely different more like. :D

(https://66.media.tumblr.com/ff4ad89e138711ca70dd713b6d1610e9/tumblr_po1sg0AQF61ropreyo4_1280.png)

Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: search on March 16, 2019, 11:00
yeah, however... no idea why, but it seems like the one from ASO is not correct

edit: Monfort said that the the little descent before the start of the Turini is quite a technical one. So if anyone keeps pushing over the top of the penultimate climb, we may see some splits in that part already.
Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: search on March 17, 2019, 07:28
well, well, in the end a massive break of 38 riders went clear early on, never to be seen again. #ef Daniel Martinez won the stage and #quickstep Phil Gilbert used the opportunity to sneak into 2nd in GC:



back in the bunch, as expected, the climb proved to be too tough for the not-pure climbers like #yellow Kwiatkowski and #astana Luis Leon Sanchez, formerly 1st and 2nd in GC. But as it's Bernal who took over the lead, #sky Sky can probably be still happy with how things went. #movistar Quintana looked strong as well and moved up into 3rd.

Today there's another chance to turn things around though, and the short, mountainous stage to Nice, which produced some great entertainment over the last years:

(https://i.imgur.com/f0253Sr.png)

This time it's dry and sunny though, so I'm not quite sure if it'll work in the same fashion as it used to, tbh. Compared to last year, when there were still 8 riders within a minute going into the last stage, the GC looks also more or less settled:

1      #yellow   EGAN ARLEY BERNAL GOMEZ       -
2      #quickstep   PHILIPPE GILBERT       + 00h 00' 45''
3      #movistar   NAIRO QUINTANA       + 00h 00' 46''
4      #sky   MICHAL KWIATKOWSKI       + 00h 01' 03''
5      #mitchelton   JACK HAIG       + 00h 01' 21''
6      #ag2r   ROMAIN BARDET       + 00h 01' 45''
7      #jumbo   GEORGE BENNETT       + 00h 02' 20''
8      #katusha   ILNUR ZAKARIN       + 00h 02' 52''
9      #fdj   RUDY MOLARD       + 00h 03' 02''
10      #quickstep   BOB JUNGELS       + 00h 03' 06''

but well, let's hope for the best :cool
Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: Flo on March 17, 2019, 09:13
No good set-up for excitement, unfortunately. The route is the same as last year: Col des Quatre Chemins instead of Col d'Eze, with as a result a shorter descent than in earlier years (15 vs 9 km). We saw last year how it can work out and perhaps Contador would have 2 more Paris-Nice on his palmares if they'd chosen this route a couple years earlier :? But with only Gilbert #deceuninck and Quintana #movistar within a minute, and Jack Haig #mitchelton the only other threat within 1.5 minute, it doesn't look good.

Haig #mitchelton will be happy to finish top-5, but if he can snatch a podium, he'll try of course.
Quintana #movistar doesn't even attack on a mountain finish on which he was the best or 2nd best climber and with the knowledge that he had to take time to have a chance of winning, so of course, we shouldn't expect anything from him here either.
Gilbert #deceuninck might even be the most dangerous threat to Bernal, of course he'll do everything to stay on the podium, and the course isn't great for him, so he might be defensive and could certainly tumble down the rankings. But if he decides to look ahead instead of behind him ... :?
Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: search on March 17, 2019, 10:03
at least #ag2r Bardet said he'll do everything to get the win today :cool

I guess he's talking about the stage though ;)
Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: search on March 17, 2019, 19:04
This time it's dry and sunny though, so I'm not quite sure if it'll work in the same fashion as it used to, tbh. Compared to last year, when there were still 8 riders within a minute going into the last stage, the GC looks also more or less settled

it still was a great stage, with a big group going clear early on and #movistar Quintana attacking from far out, even taking the virtual #yellow lead for a while. In the end, #sky Sky kept things under control relatively comfortably though, and only a small margin was left for the escapees at the finish. With #astana Ion Izagirre taking another win for Astana.





Overall it was another great edition of the race though, and fun to follow almost every day :cool
Title: Re: Paris - Nice
Post by: t-72 on March 17, 2019, 20:02
The parcours of stage wasn't changed very much from the previous vintages of this favorite springtime made for tv-thriller, but there are new actors in almost all the roles now.
#movistar Quintana did a pretty good job acting as the new Contador, attacked from quite a long way out, on the Côte de Peille, and opened a gap just large enough to actually maybe win the whole damned thing. The race was not over yet. 

For a while it looked like the script would be followed to minute detail as it looked like it could come down to the how-many-bonuseconds can he get would decide the GC, which in Paris-Nice is somehow traditionally lost by Contador with a small handful of seconds. True to form, Quintana had to do almost all the work in the rather large front group, all the others were there just for a chance at the stage win - which in the Paris-Nice final stage is won by piggybacking on the GC attacker and then stealing his bonus seconds at the line, handing the GC to the chasing group.

However, Quintana deviated a little from the scripted Contador role, as on the final climb of Col de Quatre Chemins (the four-way-col)  he failed to maintain the gap and it almost all came back together at the finish line. The GC attack would fail again, so let's turn to those who played the defending role. In the Paris-Nice final stage, the defening role is usually played by #sky and involves good climbers from English-speaking countries with less than firm grip on the descents. One of the changes noticed this year was that the English actually kept their wheels facing the asphalt all of the time, but the main moments in the chase, the #sky roles were played by actors from *co and *pl. The chase has never looked so solid before, the new guy in the Richie Porte role didn't actually need to come to the front once (but he did, probably because it looks great on camera  :angel. The *pl guy deserves a price as a good supporting actor.

I guess everyone agrees it was a great stage (as always) - and hey, as usual, a spanish guy (not the Contador role) won it -  #astana again, this one with Ion Izagirre. Are they the new wolfpack of the hills? Will there be great territorial battles in the Ardennes this year? Until now I have regarded Ion as almost-Zubeldia, racing stage races with lots of good results but very seldom a win. If he would win, it was usually on a time trial. Here he was, climbing away from, amongst other good climbers who should have some legs left -  #mitchelton Simon Yates - with a strong attack after a good leadout from #ef Teejay Van Garderen. Aooouuuuuuu goes the wolves in Khazakstan..."with my brother out of the way nothing can stop me here!"

EDIT: Removed the results tables because they are posted by Search just above here.

Some comments:
It seems the Colombians have a head start on the Euros this time of year?
Best team: #sky - by a mile in the GC, points, youth and teams competition
Most valuable rider: as I saw it , an easy selection:  - #sky Luke Rowe basically handed Bernal the win, guiding him across the plains of the Centre in stages 1 and 2. Sky couldn't have won without him.
 
It is somewhat disappointing to see so few other teams performing as a team for the GC. #movistar Movistar this year looks weak, with only Quintana riding strong. All in all, it seemed like many of the teams performed below expectations, they were not communicating and interacting well. At the crucial moments, esepcially when the wind picked up, their teamwork failed and the GC opportunity blew away in the wind.
For example, one could expect the Arab princes in #uae to arrange for someone like Bystrøm to guard Henao like Rowe guarded Bernal. Bystrøm is the go-to-man for wind in that team and did excellent work with Fabio Aru in the Vuelta last year.


The Sprinters:
As ususal few completed the race, but best sprinters it's a tie between #jumbo Groenewegen and #bora Bennett - with Groenewegen one step ahead on the flat stages and Bennett picking it up on the hilly stages where Groenewegen was too tired for a good sprint.  Honorable mention to #lotto Caleb Ewan and maybe #quickstep Fabio Jakobsen, but that more or less concludes it - which means that yes, transition seems to have taken place already! The older generation sprinters - Greipel, Kristoff, Kittel, Cavendish does not really deserve to be mentioned (!)

#jumbo and to some degree #quickstep also showed great teamwork, and were in the same bunch as Sky when it comes to acting as an organized group with common goals. Too many teams were riding as a gang of individuals out there on the road. #uae couldn't get anything done for their money, #sunweb Sunweb had no support for Kelderman and #katusha Katusha - what is their plan? Worst of all, #didata Dimension data the whole team seems to have gone back to racing too soon after illness acquired down there? They are currently not riding at WT level, unfortunately! :(
 
My personal opinion, this was in terms of performance perhaps one of the  hardest Paris-Nice editions even as the meteorological extremes weren't as extreme as they have been some times in the past few years. The fights for the GC and the climbing stages wins were definetly harder than last year - but the GC battle wasn't as close as we have been more or less spoiled with in this race of late. Sky always seemed one step above the rest of the teams. The sprints were both top contested and very close races, better than the GC race in my eyes!
First and foremost P-N remains on top of the list of the one-week races! There have been many years (not last year) were I have been thinking:  it is the best stage race in France....  :-x The other one just dilutes the drama with two more weeks.


EDIT: I didn't know search also was writing a wrap-up post, he posted while I was writing and I didn't pay attention. In other words, two for the  price of one to the rest of you.