• Rúben Silva

Paris-Nice Stage 1 Preview

Opening stage of the Race to the Sun and we have a flat route to let the sprinters in on the first chance to lead the race this year.

On profile, a flat stage with some little bumps, they shouldn't make much of a difference but if any team is interested in pushing the pace in those bumps there might be some sprinters wo will struggle slightly with it.

So this means that there will be two things that can cause mayhem on a flat stage. Rain, and in this case a tailwind for most of the final period of the stage. There will be some crosswind areas though and the riders must be up their game to prevent any damage.

Who can we expect to see?

Although there will be some wind, in this particular day I don't think it'll define much. The possible fast pace through the rises in the road may cause more damage to the heavyweight sprinters as are the cases of Gronewegen and Kittel.

Gronewegen, Ewan and Sam Bennett are the sprinters that give out the most confidence coming here, Kittel is up there in terms of power but he still seems to be lacking his edge, likely due to some struggle in positioning where he seems to have lost his risk taking instinct.

Other than them Arnaud Démare is to be expected in the front, he's had a sickness that prevented him from competing last weekend but he loves Paris-Nice and has won the opening stage in the last two editions amazingly.

Andre Greipel, Alexander Kristoff, Matteo Trentin, Michael Matthews and several others are to be expected near the front but will need a very lucky day to net the win, only an uncommon situation would likely lead to that happening.

Prediction Time

Gronewegen, S.Bennet

Ewan, Kittel

Démare, Greipel, Kristoff, Trentin

My money is on Dylan Gronewegen. He has simply been riding amazingly and his team is fully behind him, and they have an excellent leadout experience. The wind and the hills won't prevent him from winning and taking the first yellow jersey.

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