The 2019 edition of Paris-Nice sets off in Saint-Germain-en-Laye on Sunday 10 March to arrive in Nice on the 17th. The final weekend is, in theory, spectacular. A huge mountain stage with summit finish at the Turini Pass and the last day serves an explosive out-and-back race in the hills above Nice.
Following a number of chances for the fast men in stage 1 and stage 2 and stage 3, Paris-Nice is testing more demanding terrain in the 4th stage. The race starts in Vichy, moves through the vineyards of Condrieu, and concludes with a bumpy circuit around Pélussin. The Côte de Chavanay – 3.1 kilometres at 4.9% – is crested just before the finish line.Supposedly, the first key moment in terms of the GC-battle will be stage 5, which is an 25.5 kilometres individual time trial in the heart of the Massif de la Montagnette. The route features an intermediate climb to the Abbaye de Saint-Michel de Frigolet, while the last metres are also uphill. Last year, Wout Poels claimed the ITT in Paris-Nice.Stage 6 is far from flat, yet a bunch sprint is a likely outcome. The finish in Brignoles will trigger fond memories in Mark Cavendish, as he won here in the 2009 Tour de France.Stage 7 takes in five intermediate climbs to conclude on the spectacular Turini Pass. It is the first time the peloton confronts this pass in the Race to the Sun, although the Tour de France included the climb to an elevation of 1,607 metres in 1948, 1950 and 1973. The final haul up is 14.9 kilometres and the average gradient sits at 7.3%, while the ascent features 3 kilometres at over 10%.The last stage is identical to last year. So it is a short and explosive race with six intermediate climbs. Col des Quatre Chemins is the ultimate ascent – 5.5 kilometres at 5.5% – before the finale is a 9 kilometres descent into Nice. In 2018, this decor resulted in a thriller of a race with David de la Cruz winning the stage and Marc Soler sealing the overall victory, 4 seconds ahead of Simon Yates.