Team News: Simon Yates Back to Paris-Nice

Mitchelton-SCOTT return to Paris-Nice later this week with a balanced team of climbers and fast men, giving options for both the general classification and potential sprint stages.

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Team News: Simon Yates Back to Paris-Nice

Mitchelton-SCOTT return to Paris-Nice later this week with a balanced team of climbers and fast men, giving options for both the general classification and potential sprint stages. Having already thrown their arms in the air, claiming stage victories so far this season, last year’s runner up Simon Yates and European champion Matteo Trentin have both shown signs of early season form and will use the hard eight-day French races as another stepping stone in their progression.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

Mitchelton-SCOTT Team
Jack Bauer – (NZ, 33)
Esteban Chaves – (COL, 29)
Jack Haig – (AUS, 25)
Luka Mezgec – (SLO, 30)
Mikel Nieve – (SPA, 34)
Matteo Trentin – (ITA, 29)
Simon Yates – (GB, 26)
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The Course
The first three stages look to be potential opportunities for the faster men before the longest stage on the fourth day, which may favour the breakaway. The first important stage for the general classification contenders comes on stage five with a 25.5km individual time trial, predominantly flat, but with one climb in the second half and a short rise to the finish line.

For the final three stages the climbers will get a chance to test the legs, with a rolling stage six before the penultimate and Queen stage, where the race will tackle the Turini Pass for the first time in its history this year. The 15km twisty final climb should be decisive, however, with a short 110km hilly stage around Nice of the final day, which includes the Col d’Èze and Col des Quatre Chemins, the GC can still change right until he last moment, as we have seen in the past.

The Competition
As always, Paris-Nice is filled with a competitive start list and this year the race boasts a stacked sprint field including the likes of Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe), Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal), Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ), Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida), John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) and Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data).

For the overall contenders, there’s plenty of climbing talent lining-up, with defending champion Marc Soler (Movistar) alongside teammate Nairo Quintana. 2017 winner Sergio Henao (UAE Team Emirates), Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) and Ion Izagirre (Astana) are some of the other names to watch.

Last year Yates claimed his first victory of the season on the Queen stage of the race which catapulted him into the race lead with one stage remaining. The Brit eventually finished in second place overall, just missing out on the race win by four seconds after a fierce battle on a short and wet final stage.

Simon Yates: “I enjoy Paris-Nice, it’s a good race and I’ve done it every year since I’ve been a professional. It’s a very important part of the season but I’m not going there to target it, as everyone knows, I’m going 100 percent for the Giro d’Italia. We have a strong team here so we should be in the mix for most stages and as always we’ll give 100%.

“It looks like a very typical Paris-Nice course, so we’ll need to have caution in the beginning before we arrive in the mountains later in the week. From there I’ll try to do the best GC possible and to hopefully take a step up from last week in Andalusia.”

Matteo Trentin: “I am getting better from the crash I had on Sunday in Belgium, I went out this week on the bike and had no pain and everyday is getting better. For Paris-Nice I feel confident and I think there are actually five possibilities for me. The harder stage on Friday is probably the one that will suit me better than all of the others.

“Of course to take another win would be nice and especially preparing the condition, preparing 100% for the races that come after Paris-Nice which are the most important from this first block of the year. I am confident, the team is confident so lets see what we can do.”
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Matt Wilson – Sport Director – “It is a really good team and we are coming here to get results. Simon has shown good form and his eyes are firmly set on the Giro, that is the main target and this race is a steeping stone along that way. Matteo Trentin is also in awesome form and there’s a couple of really good stages for him in this race.”

Paris-Nice Race Details
Sunday, 10th Mar: Stage 1, Saint-Germain-en-Laye to Saint-Germain-en-Laye, 138.5km
Monday, 11th Mar: Stage 2, Les Breviaries to Bellegarda, 163.5km
Tuesday, 12th Mar: Stage 3, Cepoy to Moulins/Yzeure, 200km
Wednesday, 13th Mar: Stage 4, Vichy to Pelussin, 210.5km
Thursday, 14th Mar: Stage 5, Barbentane to Barbentane, ITT 25.5km
Friday, 15th Mar: Stage 6, Peynier to Brignoles, 176.5km
Saturday, 16th Mar: Stage 7, Nice to Col de Turini – La Bollene-Vesubie, 181.5km
Sunday, 17th Mar: Stage 8, Nice to Nice, 110km


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