Paris-Nice 2019: Favourites

Simon Yates' glorious 2018 began in Paris-Nice. Not by winning though. Marc Soler won the race with time bonuses. So yes, it is fair to say that every second counts at the Race to the Sun. Who are the major contenders to win Paris-Nice in 2019?

[Underneath article was written before the start of Paris-Nice and has not been updated]

Paris-Nice’s fight for the GC has become the epitome of ‘every second counts’. Last three editions were settled by less than a handful of seconds. In 2016, Geraint Thomas won Paris-Nice 4 seconds ahead of Alberto Contador and in 2017 Sergio Henao outgunned El Pistolero by 2 seconds overall. Last year, Simon Yates won Saturday’s Queen Stage to start the final day in yellow. But Marc Soler – who was 37 seconds down in sixth place – attacked on the last day, picked up 7 seconds, and finished 35 seconds ahead of the Briton to win the Race to the Sun.

As far as the 2019 edition goes, the first proper time gaps are to be expected in the ITT on the fifth day, while the Queen Stage on the penultimate day of racing serves a grande finale. The last 14.9 kilometres go up the Turini Pass, which is a toil with an average gradient of 7.3%

As hinted at before, the final stage of Paris-Nice had a major impact on the overall classification GC in the last few years. This year’s route is a copy of the 2018 edition, so the Race to the Sun looks once again set to bow out in dramatic style. The 110 kilometres final day includes six classified ascents to conclude with a 9 kilometres downhill into Nice.

Quite a few still competitive riders did win the Race to the Sun in the last decade: Marc Soler (2018), Sergio Henao (2017), Geraint Thomas (2016), Richie Porte (2015, 2013), Carlos Betancur (2014), Tony Martin (2011), and Luis León Sánchez (2009).

Favourites Paris-Nice 2019

***** Simon Yates, Egan Bernal, Wilco Kelderman
**** Miguel Ángel López, Daniel Martínez, Nairo Quintana
*** Rigoberto Uran, Marc Soler, Michal Kwiatkowski, Ion Izagirre
** Fabio Aru, Gorka Izagirre, Romain Bardet, Ilnur Zakarin
* Bob Jungels, Esteban Chaves, George Bennett, Tejay van Garderen

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