The route is a carbon copy of last year’s final stage, when Nairo Quintana soloed to victory ahead of Tiesj Benoot and Thibaut Pinot. It was not the original final stage though, as Paris-Nice concluded premature because of Covid-19.
The 2018 edition of Paris-Nice also visited La Colmiane. Simon Yates won the race 8 seconds ahead of Dylan Teuns and Ion Izagirre, although the run-in to the finish climb was different that year.
Following the start the riders penetrate the hills above Nice via Gattières and Vence. This is the prelude to the Col de Vence, which is a 9.7 kilometres climb at 6.6%. The summit is located at an elevation of almost 1,000 metres.
The descent begins 6 kilometres later and then it takes a while before the Col de la Sigale appears. The 6.6 kilometres climb at 4.9% continues onto the 6.2 kilometres long Côte de Saint-Antonin. This one slopes at 5.3%.
A long descent and an undulating section of 40 kilometres lead onto the finish climb. It is the calm before the storm, which is spiced up with an intermediate sprint 33 kilometres before the line. Another sprint for bonus seconds is situated midway up the Colmiane climb.
The final haul up is 16.3 kilometres long and the average gradient sits at 6.3%. So it is a big test, but also a gradual one. In 2018, Simon Yates attacked with 4 kilometres to go and Ion Izagirre jumped to his wheel. But when Yates accelerated again he was alone.
Last year, Nairo Quintana also attacked with 4 kilometres out. He overhauled the only remaining breakaway rider, Thomas De Gendt, to solo to victory. Maximilian Schachmann fought a brave battle in the background, hanging onto his overall lead despite losing almost a minute.
The first thee riders on the line gain time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds, while two intermediate sprints – at kilometre 133.5 and 161 – come with 3, 2 and 1 seconds.
Paris-Nice 2021 stage 7: profiles, more
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