The 8th stage of Paris-Nice mirrors the final stage of the Paris-Nice editions of 2018 and 2019. Two years ago Ion Izagirre soloed to victory, while David de la Cruz won the 2018 finale in Nice ahead of fellow-attackers Omar Fraile and Marc Soler, who took the overall victory 4 seconds ahead of Simon Yates.
On similar routes, the final day of Paris-Nice has produced some breathtaking racing in recent years. In 2016 and 2017 the now retired Alberto Contador missed out on the win by a few seconds, while Yates lost 2018’s race because of time bonuses to Marc Soler. The 2021 edition provides a platform for more of the same.
The race opens with a false flat of 14 kilometres before the Côte de Levens is tackled. Following this 6.2 kilometres climb at 5.5% the route moves through the village with the same name and then a downhill leads onto the Côte de Chateauneuf, which is a 5.4 kilometres climb at 4.4%. Back in the valley the Col de Calaïson appears: 6.3 kilometres at 4.4%.
After cresting the Calaïson the riders are midway through the race. The downhill leads onto the Côte De Peille, a 6.6 kilometres ascent with an average gradient of 6.8%, after which the route continues downhill towards the Mediterranean.
The riders enter the village Èze, at the foot of the famous climb with the same name. Climbing from Nice, the Col d’Èze is 7.7 kilometres at 5.5%, but if you hit the col from this side it is a punchy 1.6 kilometres drag at 8.1%. After cresting the riders drop down to Nice before turning back to the mountains for one last time.
The Col des Quatre Chemins is an ascent of 5.5 kilometres at 5.5% before the finale is a 9.5 kilometres descent into Nice. The finish is on the Promenade des Anglais overlooking the Mediterranean.
Actually, the Col des Quatre Chemins is the first part of Col d’Èze when you tackle the climb from Nice. It is the last summit in Paris-Nice and the first three riders atop are awarded time bonuses.
The first thee riders on the line gain time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds, while two intermediate sprints – at kilometre 79.5 and 102 – come with 3, 2 and 1 seconds.
Paris-Nice 2021 stage 8: profile, more
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