First held in 1933 when it was won Alfons Schepers of Belgium, Paris-Nice is perhaps the most prestigious multi-stage race outside of the Grand Tours, and serves as a testing ground for those hoping to claim the famous Maillot Jaune of the Tour de France later in the year.
Last year’s event was won of course by Sky’s Bradley Wiggins, who then went on to conquer the Criterium Dauphine and the Tout, making history along the way in more ways than one.
This year many of the pro peloton’s big hitters have opted either to train rather than race or to attend Tirreno-Adriatico in Italy, but there should still be plenty of high-level action on display.
Today see the opening prologue, a 2.9 km jaunt around the town center of Houilles, to get us started.
Team Sky’s Richie Porte will be looking to get his race off to a good start with a decent ride here, though such a short course will suit a punchier rider, or even a sprinter.
Lars Bak of Lotto-Belisol might be one to watch, and the crowd will be cheering on the evergreen Jens Voight (Radioshack-Leopard). Brent Bookwalter (BMC) could also be dangerous.