Cycling News

Essential guide to the Race to the Sun – Rouleur

Men's peloton racing in the Paris-Nice race

Date: Sunday March 5, 2023 – Sunday March 12, 2023 
Start: La Verrière
Finish: Nice 
Total distance: 1,201.1km 
Riders: 154
Teams: 22
Defending champion: Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma)

Now in its 90th edition, Paris-Nice, also named the Race to the Sun, has been running since 1933 and has become one of the most critical races in a rider’s calendar outside of the three Grand Tours. Run by ASO, the same company which runs the Tour de France and Paris-Roubaix, Paris-Nice is a testing week-long tour, with competing riders needing to be good climbers and time triallists to be in with a chance of winning. Much like the Tour, the leader in the general classification will wear a yellow jersey. 

Following a similar format to its previous years, the race will begin near Paris in a town called La Verrière and head towards the South of France and the mountains. This year’s race also features two summit finishes on stages four and seven, and a team time trial, something which hasn’t featured in this race since 1993. 

Sean Kelly holds the record for victories in this race having won seven consecutive editions from 1982 until 1988. The only other rider to come close to Kelly’s record is French rider Jacques Anquetil, who won the Paris-Nice GC on five occasions. No one in recent years has come close to rivalling Kelly’s dominance. 

The current defending champion is Primož Roglič, who in 2022 won the race for the first time in his career. However, he will not return to the race this year to defend his title, instead, team-mate and Tour de France winner Jonas Vingegaard will take on the eight stages to try and continue Jumbo-Visma’s reign. 

Paris-Nice teams: 

  • AG2R Citroën Team
  • Alpecin-Deceuninck
  • Astana Qazaqstan 
  • Bahrain-Victorious 
  • Bora-Hansgrohe 
  • Cofidis 
  • EF Education-EasyPost 
  • Groupama-FDJ
  • Ineos Grenadiers 
  • Intermarché-Circus-Wanty 
  • Jumbo-Visma
  • Movistar 
  • Soudal Quick-Step
  • Team DSM
  • Jayco AlUla
  • Team Arkéa-Samsic 
  • Trek-Segafredo
  • UAE Team Emirates 
  • Lotto dstny 
  • TotalEnergies 
  • Israel-Premier Tech 
  • Uno-X Pro Cycling Team

Men's peloton in the 2019 Paris-Nice race

Paris-Nice route: 

This year’s Race to the Sun begins with two undulating laps around La Verrière, warming up the rider’s legs with the Côte de Milon-la-Chapelle – a 500m ramp with an average gradient of 12%. Stage two is virtually flat, travelling from Bazainville to Fontainebleau. 

On day three, a team time trial makes an appearance, having not featured in the race for over 30 years. The…

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