Cycling News

Roglič makes his Bora-Hansgrohe debut at Paris-Nice against Evenepoel

Pogačar battles rivals on Paris-Nice queen stage

The Race to the Sun, the 82nd Paris-Nice, begins Sunday, marking the first European stage race on the WorldTour calendar. Tadej Pogačar doesn’t return to defend his title.

Pogacar romped to the 2023 victory with three stage wins.

Remco Evenepoel and Primož Roglič are ready to meet for the first time this year on 2022 titlist Roglič’s debut for new squad Bora-Hansgrohe. Evenepoel, ten years the Slovenian’s junior, has already won a one-day race and a stage race in Portugal.

In a preview of Bora-Hansgrohe’s Tour de France plans, where the team will face Evenepoel again, Roglič will be working with 2021 runner-up Aleksandr Vlasov, who has enjoyed a strong start to the season. Evenepoel’s mountains assistance will likely come from Ilan van Wilder, fourth in the UAE Tour in the middle of February.

This favoured duo will have to be wary of a strong UAE-Emirates contingent: recent Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana victor Brandon McNulty, 2023 Giro third place João Almeida and Jay Vine.

McNulty has been on form so far this season.

Other riders looking for podium spots are Spaniards Pello Bilbao (Bahrain-Victorious) and Carlos Rodriguez, Ineos’ best 2023 Grand Tour man, last year’s runner-up David Gaudu and reigning Tour de Suisse champion Mattias Skjelmose.

Straight away, the 2024 Paris-Nice parcours gets lumpy, and with a Cat. 3 planted so close to the finish it’s unlikely the pure fast men will contest the win. The sprinters will have their only day following that, but a 27-km team time trial on Stage 3 will be key for the favourites.

Portugal has been a happy place for Evenepoel in 2023.

The first summit finish marks the midway mark of the 83rd edition, a sharp climb at 3 km of 7.7 percent. The sprinters are excluded from Stages 5 and 6, the organizers laying on the climbs. The penultimate stage ends with a one-two, a 20-km drag of around 3 percent followed by a 7.4-km, 6.9 percent ascent to Auron.

Six mostly Cat. 2 climbs in 109 km around Nice is the final challenge.

Running almost concurrently with Paris-Nice is the Race of the Two Seas, Tirreno-Adriatico, where Jonas Vingegaard squares off against Juan Ayuso, Simon Yates, Enric Mas and Ben O’Connor.

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Canadian Cycling Magazine…