Paris-Nice 2021 start list: Line-ups for the 79th Race to the Sun
Paris-Nice will returns for 2021 as the first major European stage race of the season, with a stellar line-up expected for the 79th edition of the Race to the Sun.
Last year’s event was the final stage race to go ahead before the coronavirus pandemic caused a complete cessation of racing until August, however the eighth and final stage was scrapped due to the continuing escalation of the pandemic. German Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) was confirmed the winner of the 2020 edition after seven stages, beating Tiesj Benoot (then Sunweb) to the overall victory. Both riders return for the 2021 race.
This year the race will be back with eight stages, including some enticing hilly stages, flat runs for the sprinters, the decisive mountain stages, and a crucial individual time trial. All the WorldTour teams are included of course, with Alpecin-Fenix qualifying automatically for a place as the highest-ranked ProTour team last year. B&B Hotels p/b KTM, Arkéa-Samsic, and Total Direct Energie fill the wildcard places.
There’s already some serious GC talent confirmed on the Paris-Nice 2021 start list: Vuelta a España winner Primož Roglič will chase victory alongside Steven Kruijswijk for Jumbo-Visma, while Giro d’Italia winner Tao Geoghegan Hart will start for Ineos along with Richie Porte and Rohan Dennis. The Brit will come up against his rival from the Giro, Jai Hindley (Team DSM) for the first time since they finished first and second in Italy last October. Wout Poels (Bahrain-Victorious) will no doubt be aiming to stay in the mix for the overall win, as will Astana’s Aleksandr Vlasov. Frenchmen David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) and Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) will be outside bets at taking a surprise win in their home stage race.
There’s also a raft of sprint talent on the start list, including Ireland’s Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), French champion Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ), Italian champion Giacomo Nizzolo (Assos-Qhubeka), Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates), Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange), and Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) among a host of others. Classics riders like Mads Pedersen and Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Oliver Naesen (Ag2r-Citroën), and Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) will hope to disrupt the sprinters on the flatter stages as they use the race as preparation for their spring campaigns.
Other notable inclusions on the start list include Thomas De Gendt and Philippe Gilbert (Lotto-Soudal), Søren Kragh Andersen (Team DSM), Warren Barguil (Arkéa-Samsic), and Sep Vanmarcke (Israel Start-Up Nation) on a star-studded start list.
The 2021 Paris-Nice starts on Sunday March 7 in Saint-Cyr-L’École and finishes on Sunday March 14 in Nice.
Paris-Nice 2021 start list
DE GENDT Thomas
UAE Team Emirates
SÁNCHEZ Luis León
GEOGHEGAN HART Tao
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits
Deceuninck – Quick-Step
EF Education – Nippo
Groupama – FDJ
Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux
EIKING Odd Christian
Israel Start-Up Nation
ROJAS José Joaquín
JANSEN Amund Grøndahl
KRAGH ANDERSEN Søren
Trek – Segafredo
B&B Hotels p/b KTM
Total Direct Energie
BOASSON HAGEN Edvald