Paris-Nice 2017 – Stage 3 Preview

By David Hunter

Chablis – Chalon sur Saône 190km

The peloton start to see some hills.

The critical point for the sprinters is the cat 2 climb that crests with 25.5km. Cote de Charrecey is 2.1km at 6.7%, that doesn’t sound long enough to put most of the sprinters into difficulty. It might even be possible for a quick man to go a little slow on the hill and then use their team to help chase back on. This should be another sprint finish.

Finale

Three roundabouts in 2 kilometres makes it technical, but the last 2km is nice and easy. Expect to see plenty of sprint trains getting to the front earlier than usual. It’s vital to be at the front for the roundabouts.

Weather

Although wet, this looks easier than the past two days. The wind is coming from the north-west, making it a tailwind for the majority of the race. It is unlikely we’ll see any echelons, but there is a danger point as the peloton turn left and head towards the cat 2 climb. GC riders will need to be at the front.

Contenders

Which of the sprinters get dropped on the climb? That is the big question!

Marcel Kittel – will get dropped. The climb is just a bit steep for him.

Andre Greipel – he should be okay on the climb. He has been working hard for Tony Gallopin, but this should be his chance to sprint for glory. We’ll have to wait and see if the opening stages have taken too much out of him.

Arnaud Demare – a win and a third place, not a bad start for the Frenchman! His team look very strong, always at the front of the race. If this is a full sprint, he’ll struggle to win it. Demare is better after a tough day in the saddle, that’s why he’s loved stages one and two.

Alexander Kristoff – the big Norwegian ran out of legs today. His position wasn’t great going into the last 500m and he also looked empty. After two hard days in the saddle, he will hope for a quieter day. Kristoff has been present at the front of the race for two whole stages! If Kittel gets dropped, he has as good a chance as the rest of the quick men.

Sam Bennett – he’s been looking good, but just not quite at the level required. I think we’ll see him improve as the week goes on and this marks a big chance for him. He will hope for a better lead out and then he’ll go full gas. An outside chance of making the podium.

John Degenkolb – looks like the rider with the best sprint train. If Trek get it right in the last kilometre, the German has a great chance of success. Hopefully they won’t have to babysit Contador through the stage.

Sonny Colbrelli – don’t think anyone expected him to win today! Can he make it two? No.

Bryan Coquard – not had a great couple of stages. He will skip over the climb and has a chance of surprsing the bigger names.

Prediction Time

Given the final climb and his lead out train, I’m going with John Degenkolb. He was close today and I’ll think he’ll be tasting success after this stage.

*Overall preview

David Hunter

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2 thoughts on “Paris-Nice 2017 – Stage 3 Preview

  1. The last climb is 25,5 not 15,5 kms from the finish, should give Kittel a better chance

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