Team BikeExchange-Jayco head to Paris-Nice this weekend, ready for a hard race, bringing two leaders in the shape of sprinter Dylan Groenewegen and climber Simon Yates.
The star riders will lead a seven-rider Team BikeExchange-Jayco squad at the ‘race to the sun,’ with this two-pronged approach, as they eye sprint victories and a strong overall GC showing.
The eight-day race is traditionally a cold, wet and eventful one before the riders draw closer to the South of France, where the climbers will get the chance to test the legs. Supporting the two-time Saudi stage winner Groenewegen, will be well established lead-out man Luka Mezgec along with powerful track specialist Campbell Stewart.
For the climbs, Yates will have a solid support squad around him as well, in the shape of last year’s fourth place finisher Lucas Hamilton, with fellow powerhouse Australian’s Callum Scotson and Luke Durbridge.
The race will feature three flat stages to kick-off proceedings, one individual time trial stage on day four, followed by four mountainous stages including a lengthy 214km stage on day six.
Team BikeExchange-Jayco at Paris-Nice:
Luke Durbridge (AUS)
Dylan Groenewegen (NED)
Lucas Hamilton (AUS)
Luka Mezgec (SLO)
Callum Scotson (AUS)
Campbell Stewart (NZL)
Simon Yates (GBR)
“I think my condition is really good, we didn’t have the results we wanted at the UAE Tour, but the shape is good, and we could see that in the Saudi Tour. Everyone in general is in a good shape, and so we go to Paris-Nice to win. I have won already three stages in Paris-Nice and had the yellow jersey. It is a really good race for me, and I like to race there, especially when it is dry of course.
The first stages are quite flat, the first one and third are a little bit harder but I think they are still ok for the sprinters, the second is totally flat, so these first three days are really for the sprinters. We go to the race looking for the best result, and that is to take wins. We then head to the climbs, and we have Simon Yates.”
Matt White – Head Sport Director
“The race is really split in two. Three flat sprint stages, a TT day and then four hillier stages. The first days are going to be a battle, we have seen Jakobsen and Philipsen down to race, the two in form sprinters in the spring, and these will be Dylan’s main competition. It is definitely going to be tough, but I think Dylan has got the form and the ability to win a stage in those first three days.
This race is the first goal of the year for Simon, on the general classification front, and we are aiming high, and we are aiming for a podium here in the GC. Roglic will be Simon’s main rival there and Saturday and Sunday will be the key days. Saturday is the longest climbing day of the race and then Sunday is the short intense stage around Nice like always. It is four consecutive days in a row that are tough.
What can make Paris-Nice tough is the weather. It can be one of the hardest races of the spring just due to the weather but for the moment the forecast is ok for the first weekend.”
2022 Paris-Nice Race Details (6th – 13th March):
Sunday, 6th March: Stage 1, Mantes-La-Ville to Mantes-La-Ville, 160km
Monday, 7th March: Stage 2, Auffargis to Oreleans, 159.9km
Tuesday, 8th March: Stage 3, Vierzon to Dun-Le-Palestel, 191km
Wednesday, 9th March: Stage 4, Domerat to Montlucon, 13.4km TT
Thursday, 10th March: Stage 5, Saint-Just-Saint-Ramert to Saint-Sauveur, 189km
Friday, 11th March: Stage 6, Courthezon to Aubagne, 214km
Saturday, 12th March: Stage 7, Nice to Col de Turini, 155.5km
Sunday, 13th March: Stage 8, Nice to Nice, 116km
Photo: Getty Images