Simon Yates to head Mitchelton-SCOTT's general classification ambitions at Paris-Nice

Thu 1 Mar 2018

Mitchelton-SCOTT head to Paris-Nice with a stellar line-up looking for general classification success in the 76th edition of the eight-day race.

Last year’s stage winner Simon Yates heads the team with a strong climbing squad around him in Roman Kreuziger and Herald SunTour winner Esteban Chaves - who makes his 2018 European debut in the race.

With a clear focus on the overall classification, the Australian outfit has a diverse team to help bring Yates through the hard hilly stages and with powerful riders for the flatter, potentially windy opening stages.

The team:

Alexander Edmondson - (AUS, 24)
Esteban Chaves - (COL, 28)
Mathew Hayman -  (AUS, 39)
Chris Juul-Jensen -  (DEN, 28) 
Roman Kreuziger - (CZE 31) 
Matteo Trentin - (28)
Simon Yates - (GB, 25)

The race

This year’s edition covers a total of 1,198.9kilometres starting in Chatou before finishing in Nice on the eighth day and consists of seven road stages and an 18.5kilometre individual time trail on stage four. 

As one of the early stage races of the season, Paris-Nice provides the perfect opportunity to test the legs as riders prepare for their GrandTour goals later in the year.

With a mountain top finish in Valdeblore La Colmiane on the penultimate stage, it means the general classification may not be decided until late in the race.

Simon Yates - 2017 stage winner

"I am looking forward to Paris-Nice, it’s always a great race with many different challenges before we reach Nice and hopefully this year there will be some sun. Last year I managed to win a stage so I have fond memories of the race and I hope to be at a similar level to last year."
"With there being a time trial mid-way throught the race we will need to assess the situation after this because we may lose some time, but we have a strong team here this year, so we can be agressive to retake any time loss. Recently in Abu Dhabi, Roman Kreuziger was in great shape so things are looking good for the week."

Laurenzo Lapage - Sport director

“Our goal is to go for the overall podium with Simon. The first three days we have the flatter, possibly windy stages, so we have guys like Mat Hayman, Chris Juul-Jensen, Alex Edmondson to protect him and bring him to the time trial stage. After the time trial then he will have support from the climbers, who need to be with him towards the end on the hard stages.”

“The first priority is to support Simon as a long as possible, in those first few days we have riders who can have a go. If we come to a situation were these guys can have a go it will be because of individual moves and we won’t change the tactic, we will always be keeping our priority with supporting Simon.”

“I think Simon is in good shape, he wanted support from the team and with all the things we have seen so far we are happy to support him fully. It is maybe the first opportunity for the guys who are going for the big stage races later and being a leader is something you need to continue to learn, so it is a good moment to try with Simon.” 

Previously in Paris-Nice

In 2017, the team enjoyed success on stage six when Simon Yates bravely attacked with 18kilometres remaining on the penultimate climb of the day and was able to stay away to claim an impressive solo victory. The 25-year-old raced consistently throughout the week to finally finish in ninth place overall.

In 2016, former rider Micheal Matthews took two stage victories, firstly in the opening prologue and then again on stage two, followed by Simon Yates who finished in seventh place on the general classification.

Paris-Nice 2018 race details:

Sunday, 4 March: Stage 1- Chatou - Meudon, 135km
Monday, 5 March: Stage 2 -Orsonville - Vierzon, 187.5km
Tuesday, 6 March: Stage 3 - Bourges - Chatel-Guyon, 210km
Wednesday, 7 March: Stage 4 - La Fouillouse - Saint-Etienne, 18.5km ITT
Thursday, 8 March: Stage 5 - Salon-de-Provence - Sisteron, 165km
Friday, 9 March: Stage 6 - Sisteron - Vence, 198km
Saturday, 10 March: Stage 7 - Nice - Valdeblore la Colmiane, 175km
Sunday, 11 March: Stage 8 - Nice - Nice, 110km 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images