Paris - Nice 2013

March 3-10, 2013, Houilles, France, Road - WorldTour

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Daniel Benson

Hello and welcome to our live coverage from the prologue at the 2013 Paris - Nice.

  1. 14:53:38 CET

    Today's 2.9 kilometre test is unlikely to provide any major markers in the race for the overall but it could certainly kick up a number of surprises for the top ten. Defending champion Bradley Wiggins is not here to defend his title, but there are still a number of strong TT riders here.

    They won't have it all their own way though. The 2.9km course has a number of technical sections and it's distance shouldn't mean a number of explosive riders can't be ruled out for a good result.

  2. 14:59:36 CET

    Just scanning down the start list, there are  number of riders who could feature today.

    Richie Porte leads Team Sky in Wiggins' absence, while Lieuwe Westra, Jens Voigt, Brent Bookwalter, Tejay van Garderen and David Millar could all feature.

    There are a number of sprinters, with 4km track experience, like Leigh Howard, for example, too.

  3. 15:01:13 CET

    At the moment it's dry and calm at the start house, with around 60 riders having already raced the course. Peter Velits currently leads with a time of 3:40.

  4. 15:02:04 CET

    Thomas Voeckler:

    "It’s certainly one for the sprinters or people with a bit of punch. It’s a course maybe that favours the craziest guys, the ones who take the corners quicker than the most of the rest of the riders."

    "I’d like to go for the general classification but the problem is that there the Col d’Éze time trial. I think that’s really too hard for me. At this time of the year, I’m not at 100%. "


  5. 15:02:51 CET

    Heinrich Haussler was certainly one of the riders taking risks earlier today. He crashed on one of the early corners but managed to finish. He'll start tomorrow's first stage.

  6. 15:04:08 CET

    As Daniel Oss just crosses the line in 35th place. Leigh Howard should be coming up to the line in the next minute or two actually.

  7. 15:05:43 CET

    If you're wondering what type of bikes riders are using for today, it's been a bit of a mixed bag. A number of Sky riders including former world u23 TT champ Danny Pate, and Tiernan-Locke are using standard road bikes.

  8. 15:06:16 CET

    Howard 24th, 8 seconds off the time of Velits.

  9. 15:08:23 CET

    Stef Clement (Blanco) starts his time trial in a minute. The course is probably too short for him to make an impact on but he'll be able to feed vital information back to his teammate and leader Robert Gesink.

  10. 15:10:09 CET

    Borut Bozic (Astana) is in second at the moment but less than a second off the time set by Velits.

  11. 15:14:19 CET

    Martijn Keizer, not a bad time, seconds down on Velits and into provisional 9th.

  12. 15:16:03 CET

    Here's the top five as it currently stands:

    1.Peter Velits (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) 3:40
    2.Borut Bozic (Astana) +:00
    3.Jesus Herrada (Movistar) +:02
    4.William Bonnet (FdJ) +:03
    5.Gatis Smukulis (Katusha) +:04

  13. 15:17:45 CET

    Throughout the next week and bit you can find all our Paris-Nice coverage right here.

    While we've also compiled this photo gallery from Paris-Nice from the last 20 years.

  14. 15:19:46 CET

    One rider that wasn't going to cause much of a stir today is Daniel Navarro and he's just crossed the line in 85th place. This is an important race for him though, having left the comfort at Saxo Bank and Alberto Contador, to lead the French team Cofidis. He'll be looking to show his talent in the mountains later this week.

  15. 15:20:57 CET

    Maes has just crossed the line in fourth.

  16. 15:21:08 CET

    1.Peter Velits (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) 3:40
    2.Borut Bozic (Astana) +:00
    3.Jesus Herrada (Movistar) +:02
    4.Nikolas Maes (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) +:02
    5.William Bonnet (FdJ) +:03

  17. 15:24:25 CET

    Blel Kadri wins Roma Maxima. Last year he crashed out of Paris-Nice and missed two months of the season.

  18. 15:26:29 CET

    So far the sprinters haven't featured in the top five today, and it appears that this is more of a course for a strong, powerful rider. Still there are plenty of riders to come with around 70 still to start.

  19. 15:28:59 CET

    Did you see this one coming? We have a new leader, Geoffrey Soupe (FDJ) who leads the prologue by a second from Velits.

  20. 15:31:00 CET

    The 24-year-old Frenchman has never won a time trial or a prologue as a professional rider.

  21. 15:31:35 CET

    Thomas De Gendt starts his ride. He's one rider that could do well today.

  22. 15:34:14 CET

    Gustav Larsson starts his prologue too. The IAM Cycling team have been aggressive since the start of the season. Can the Swede pull of a big shock today?

  23. 15:34:51 CET

    As Tony Gallopin (RadioShack) finishes in third.

  24. 15:36:42 CET

    1.Geoffrey Soupe (FdJ) 3:39
    2.Peter Velits (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) +:01
    3.Tony Gallopin (RadioShack-Leopard) +:01
    4.Borut Bozic (Astana) +:01
    5.Jesus Herrada (Movistar) +:03

  25. 15:38:20 CET

    Haedo comes to the line 3:51.

  26. 15:39:56 CET

    Jerome accelerates out of the start house. The first 500 meters are straight but from there the course becomes much more technical with a number of right and left hand turns. The Frenchman looks pretty good at the moment, taking each apex well. He's a little slow coming out of the corners though and that will hurt his final time.

  27. 15:40:26 CET

    Jack Bauer is next to start.

  28. 15:43:11 CET

    Jerome is on his way to the finish now. He wont trouble the leaders though.

  29. 15:44:53 CET

    Gilbert is the next rider to start. This course could actually suit him.

  30. 15:47:29 CET

    Gilbert isn't taking it easy out there. He takes one corner so tightly his skin suit grazes the barriers.World Champion Philippe Gilbert in action

  31. 15:48:22 CET

    Gilbert comes up to the line in 3:45 , 22nd place. He lost a lot of time on the final straight section.

  32. 15:54:19 CET

    • Euskaltel-Euskadi's 2012 Jersey

    Romain Sicard is out on the course at the moment. The Frenchman is another rider giving it 100 per cent but he wont trouble the time set by Soupe.

  33. 15:55:37 CET

    Wilco Kelderman (Blanco) comes to the line and takes the lead. The Blanco rider less than one second faster than Soupe.

  34. 15:59:17 CET

    Lovkvist is coming to the line now too. Not a great ride, 69th on the day.

  35. 15:59:38 CET

    1.Wildo Kelderman (Blanco) 3:39
    2.Geoffrey Soupe (FdJ) +:00
    3.Peter Velits (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) +:01
    4.Tony Gallopin (RadioShack-Leopard) +:01
    5.Borut Bozic (Astana) +:01

  36. 16:00:39 CET

    QuickStep have 3 riders in the top ten at the moment.Can they make it 4, as Tom Boonen rolls down the start ramp.

  37. 16:01:22 CET

    Here comes Viviani in 6th place. A strong performance from the sprinter/track rider.

  38. 16:03:51 CET

    Boonen appears to be struggling to get on top of this gear but he's not holding back, that's for sure.

    David Millar now starts his prologue. It's perhaps a bit too short in distance for the Garmin rider though.

  39. 16:04:12 CET

    Boonen finishes in 17th place.

  40. 16:05:20 CET

    Not a bad ride from Turgot, who crosses the line to nab 6th.

  41. 16:06:34 CET

    • Pro Team Astana's 2012 Jersey

    And Grivko takes 7th on the line as Bouet leaves the start house.

  42. 16:07:16 CET

    Millar is coming up to the line. He wont come close today and finishes in 62nd place.

  43. 16:09:21 CET

    Arnold Jeannesson is on his road bike for today's prologue. He's out on the course now.

  44. 16:13:08 CET

    Monfort starts. He's a good shout for the overall perhaps but today may not suit him. He's certainly efficient as a time trialist though, and gets right into the correct position as soon as he rolls down the ramp and picks up speed.

  45. 16:14:11 CET

    And Monfort crashes. A right hand corner and the bike slips from under him. He's getting to his feet but very slowly.

  46. 16:16:44 CET

    Monfort crosses the line in 155th place.

  47. 16:19:41 CET

    Just 23 riders left to start the race. Kelderman still leads and could pull on the leader's jersey at the end of the day. His teammate Lars Boom won the opening stage of this race a few years ago.

  48. 16:20:57 CET

    Ivan Basso starts his prologue attempt.

  49. 16:21:33 CET

    1.Wildo Kelderman (Blanco) 3:39
    2.Geoffrey Soupe (FdJ) +:00
    3.Peter Velits (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) +:01
    4.Tony Gallopin (RadioShack-Leopard) +:01
    5.Borut Bozic (Astana) +:01

  50. 16:23:46 CET

    Another big hitter is about to start though, Sylvain Chavanel, the French time trial champion, rolls down the ramp.

  51. 16:26:09 CET

    Fuglsang follows Chavanel down the ramp. the Danish time trial champion is a good bet for success later in the week but if basing his season around the Tour de France this season.

  52. 16:27:06 CET

    Chavanel is coming to the line and he's going to take the lead by 1.4 seconds.

  53. 16:28:42 CET

    Damien Gaudin (Europcar) has just set the fastest time, a whole second faster than Chavanel.

  54. 16:30:19 CET

    1.Damien Gaudin (Europcar) 3:37
    2.Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) +:01
    3.Wildo Kelderman (Blanco) +:02
    4.Geoffrey Soupe (FdJ) +:02
    5.Peter Velits (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) +:03

  55. 16:30:46 CET

    As van Garderen starts his prologue.

  56. 16:31:33 CET

    The American almost lost it on one corner but he makes it through by the skin of his teeth.

  57. 16:34:54 CET

    Van Garderen finishes in 52nd place, over ten seconds down. He wont be over the moon with that result.

  58. 16:36:22 CET

    Andreas Kloden, who won this race over a decade ago, is now on the course too. The German time trialists looks comfortable out there at the moment as he heads towards the first set of tricky corners.

  59. 16:37:13 CET

    It looks like Gaudin is going to pull off a bit of a shock. Robert Gesink is about to start.

  60. 16:39:50 CET

    Kloden is lurching towards the line but he wont trouble the leaders. As Lieuwe Westra, who won the prologue last year, starts.

  61. 16:40:35 CET

    Richie Porte (Team Sky) is the last man off wearing number 1 on his back.

  62. 16:41:36 CET

    Gesink finishes 6 seconds off the lead, so beats van Garderen by four seconds. The Blanco rider will be very happy with that.

  63. 16:42:42 CET

    So only Porte and Westra stand in Gaudin's way.  Westra is coming to the line though.

  64. 16:43:10 CET

    Westra finishes 3rd fastest.

  65. 16:43:53 CET

    Riche Porte is the only rider out there and Gaudin is in the hot seat, hoping the Sky rider comes up short.

  66. 16:44:52 CET

    Porte can only manage 39th so Gaudin wins the opening prologue of Paris-Nice. A turn up for the books but still a very accomplished ride for the Europcar man.

  67. 16:50:55 CET

    1 Damien Gaudin (Fra) Team Europcar 0:03:37
    2 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:03:38
    3 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:03:38
    4 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Blanco 0:03:39
    5 Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) FDJ 0:03:39
    6 Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:03:40
    7 Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack Leopard 0:03:40
    8 Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana Pro Team 0:03:40
    9 Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team Europcar 0:03:41
    10 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team 0:03:42

  68. 16:51:55 CET

    Thanks for joining us today. We'll be back tomorrow with more live action from Paris-Nice. You can read today's report, results and find pictures right here.

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