Paris - Nice 2018

March 4-11, Chatou, France, Road - WorldTour

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Patrick Fletcher

Full live coverage of the opening stage of the 2018 Paris-Nice.

 

Paris-Nice race hub

Race preview

Start list

 

  1. 13:39:02 CET

    Good morning and welcome to the Cyclingnews live race centre for the start of the 2018 edition of Paris-Nice. 

     

    The 'Race to the Sun', which takes riders from the north of France down to the South, is one of the most prestigious week-long stage races in professional cycling. Eight stages ahead of us over the next week and here it begins. 

  2. 13:43:03 CET

    The opening stage is largely flat but there's a sting in the tail in the form of a 1.9km cobbled climb to the line in Meudon. One for the puncheurs. 

  3. 13:43:55 CET

    The riders have rolled out of the start town of Chatou and are just making their way through the neutralised zone. The race proper will be underway in a few moments.

     

  4. 13:54:11 CET

    The riders have passed KM0 and the race is underway. 

     

  5. 13:56:27 CET

    Now's probably a good time to have a read of Zeb Woodpower's race preview. 

     

    Paris-Nice 2018 - Preview

     

  6. 13:58:32 CET

    A breakaway of three riders has gone up the road.

     

  7. 14:05:25 CET

    The three riders out front are:

     

    Pierre Rolland (EF-Drapac)

    Pierre-Luc Perichon (Fortuneo-Samsic)

    Jurgen Roelandts (BMC Racing)

     

  8. 14:10:23 CET

    Rolland, Perichon and Roelandts have opened up a lead of 2:30 as Quick-Step and FDJ come to the front of the peloton to police things.

     

  9. 14:22:16 CET

    Julian Alaphilippe is many people's pick for today's stage. He and Elia Viviani are leading the line for Quick-Step this week, with the in-form Viviani set for sprint opportunities on Monday and Tuesday. You can read about the team's plans here:

     

    Viviani and Alaphilippe lead Quick-Step Floors at Paris-Nice
     

     

     

     

     

  10. 105km remaining from 135km

    14:31:28 CET

    The leading trio extend their advantage to more than three minutes as they approach the first of two intermediate sprints on today's stage. 

     

  11. 14:46:25 CET

    Roelandts took maximum points - and three bonus seconds - at that intermediate sprint, followed by Rolland and Perichon.

     

  12. 14:52:18 CET

    The leaders covered 43.8km in the first hour of racing.

     

  13. 14:54:53 CET

    The rain continues to fall but, mercifully for the riders, it's not so windy out there. 

  14. 86km remaining from 135km

    14:56:58 CET

    3:15 is the advantage of our three leaders as they near the 50km mark.

     

  15. 15:02:52 CET

    'El Tractor' is the big Belgian powerhouse Tim Declercq, a nickname created by an Argentinean broadcaster commentating on the Vuelta a San Juan, where Declercq was doing endless kilometres on the front of the peloton. Incidentally, Quick-Step also have 'John Deere' here at Paris-Nice - that's Yves Lampaerts, who grew up on a farm. 

     

  16. 15:06:21 CET

    A quick glance at the map tells us we'll soon be turning up north and back towards Paris. Gone are the days when they'd plot a pretty direct route from Paris to Nice. They'll make up for it with extra-long post-stage transfers. 

     

  17. 15:16:09 CET

    Joining Quick-Step at the head of the peloton are FDJ. Or, as we can now call them, Groupama-FDJ. 

     

    The French team brought on a new title sponsor this winter but the deal would only into force at Paris-Nice, so today is their debut with their new name, new kit, and new bus. Here they are on the podium earlier. That's Arnaud Demare in the French national champion's kit - he'll be their main man for the sprint stages, and can't be discounted for today, either. 

     

     

  18. 67km remaining from 135km

    15:18:57 CET

    At the half-way mark, the leading trio's lead has been reduced to two minutes.

     

  19. 15:28:11 CET

    Over in Italy, Maciej Mohoric has just won the GP Industria & Artigianato

     

  20. 62km remaining from 135km

    15:29:19 CET

    Back in France and the gap continues to fall. 1:30 now.

     

  21. 15:32:22 CET

    The rain eases up but the roads are still wet. 

     

  22. 15:37:44 CET

    We're approaching the first of the three categorised climbs on today's route. It's the Côte des 17 Tournants, of Tour de France game. As the name suggests, there are 17 corners packed in to 1.3km as the road twists up at a gradient of 6%. 

     

  23. 15:42:54 CET

    Perichon reaches out for the points at the top of the climb, followed by Rolland and Roelandts. 

     

  24. 52km remaining from 135km

    15:43:33 CET

    Meanwhile, the leading trio's advantage has come down to 45 seconds. 

     

  25. 15:44:35 CET

    After a short dip downhill it's almost immediately onto another third-category climb. It's the Côte de Méridon and it's 1.4km at 5.2%.

     

  26. 15:47:10 CET

    Perichon once again hits out early on this second climb. He eases up slightly but soon goes again for real and Rolland and Roelandts have no response. 

     

    A good day's work for Perichon, who secures the king of the mountains jersey for tomorrow. 

     

  27. 15:49:13 CET

    Results from GP Industria e Artigianato

     

     

    Mohoric wins GP Industria e Artigianato
     

     

  28. 45km remaining from 135km

    15:51:13 CET

    The foot has been taken off the gas in the peloton and they've allowed the breakaway trio another minute. 1:45 is the gap now. 

     

  29. 38km remaining from 135km

    16:01:39 CET

    The breakaway riders come through the second intermediate sprint and again it's Roelandts who rolls through on the front, uncontested by the others. 

     

  30. 16:07:19 CET

    Here's a look at the finish. The steepest section is early on and the final kilometre is a steady drag to the line. Alaphilippe is the obvious candidate but it could also suit the more versatile sprinters who can maintain power. Arnaud Demare, Matteo Trentin, John Degenkolb, and Alexander Kristoff could all figure.

     

  31. 16:09:14 CET

    Tension in the peloton as the wind picks up and Mitchelton-Scott increase the pace. A few riders are in trouble at the back for a moment, and the tension sparks a crash involving Tejay van Garderen.

  32. 33km remaining from 135km

    16:10:30 CET

    That period of action has seen the breakaway's advantage fall to 30 seconds. 

     

  33. 16:13:41 CET

    Tejay van Garderen abandons Paris-Nice

     

  34. 16:16:57 CET

    The crash didn't look too serious but Van Garderen has left the race. That's a big blow for him and BMC Racing, as he came into the race as team leader and on the back of a podium at the Volta ao Algarve. 

     

    Here's what he had to say before the race: "The last time I raced Paris-Nice was in 2015 where I had a disastrous day in the cold, so hopefully we can learn from that and correct the mistakes from the past and make a solid push for a high General Classification result. With the strength, experience, and motivation BMC Racing Team is bringing to Paris Nice we shouldn't be satisfied with anything less than a top result."

     

  35. 24km remaining from 135km

    16:21:40 CET

    Rolland, Perichon, and Roelandts press on with a lead of 25 seconds as the rain comes down again. 

  36. 16:24:05 CET

    A nice shot of the breakaway trio from the race organisers. 

     

     

  37. 16:27:35 CET

    The three leaders take a look around and can see the peloton just behind now. 15 seconds is the gap with 20km to go and they exchange some words as they prepared to be caught. 

     

  38. 16:28:03 CET

    The peloton aren't advancing rapidly, however. The pace is really sedate for the time being. 

     

  39. 16:31:17 CET

    Astana start to move up on the right hand side of the road. They have Jakob Fuglsang here for GC, while Magnus Cort Nielsen could be in the mix today. 

     

  40. 14km remaining from 135km

    16:34:30 CET

    Rolland, Roelandts, and Perichon are finally caught. Peloton all together.

     

  41. 16:37:53 CET

    Mitchelton-Scott have set up on the left hand side of the road, while it's Lotto Soudal on the right. They have Andre Greipel and Tim Wellens here. 

     

  42. 10.5km remaining from 135km

    16:38:31 CET

    The pace has really been ramped up here. 

     

  43. 16:39:23 CET

    Quick-Step and FDJ, who have done the lion's share of the work today, aren't up there near the front of the bunch. 

     

  44. 16:41:04 CET

    There's more road furniture here as the riders come into down. Combined with the sodden roads it's making for a slightly messy approach to this final climb.

     

  45. 16:41:25 CET

    A reminder of what we've got coming up

     

     

  46. 7km remaining from 135km

    16:42:37 CET

    Nacer Bouhanni sits up and says goodbye to the peloton. 

     

  47. 16:43:12 CET

    Greipel is on the front for Lotto Soudal. 

     

  48. 5km remaining from 135km

    16:44:02 CET

    The riders turn on the wider roads that run alongside the river Seine. It's strung out massively with 5km to go.

     

  49. 16:45:06 CET

    Lotto Soudal continue to dominate the approach to the climb. 

     

  50. 16:46:09 CET

    This finish could suit the punchier sprinters but the GC men will also have to be careful not to lose time here. 

     

  51. 16:46:28 CET

    Big crash in the middle of the bunch. 10 riders down. 

     

  52. 16:46:56 CET

    No one looks hurt but that was a heavy, high-speed crash. 

     

  53. 2km remaining from 135km

    16:47:12 CET

    Meanwhile the race goes on and the riders hit the climb.

     

  54. 16:47:24 CET

    Sinkeldam hits the front for FDJ and Demare.

     

  55. 16:47:34 CET

    Alexis Vuillermoz attacks

     

  56. 16:47:56 CET

    Vuillermoz has a gap but FDJ remain calm and lead a steady chase. 

     

  57. 16:48:28 CET

    The group is strung out and vastly reduced now, thanks to the gradients and that crash.

     

  58. 16:48:54 CET

    The peloton is bunched up as Vuillermoz enjoys a handy advantage. 

  59. 1km remaining from 135km

    16:49:16 CET

    Flamme rouge for Vuillermoz. The worst is over but he'll soon be on the cobbles.

     

  60. 16:49:31 CET

    Vuillermoz hits the cobbles with a lead of around 10 seconds. 

     

  61. 16:49:47 CET

    Bahrain take it up. 

     

  62. 16:50:16 CET

    It's Ivan Garcia Cortina for Bahrain. The group is still bunched. Demare and Alaphilippe both there. 

     

  63. 16:50:31 CET

    This is a cruel long drag. Vuillermoz is going to be caught. 

     

  64. 16:50:40 CET

    Demare opens his sprint. 

     

  65. 16:50:49 CET

    Haussler goes now

     

  66. 16:51:01 CET

    But Demare's coming back, and Wellens too!

     

  67. 16:51:07 CET

    Photo finish!

     

  68. 16:52:18 CET

    I think it's Haussler...

     

  69. 16:52:50 CET

    There's no confirmed winner yet as the judges review the side-on images. 

     

  70. 16:53:49 CET

    We've had some faulty information there. It's Gorka Izaguirre for Bahrain-Merida - not Haussler.

     

  71. 16:54:19 CET

    Arnaud Demare wins stage 1 of Paris-Nice

     

  72. 16:55:37 CET

    The French champion is confirmed as the winner of the opening stage of Paris-Nice, as was the case 12 months ago. 

     

  73. 16:58:58 CET

    Christophe Laporte (Cofidis) was third, Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) fourth, Mike Teunissen (Sunweb) fifth, and Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) sixth. 

     

    Behind them there was a two-second gap to the rest of the riders.

     

  74. 17:01:29 CET

    Top 10

     

    1 Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ 3:07:39
    2 Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
    3 Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
    4 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
    5 Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team Sunweb
    6 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors
    7 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:02
    8 Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing Team
    9 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
    10 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida

     

  75. 17:08:32 CET

    General classification after stage 1


    1 Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ 3:07:29
    2 Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:04
    3 Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:00:06
    4 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:10
    5 Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team Sunweb
    6 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors
    7 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:12
    8 Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing Team
    9 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
    10 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida

  76. 18:12:29 CET

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