The route of this year's Paris-Nice is again expected to produce another close and aggressive race, with race organiser ASO including three stages on the exposed plains of central France, a 18.4km time trial to Saint-Étienne, a 16km climb to the finish at Valdeblore La Colmiane and a final 110km hilly stage around Nice.
The eight-day race will be held between March 4-11 and includes 27 climbs and a total distance of 1,187km.
ASO also announced that a mass-participation sportif ride, called the Paris-Nice Challenge, will be held on Saturday, March 10, covering the same roads as the final 110km stage of the professional race. French former rider Thomas Voeckler was confirmed as ASO's new race ambassador. He replaces Bernhard Hinault and will also work for French television at a number of races.
Julian Alaphilippe (Quick Step Floors), Tony Gallopin (AG2R La Mondiale), Warren Barguil (Fortuneo-Samsic), Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates), Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin), Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), Simon Yates and Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott) are all expected to fight for overall victory, with Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin), Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal), John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo), Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates), Arnaud Démare (FDJ), Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) contesting the sprints as they prepare for Milan-San Remo.
2018 Paris-Nice route:
Sunday, March 4: Stage 1: Chatou-Meudon 135km
Monday, March 5: Stage 2: Orsonville-Vierzon 187km
Tuesday, March 6: Stage 3: Bourges-Châtel-Guyon 210km
Wednesday, March 7: Stage 4: La Fouillouse-Saint-Étienne 18.4km ITT
Thursday, March 8: Stage 5: Salon-de-Provence-Sisteron 163.5km
Friday, March 9: Stage 6: Sisteron-Vence 188km
Saturday, March 10: Stage 7: Nice-Valdeblore La Colmiane 175km
Sunday, March 11: Stage 8: Nice-Nice 110km