A year on from the last race before the cycling season ended for five months because of the coronavirus pandemic, the peloton has returned to Paris-Nice for its 79th edition.
Primož Roglič is the headline name, leading Jumbo-Visma at the eight-day race. 2020 winner Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) returns to defend his title, while Giro d'Italia winner Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos Grenadiers) also takes part.
Tour green jersey winner Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-QuickStep) has two stage wins to his name, while Cees Bol (Team DSM) and Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-Nippo) have a victory apiece. Roglič, meanwhile, leads the race and also has three wins to his name heading into the final stage.
The course for stage 8 was altered due to the coronavirus situation in Nice. Restrictions have been eased and the mayor didn't want the famous seafront Promenade des Anglais shut off to the public all day.
The stage was always going to be short, at 110km, but now it's even shorter, at 92.7km and significantly less hilly. There were six hefty climbs on the original menu, but now it's just three on a small circuit based on the relatively gentle Côte de Duranus (3.9km at 3.7%), which is tackled three times before the uphill finish at Levens.
Cyclingnews will be bringing you full reports, results, news, interviews, and analysis throughout the race. Read on to find out how to watch Paris-Nice via live stream, no matter your location, with ExpressVPN.
Roglič will be joined in France by Steven Kruijswijk and George Bennett as part of a strong Jumbo-Visma squad. Two-time winner Richie Porte made his Ineos return but crashed out on day one, while Rohan Dennis is also riding.
Bahrain Victorious also bring a strong team, with Pello Bilbao, Dylan Teuns, and Wout Poels all racing, while Astana-Premier Tech also have a strong lead trio in the shape of Aleksandr Vlasov, Ion Izagirre, and Alexey Lutsenko.
AG2R Citroën are led by Bob Jungels and Ben O'Connor, Lotto Soudal are led by promising youngster Harm Vanhoucke, and the French quartet of Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Guillaume Martin (Cofidis), David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ), and Warren Barguil (Arkéa-Samsic) will also be riders to watch.
Sprint-wise, Bennett will be facing off against Bol and Matthews as well as ex-teammate Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe), as well as Giacomo Nizzolo (Qhubeka Assos), Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ), Bryan Coquard (B&B Hotels p/b KTM), and Nacer Bouhanni (Arkéa-Samsic).
On top of that, a number of top Classics riders will be fine-tuning their form ahead of April. Trek-Segafredo bring Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne winner Mads Pedersen and Jasper Stuyven, while Lotto Soudal's Philippe Gilbert and John Degenkolb ride together. Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates), Oliver Naesen (AG2R Citroën), and Nils Politt (Bora-Hansgrohe) are also on the start list.
The race route holds nothing too surprising but should bring good racing. Stage 4 sees six second-category climbs and a summit finish at Chiroubles (7.3km at 6 per cent).
Another sprint comes on stage 5, before another hilly day to Biot on stage 6. The queen stage comes on the penultimate day, with a summit finish at Valdeblore La Colmiane (16.3km at 6.3 per cent), while the final day brings the classic Nice stage – a 110km stage featuring five classified climbs.
Read on for all the information on how to watch Paris-Nice 2021.
Paris-Nice live stream
Paris-Nice will be broadcast around Europe on Eurosport. A subscription to Eurosport Player costs £6.99 for a single month, £4.99 for a year-long monthly pass, or £39.99 for a 12-month pass.
The race will be aired in the United Kingdom, Europe, and Australia on GCN+ and in select other territories. Highlights are available in the USA, Canada and New Zealand. A year’s subscription to GCN+ now costs £39.99 / €39.99 / $49.99 after the end of a promotional price in February.
In the USA, NBC Sports Gold will show the race, with their Cycling Pass costing $24.99 for the year.
In Canada, Flobikes will air the race live. A yearly subscription costs $150 and gives you access to watch most of the season's biggest races.
If you live outside a broadcast zone or are on holiday outside your country and find that the live streams to be geo-restricted, you can get around this by getting access to them by simulating being back in your home country via a 'virtual private network', or VPN, for your laptop, tablet or mobile.
Our sister site TechRadar tested hundreds of VPNs and recommends the number-one VPN currently available as Express VPN. With ExpressVPN, you can watch on many devices at once including Smart TVs, Fire TV Stick, PC, Mac, iPhone, Android phone, iPads, tablets, etc.
|Stage 1||Saint-Cyr-L’École - Saint-Cyr-L’École||166km||13:00 - 16:56|
|Stage 2||Oinville-sur-Montcient - Amilly||188km||11:25 - 16:01|
|Stage 3||Gien - Gien (ITT)||14.4km||13:05|
|Stage 4||Chalon-sur-Saône - Chiroubles||187.5km||11:10 - 16:01|
|Stage 5||Vienne - Bollène||200km||11:00 - 15:56|
|Stage 6||Brignoles - Biot||202.5km||10:55 - 16:01|
|Stage 7||Nice - Valdeblore La Colmiane||166.5km||10:00 - 15:05|
|Stage 8||Nice - Nice||110.5km||13:50 - 16:56|
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