Paris-Nice opens with short time trial
All Etixx – Quick-Step riders finished safely on the first day of the World Tour event.
As they arrived in France, the cyclists were greeted by snow and strong winds instead of the proverbial sun which everyone was waiting for. Fortunately, after that cold welcome, things changed for the inaugural day of the race, so the 6.1-km long prologue in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine took place in excellent conditions, very much to the riders' liking.
Etixx – Quick-Step's best placed man on Sunday was Niki Terpstra, who came at the start less than four days after taking an epic victory in Le Samyn. The 31-year-old Dutchman stopped the clock in 7:58, 19 seconds behind Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge), who won the race against the clock. The Australian rider was followed on the podium by Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) and Patrick Bevin (Cannondale).
Stage 1 of Paris-Nice will take place on Monday, between Condé-sur-Vesgre and Vendôme (195 kilometers). The route is fairly flat, except a couple of small climbs that come in the final 25 kilometers. Besides these, the riders will face also some dirt patches, which could spice things up. If the peloton overcomes these obstacles, then a bunch sprint will be in the cards.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele