Paris–Nice 2018 odds
Who wins Paris–Nice 2018?
Paris-Nice 2018 - Guide
What is the race?
Beginning in 1933, Paris-Nice has been held annually, as an 8 day training race, now one of the most important stage races on the cycling calendar. It is the first UCI World Tour race in Europe each year, and therefore an early season goal for classics specialists and grand tour contenders alike. A result in this event often breeds further success later in the season; many Tour de France winners such as Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Stephen Roche, Miguel Indurain, Alberto Contador, and Bradley Wiggins have all won in Nice.
The event is nicknamed ‘The Race to the Sun’ eg. ‘La Course au Soleil', as it runs in the first half of March, typically starting in cold and wintry conditions in the French capital before reaching the spring sunshine on the Côte d’Azur.
Much like the Tour de France, Paris-Nice was created in by a publisher media mogul Albert Lejeune, in order to promote his Paris-based newspaper Le Petit Journal and Nice-based paper Le Petit Nice. Because it came at the end of the winter track season of six-day races and was initially six days long, it was called a "Six days on the road."
The race was not run from 1940–1945 due to WWII, like many other races. But it almost died after a one-year revival in 1946 as run by the paper Ce Soir. It was revived in 1951 by a magazine Route et Piste (road and track) and the then mayor of Nice, Jean Medecin, who wanted to promote tourism to his fast-growing city and region.
In 1957 journalist Jean Leulliot, race director since 1951, bought the event with his company Monde Six. In 1959 the race was run as Paris–Nice-Rome, finishing in the Italian capital. The increased length of the race, 1,955 kilometres in 11 days, was criticized, and the formula was not repeated. In 2000, former cyclist Laurent Fignon took organising the race from the Leulliot family. In 2002, he sold the race to Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO).In 2005, Paris-Nice became part of the UCI Pro Tour and since 2011 it is part of the UCI World Tour.
The 76th edition of Paris-Nice will take place from Sunday, 4 March to Sunday, 11 March 2018. As in recent years, the riders will be shot into action in a town near Paris and finish on the shores of the Mediterranean coast in downtown Nice. Usually the final stage involves a climb up Col d’Eze which over looks Nice - a gruelling 500m accent, ranging from 3-9% gradient.
However, that is not always the case. In 2014 organisers chose a route with no time trials and no mountain top finishes for the favourites to stand out.
The last two years have included a climb up Mont Brouilly. This averages a 7% gradient, however riders need to think tactically, with wild variation in gradients up, even to 25 % in some sections.
The confirmed 2018 race route will be released in January 2018. Knowing the full route and inclusion of time trials ans climbs will determine the favourite riders.
Sergio Henao is title holder, besting Alberto Contador (by only 2 seconds) and Daniel Martin in 2017. You can find full list of past winners here.
With seven consecutive victories in the 1980’s Sean Kelly in the most successful rider in The Race to the Sun.
Who does it suit?
Paris-Nice suits an all-rounder. In order to win the race you need to be competitive in the time-trial, to climb with the best and able to ride in the changeable weather conditions the French Spring throws at the race.
What to see?
With the race revived to increase tourism in Nice, spectators should enjoy the city’s offerings; with 7 kilometres of beach along the Promenade des Anglais, Nice has one of the longest and most famous beaches of the French Riviera. You can spot exotic yachts on the clear blue water of the marina and old port. The Promenade du Paillon is a 30 acre park connecting the seafront to the tight packed streets of the old town
Nice oozes class, and visitors can expect fine dining, even finer shopping, and art galleries around every corner. The city has 20 museums on offer too.
Mount Brouilee is a perfect place to watch the race wizz past. The Chapelle du Mont Brouilly is at the top, worth a visit. While the base of the mountain is littered with the regions famous vineyards. Why not pop into a winery and try some of the local produce, or book yourself of a wine tasting experience.