WorldTour racing resumes tomorrow with the start of the 72nd edition of Paris-Nice. The peloton will race 1,447 km, which is the longest distance covered since the Race to the Sun was reduced from nine days to the current format of eight days.
Race organizers have decided not to feature an individual time trial in the 2014 edition, which is a first since 1955. This decision, along with the elimination of any big mountain top finishes, changes the dynamics of the race to now favour more of an all rounder.
Simon will be participating in his 7th edition of Paris-Nice with his best performances including second place on stage 3 in 2012 behind Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and 15th overall in 2010.
“This is a really exciting Paris-Nice parcours. If I were to target an overall performance in an edition of Paris-Nice then this would have been a great course for me. However the objective is to take the race day by day and to really build my condition for Milan – San Remo”, said Gerrans.
“Off the back of an extended break from racing, and a short spell of sickness a couple of weeks ago, personally I don’t have huge expectations for results. I hope to be able to provide some valuable support to my teammates with the goal of winning a stage”, added Gerrans.
ORICA-GreenEDGE will field a strong team capable of winning from many scenarios.
“The main objective of Paris-Nice this year is to win a couple of stages,” said Sport Director Dave McPartland. “Basically, we’re going to support Gossy on the flat, flat stages and Bling when there is a little uphill finish.” “Gerro, Alba and Keukeleire are our three guys for the hillier stages,” added McPartland. “They can get in moves from further out. They are our puncheurs. From a break, we will back them for the stage win.”
Rounding out the ORICA-GreenEDGE roster will be road captain Mathew Hayman, Mitch Docker and neo-pro Simon Yates.
Stage 1: Sunday 9 March – 162.5 km Mantes-la-Jolie – Mantes-la-Jolie
Stage 2: Monday 10 March – 205 km Rambouillet – Saint-Georges-sur-Baulche
Stage 3: Tuesday 11 March – 180 km Toucy – Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours
Stage 4: Wednesday 12 March – 201.5 km Nevers – Belleville
Stage 5: Thursday 13 March – 153 km Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours -Rive-de-Gier
Stage 6: Friday 14 March – 221.5 km Saint-Saturnin-lès-Avignon – Fayence
Stage 7: Saturday 15 March – 195.5 km Mougins – Biot Sophia Antipolis
Stage 8: Sunday 16 March – 128 km Nice – Nice
ORICA-GreenEDGE for Paris – Nice:
Jens Keukeleire (BEL), Matthew Goss (AUS), Mathew Hayman (AUS), Michael Albasini (SUI), Michael Matthews (AUS), Mitch Docker (AUS), Simon Gerrans (AUS), and Simon Yates (UK)
For more information on the race including television and online coverage, please visit the official race website here.