PREVIEW | Paris-Nice 2023 stage 2 - Second bunch sprint expected in Fontainebleau

Preview. Tim Merlier has won the opening stage of Paris-Nice and stage 2 will be another one for the sprinters. The Soudal - Quick-Step rider will have a chance to take a second win, but other hungry sprinters will challenge.

Stage 2 from Bazainvlle to Fontainebleau will be an easier day, a pan-flat day in the race, however as we've seen in recent years the wind has blow the race to bits. Nevertheless it's not a long day on the bike, only 163 kilometer in length, and thee is no meaningful ascent.

Start Time: 13:00CET

Finish Time: 16:40CET

Stage 2: Bazainville - Fontainebleau, 163.7Km
Stage 2: Bazainville - Fontainebleau, 163.7Km

There is nothing too meaningful to analyze before the finish. There is a small descent, but a bunch sprint is inevitable with the fast riders and their leadouts coming to the front. The entrance to the city is met with a roundabout 650 meters away from the finish, but other than that it is as simple of a flat finale as it could be.

Stage 2 Finale
Stage 2 Finale
PREVIEW | Paris-Nice 2023 stage 2 - Second bunch sprint expected in Fontainebleau

The Weather

Paris-Nice stage 2 map
Paris-Nice stage 2 map

The nerves will be on. The wind won't be very strong but it will be felt. Low temperatures and a moderate breeze from the west, which will largely come as a crosswind/cross-tailwind. It will be a very fast day on the bike with no doubt.

The Favourites

Tim Merlier - Merlier has done what he had to do. He keeps his stage 1 streak going with pure speed. Stage 2's sprint is also very fast and well suited to him. Quick-Step have looked sharp today, a second win would not come as a surprise.

Sam Bennett - Sam Bennett and BORA timed things to perfection today, but were beat by a stronger rider on the day. The leadout is strong however, they will be on point likely once again tomorrow with van Poppel ready to deliver him to the line.

Olav Kooij - Kooij does not really have the support of a leadout but as seen today he does not necessarily need it. It is no doubt that he has the speed to take a win here, it is a matter of seeing if he dials his timing better or has the legs to beat the strong competition.

Both Arnaud De Lie and Mads Pedersen were active today in a suiting stage. The pure sprint won't be beneficial to them on this flat stage but they have the speed to be up there. Michael Matthews and Bryan Coquard will also likely wait for harder days. If echelons take place however all of them may find themselves in better positions.

Alexander Kristoff had a mistimed mechanical today which took him out of contention. He will be a card for tomorrow in a suiting stage. Kaden Groves and Arnaud Démare would on their best legs also be clear victory contenders but today they did not show the most convincing signs. Cees Bol, Jonathan Milan, Arne Marit and Max Kanter will also be among the outsiders.

Prediction Paris-Nice 2023 stage 2:

*** Tim Merlier, Sam Bennett, Olav Kooij
** Arnaud De Lie, Mads Pedersen
* Alexander Kristoff, Kaden Groves, Michael Matthews, Arnaud Démare

Pick: Sam Bennett

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