Throughout the 17th to 19th of February the French peloton will take on the Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var, based on the southeastern tip of France and based around the region of Nice, a race full of climbing tests.
Stage 1 will be an interesting first test. It is a stage that features several ascents throughout the day, and they intensify over the final kilometers. There will be four ascents inside the final 25 kilometers, three of them inside the final 12 kilometers. They will have 2.4Km at 2.9% (11Km to go), 1.2Km at 4% (5Km to go) and the hilltop finale into Ramatuelle will be 1.2 kilometers long at 4% which will favour those with explosive power but the capacity to ride longer efforts.
Stage 2 will be a tricky day but of a different kind. Most of the attention will be focused towards the main climb of the day into Cabris. It will be with 33.5 kilometers to go that the ascent will end, at it's hardest it features 12 kilometers mostly at around 5%. Not a very difficult climb but enough to make a selection and enough to launch attacks. After that little summit most of the route into Antibes is downhill, however it features a few small hilltops - the biggest being 1.4 kilometers long at 7.1%, with 7.5 kilometers to go.
The final and queen stage should be a chaotic. Only 139 kilometers on the menu, it is a little appetizer for the final day of Paris-Nice, taking place in the same roads. It immediately starts with an ascent that should see a lot of attacks and chaos spread. 6.9 kilometers at 5.1% and 6.9Km at 6.3% in the opening third of the stage will open many opportunities to turn the GC on it's head. However if all is controlled the stage should be decided in the approach to Vence where the day and race will end. A 4.2-kilometer long climb at 4.5% will end with only three kilometers to go, providing more room for attacks, as is the case with the flat run-up to the line.
The startlist includes riders such as the following: Nacer Bouhanni, Kévin Vauquelin, David Gaudu, Thibaut Pinot, Benjamin Thomas, Bryan Coquard, Victor Lafay, Mattias Skjelmose, Aurélien Paret-Peintre, Esteban Chaves, Neilson Powless, Romain Bardet, Mathieu Burgaudeau and Anthony Turgis.
Prediction Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var 2023 overall classification:
*** Neilson Powless, Mattias Skjelmose
** David Gaudu, Romain Bardet
* Thibau Pinot, Kévin Vauquelin, Esteban Chaves, Torstein Traeen
Pick: Thibaut Pinot
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