The 90th edition of Paris-Nice begins on Sunday and looks set to be a showdown between the world’s two greatest stage race riders, Tadej Pogacar and Jonas Vingegaard.

As ever, the race starts on the outskirts of the French capital, running from Sunday to Sunday and featuring eight stages. There’s something for everyone, with sprint days, a team time-trial and plenty of time in the mountains before finishing on Nice’s Promenade des Anglais.

Pogacar, the 2020 and 2021 Tour de France champion, was dethroned by Vingegaard last year and will likely redouble his efforts as he attempts to recapture La Grande Boucle.

This 2023 Paris-Nice will be an early chance to lay down a marker ahead of July’s Tour and this edition sees both riders make their debuts in this race.

Seen as a mini-Tour, the race moves into the mountains as the week goes on but there is also some top sprinting talent on show, with Trek-Segafredo’s Mads Pedersen among them.

However, the story of the week is likely to be written by Vingegaard and Pogacar, who neutrals will hope are ready to put on a show and set the tone for another big year.

Paris-Nice Betting Tips

  • Tadej Pogacar to win @ 11/8
  • Daniel Martinez to win @ 10/1 each way

The route

The 2023 Paris-Nice begins with two lumpy laps around La Verriere, including the Côte de Milon-la-Chapelle, which is a 500m ramp with an average gradient of 12 per cent and could well work for Pedersen.

The race follows a familiar format, with the sprinters’ chances likely to come early in the week before the mountains come into play.

As ever, the final day features laps around Nice, including Col d’Eze, which will be climbed from a different direction to previous years, before finishing on Les Promenade des Anglais.

For those looking for something different, the stage three team time-trial stands out as rather than the time of the team’s fourth or fifth rider to cross the line counting towards each member’s overall time, it will be that of the first rider.

That means some of the overall contenders who struggle against the clock could save on their anticipated losses by sending a more powerful team-mate up the road.

Tadej Pogacar to win @ 11/8

Team UAE Emirates’ Pogacar was outdone by Vingegaard at last year’s Tour, arguably being given a taste of his own medicine as the Dane danced away with two stunning attacks.

The Slovenian responded with a decent end to the season, including winning the Giro di Lombardia, and returned in 2023 with a dominant display in the Vuelta a Andalucia.

Vingegaard has also tasted success already this season at O Gran Camino and with team-mates Primoz Roglic and Wout van Aert set to ride Tirreno-Adriatico, he is Team Jumbo-Visma’s undoubted leader.

However, the absence of those two riders places real emphasis on Rohan Dennis and Christophe Laporte as support riders.

Meanwhile, Pogacar’s UAE team seems to have a bit more depth and his warm-up for this race was arguably against a strong field.

With a point to prove and the final stage into Nice perfect for a breakaway, the 24-year-old could strike.

Dani Martinez @ 10/1 each way

While Pogacar and Vingegaard are likely to arrange the top two steps of the podium between them, the battle for third could hold some value.

Dani Martinez took that spot last year and could be primed to go well again after a strong start to the season which has seen him win the Volta ao Algarve.

The Ineos man is set to be supported by a strong team, including Pavel Sivakov and Connor Swift, but the lack of a thoroughbred time-trialist means it will be a team effort on Tuesday.

That could benefit Martinez and in a roundabout way, any time losses could give him extra room for manoeuvre and when it comes to eking out seconds.

The 26-year-old Colombian has already shown himself to be in good form in 2023 and while not at the level of the big two, the Colombian could be the best of the rest this week so is worth a look at each-way terms for the top three.

Share Article

(Visited 29 times, 1 visits today)