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Are you ready for Paris-Nice race?

The Connexion, Mar 4

One of cycling's most popular early season races gets under way this weekend

Cycling fans are in for a treat over the next eight days as the 76th Paris-Nice - aka the Race to the Sun - gets under way this weekend.

Defending champion Sergio Henao will lead the charge for Team Sky, who have won five of the last six races.

The eight-stage race starts with a 135km stage from Chatou to Meudon. Full details of the stage are available here.

Stage two takes the riders on a 187.5km ride from Orsonville to Vierzon.

The third stage, on Monday, March 5, is the longest of the race - a 210km pull between Bourges and Châtel-Guyon.

After three long runs, the riders face an 18.4km individual time-trial stage between La Fouillouse and Saint-Etienne, before hitting the long and winding roads again for a 165km race between Salon-de-Provence and Sisteron - as the landscape starts to provide more of a challenge.

Stage six, a 198km stretch between Sisteron and Vence, includes a 6.6km category 2 climb at Col de Luens.

The seventh and penultimate stage takes riders on a 175km ride in the mountains between Nice and Valdeblore La Colmiane. A day later the riders at the head of the standings can bask in the glory of the processionary day's 110km ride around Nice.


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