2023 Paris-Nice Route Announced
Paris-Nice organizer A.S.O. today revealed the complete route for the 90th anniversary edition of the legendary race to the sun. The race, which is famous for marking the arrival of Spring across Europe, will feature eight stages, commencing on Sunday, March 5, with a 169.4 kilometer stage from La Verrière to La Verrière in the outskirts of Paris, France and conclude with a 118,4 kilometer stage from Nice to Nice the following Sunday.
Route designer and race director François Lemarchand has chosen two words to define this year’s anniversary route: balance and variety. Lemarchand, who has designed the latest 23 editions of the race together with his assistant Yannick Talabardon, is very proud of the route and the features that will rejuvenate the race.
“In the twenty years since I took over the management of Paris-Nice from Laurent Fignon, the sporting level has risen considerably. We had to find suitable playing fields for a new generation of riders who view cycling in a new way,” Lemarchand explained to Roadcycling.com.
Paris-Nice was once considered an early spring test race for Grand Tour favorites, but in recent years it has transformed itself to become a major season objective for a wider range of riders. “My objective is to design an all-round course for an all-round rider,” Lemarchand explained. As a result, the contenders to take over from defending champion Primoz Roglic – who by some is expected to leave his team leader spot on this Paris-Nice to last year’s Tour de France champion Jonas Vingegaard of Denmark – have a very interesting and challenging route to look forward to. There will be something for every type of rider at some point of the race from the start in La Verrière on Sunday, March 5, to the finish on the Promenade des Anglais a week later.
The big revelation for this year’s anniversary edition of Paris-Nice is the reintroduction of a team time trial after no less than thirty years of absence. Team ONCE won the most recent team time trial in Roanne in 1993.
The decision to shock the cycling world by including a team time trial was made possible by the terrain in Dampierre-en-Burly, which was perfectly suited for such a challenge, but also by the desire to renew the race by adding a brand new element - instead of the finish time being taken on the third or fourth finishing rider, the finish times in this team time trial will be registered on the first rider of each team across the line.
The race organizer is hoping this will force each team to adopt the best strategy to lead out their leader in the final stretch, which is not unlike team sprint events in track cycling.
The innovation should also prevent entire teams from sweeping the top general classification standings, while the hierarchy is likely to be reshuffled the next day, when the pro peloton will change bikes to tackle a new climb.
La Loge des Gardes, in the Allier department, is probably the closest winter sports resort to Paris (390 km) and the climb leading to it is certainly the hardest within this radius around the French capital. With its 6,7 km length and its 7,1% average slope, this very promising climb should sort out the general classification ahead of the showdown of the weekend finale.
The main course of this 81st Race to the Sun will be on the menu on Saturday - a stage that features the Col de la Couillole, at the top of which Richie Porte won in 2017 while Sergio Henao took the leader's jersey. At an altitude of 1,678 m, the pass is still the highest one ever climbed in Paris-Nice and it could once again crown the final winner, unless the Sunday finale on the heights of Nice, via Col d'Eze, again results in breathtaking suspense, forcing the leaders to rely on their best support to triumph on the Promenade des Anglais.
Sprinters and breakaway hopefuls have not been forgotten. Depending on the race conditions, the first could find suitable terrain – unless echelons are established by windy conditions – in the first two stages finishing in La Verrière and Fontainebleau, but also in stage 5, which ends in Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux. Breakaway specialists, can set their sights on the Loge des Gardes and will be particularly spoiled on Friday’s route from Tourves to La Colle-sur-Loup, a stage that offers no rest and elevation of 2,750 m, a perfect appetizer before the weekend that awaits the riders.
Paris-Nice 2023 route and stages:
Sunday, March 5: stage 1: La Verrière > La Verrière, 169,4 km
Monday, March 6: stage 2: Bazainville > Fontainebleau, 163,7 km
Tuesday, March 7: stage 3: Dampierre-en-Burly > Dampierre-en-Burly (Team Time Trial), 32,2 km
Wednesday, March 8: stage 4: Saint-Amand-Montrond > La Loge des Gardes, 164,7 km
Thursday, March 9: stage 5: Saint-Symphorien-sur-Coise > Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux, 212,4 km
Friday, March 10: stage 6: Tourves > La-Colle-sur-Loup, 197,4 km
Saturday, March 11: stage 7: Nice > Col de la Couillole, 142,9 km
Sunday, March 12: stage 8: Nice > Nice, 118,4 km
The following 18 UCI WorldTeams will take part in the 2023 Paris-Nice:
AG2Rr Citroën Team (Fra)
Astana Qazaqstan Team (Kaz)
Bahrain Victorious (Brn)
Bora – Hansgrohe (Ger)
EF Education – Easypost (Usa)
Groupama – FDJ (Fra)
INEOS Grenadiers (Gbr)
Intermarché – Circus – Wanty (Bel)
Movistar Team (Esp)
Soudal Quick-Step (Bel)
Team Jayco AlUla (Aus)
Team Arkea – Samsic (Fra)
Team DSM (Ned)
Trek – Segafredo (Usa)
UAE Team Emirates (UAE)
In addition to the eighteen WorldTeams, UCI ProTeams Lotto-Dstny and TotalEnergies are automatically qualified according to UCI rules.
Paris-Nice organizer A.S.O. has additionally decided to invite Uno-X Pro Cycling Team and Team Israel-PremierTech to the race.
Stay tuned to Roadcycling.com for Paris-Nice coverage.