Preview: Paris-Nice

With the UCI World Tour now in full swing, Paris-Nice becomes the next event on the agenda for Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka. Taking place over 8 stages, the French “Race To The Sun” starts on 4th March in Paris, ending in Nice on 11th March.

Now in its 76th edition, Paris-Nice will again take the World Tour peloton from the North to the South of the country over the course of 8 stages. As the race progressively moves South, the general rule of thumb suggests the weather should become more pleasant, hence the event nickname “Race To The Sun”.

This year the 8 stages will see the sprinters have their chance on the opening 3 stages before the 18km individual time trial on stage 4. The final 4 stages head into the mountains where the battle for the overall GC will be contested, with stage 7 and 8 most likely to be the joint key stages for the yellow jersey.

For Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka, we will have a versatile group of climbing talent starting Paris-Nice this year.  Tom-Jelte Slagter will make his first appearance at a European race, after his fine 3rd place overall at the Tour Down Under in January.  Serge Pauwels, who showed his upward trend of form by taking 3rd on the final stage of Volta ao Algarve, also starts Paris-Nice for our African Team. Natnael Berhane and our Volta ao Algarve King of the Mountains, Ben King will complete our quartet of climbers.

For the sprint and possible intermediate climbing stages, Ryan Gibbons will be our go to man for the big bunch sprints. Jay Thomson and Johann van Zyl will be the backbone of our line-up, supporting Gibbons in the early sprint stages before swapping roles to aid our climbers in the final week too.

Bingen Fernandez – Sport Director

I believe we are in for an eventful week. The weather in Europe has been less than ideal for the build up to Paris-Nice, so that would certainly have affected the riders preparation, but it is the same for the whole peloton. We hope for a good race, it is a good parcours for our team. By racing with a positive intent, we see a number of opportunities where we can achieve a good stage result.


Tom-Jelte Slagter
Serge Pauwels
Ryan Gibbons
Ben King
Natnael Berhane
Jay Thomson
Johann van Zyl