The next UCI World Tour event is upon us, as Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka are set to start the Paris-Nice on Sunday 6 March. It will be the first time our African Team takes part in the prestigious "Race to the Sun".
Starting with a 6km prologue on Sunday, riders then have to contend with 7 tough road stages as they head from the North of France to the South, ultimately finishing in Nice on Sunday 13 March. After the flat prologue, the opening 2 stages could be 2 possible opportunities for the sprinters. Stage 1 will see riders deal with 4 short cobble sections in the final 30km however, we don't expect the pave to have too much of an effect on the outcome of the stage.
Stages 3 - 7 will all contain vast amounts climbing and clearly suit the punchers and the climbers. Two of the most key stages for the overall could very well be stages 3 and 6. Stage 3 finishes on the category 2 Mont Brouilly climb while the queen stage is deemed to be stage 7, as riders will have to deal with 7 categorised climbs in total, finishing with the 15km category 1 climb of La Madone d'Utelle.
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka will send a versatile group of riders to the 74th edition of this French World Tour event, definitely looking to target top results on certain stages. Jacques Janse van Rensburg, Serge Pauwels and Daniel Teklehaimanot will hope to thrive on the mountain stages while Nathan Haas and Youcef Reguigui will fancy the stages for the punchers. Tyler Farrar, Jay Thomson and Matt Brammeier give us great options to contest the possible sprint finishes as well as animate the race in the later stages.
Jacques Janse van Rensburg - Rider
I am excited to be racing my first Paris-Nice. After some good racing in Oman and some promising training tests done in Lucca, I am confident that my form is quite good now and so I hope I am able to turn that into a result. We will have a really nice team at the race and it is a great opportunity to be a bit aggressive from our side.