Paris-Nice 2021

Paris-Nice is always my favorite early-season stage race, and not just because it runs over my birthday. It is a symbolic race of renewal that starts in the dreary north of France, finishing a week later on the sunny shores of the Mediterranean. Running from March 7-14, it is the perfect way to celebrate spring (unless you live in the dreary north, of course).

The first few stages are flat, with the exception of Stage 4, which looks like one for a puncheur, then the traditional penultimate stage is full of little mountains, with a finish on the 2020 TDF climb of La Colmiane. The final Nice-Nice stage also looks like it reproduces a bit of the Tour de France, by including the Col d’Eze-Col des Quatre Chemins duo right before the finish (where Alaphilippe pipped Hirschi on the line in Stage 2 a few months ago).

Will I be there like I usually am? France has vaccinated around 5000 people in the last 10 days, so you do the math. I remain hopeful, but only because I don’t like the alternative.

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