With the postponement of Tirreno-Adriatico, Nibali has opted to lineup with the team in Paris-Nice.
Vincenzo Nibali was scheduled to race in Italy at Tirreno-Adriatico, but with its postponement, he has decided to line up in France at Paris-Nice.
The 2020 edition of Paris-Nice begins on Sunday, 8th March, running for eight days before finishing in Nice on Sunday 15th. The race has established itself as an important event in the cycling calendar in its leadup to the season’s Grand Tours.
This year’s ‘Race to the Sun’ is similar on paper to the previous edition, with the opening three stages again open to the elements and with tricky finishes. Stage 4 presents the first real GC day with a hilly time trial; however, the following two stages feature undulating courses that could throw up a surprise or two. The Queen Stage comes on the penultimate day, which finishes on the 16km-long climb to La Colmiane. The final stage, starting and ending in Nice, sets off for a loop around the mountains before a fast run into the coastal city.
Trek-Segafredo will arrive in France with a strong, well-rounded squad to compete at Paris-Nice. The team will be led by Vincenzo Nibali, who will be contending for the general classification.
“I decided with the team to be at Paris-Nice to keep the schedule leading up to the Giro d’Italia virtually unchanged,” explained Nibali. “At the moment, it’s important to put kilometers and days of racing in the legs. Given the situation in Italy, the change of calendar was practically mandatory. I’m very sorry I can’t race in my country, and I hope that the situation will soon get better, regardless of the races.
“At Paris-Nice, my goal is to confirm the good impressions I had at the Ardèche and Drôme Classics and to make another leap in condition. The team is very strong and equipped, and I want to give my contribution.”
Joining Nibali is Richie Porte, winner of two editions of Paris-Nice and five stages over seven participations. This year, the Tasmanian will be targeting individual stage wins. Helping the two climbers in the mountains will be French climber Kenny Elissonde, a key player in Porte’s Tour Down Under victory.
The squad will be bolstered by the support of key classics riders including recent Omloop Het Nieuwsblad winner Jasper Stuyven, World Champion Mads Pedersen, Alex Kirsch and Ryan Mullen, along with Edward Theuns as our sprinter.
“Vincenzo will be our GC leader, and Richie will be targeting stages for us,” said director Steven de Jongh. “The classics guys might have some opportunities in a breakaway, and we will try with Edward in the sprints.
“We will have to take it day by day to see the chances we have. For the first three stages, there will be opportunities, but also, we will try to protect Vincenzo from losing any time. We were able to add Ryan Mullen to the selection, and he will give protection to Vincenzo, which will be good practice for the Giro when Ryan will have the same role.
“I’m happy that ASO did everything possible to make the race happen. They took a lot of measures to prevent the riders and staff from being in contact with crowds.”
Trek-Segafredo line up for Paris-Nice
Vincenzo Nibali (ITA), Kenny Elissonde (FRA), Alex Kirsch (LUX), Ryan Mullen (IRE), Mads Pedersen (DEN), Richie Porte (AUS), Jasper Stuyven (BEL), Edward Theuns (BEL)
Directors: Steven de Jongh (NED), Grégory Rast (SUI)
78th Paris-Nice (UCI 2.UWT)
March 8th-15th 2020
Official website: https://www.paris-nice.fr/en