The 5th stage of Paris-Nice, Châteauneuf-du-Pape / La Montagne de Lure etappe on 8th March, Friday is the queen stage of the race. To win Paris-Nice, you have to shine on Sunday’s time-trial but you can very well lose it here. The final climb is a grueling 13.8 kilometre-long climb at 6.6%, which should actually be categorized as HC in grand tour standards.
The stage is almost identical to 2009’s Stage 6, which was won by Alberto Contador over Frank Schleck by 58 seconds. There are 8 riders now who are less than 10 seconds behind race leader Andrew Talansky, and with the time bonuses, the winner of this stage will most probably also wear the yellow jersey. It’ll be a though day for Talansky, with so many riders so close in the GC, he’ll need to retaliate a constant wave of attacks within an elite group, and a passive defending mindset may mean the end of his yellow jersey dream.
The Final Climb