The race in the sun started this Sunday afternoon and only the sun was not there. For the rest, in addition to a prestigious field and enthusiastic riders, like the Cofidis team, everything was in place for a great start in the Yvelines.
After the last climb where the two favorites explained themselves, it was time for the sprinters. All along the last kilometers, Bryan Coquard tried to position himself well and to make the necessary efforts before the last kilometer. He was in the first ten at the moment of the last bend and finally finished 7th in the sprint. The 'Coq' knows that there will be other opportunities to shine during this Paris-Nice.
And that starts tomorrow with a new flat stage between Bazainville and Fontainebleau. This 164 km day, without any major difficulty, but where the wind could have an influence, should indeed end with a bunch sprint. We will also have to keep an eye on Italy and the first stage of Tirreno-Adriatico. A time trial of 11.5 km will be held in Lido di Camaiore on a completely flat course.
Bryan Coquard: "It went pretty well for us today. We had a well defined strategy with the team. The common thread is with Ion, who is in good condition and has already made the podium in Paris-Nice. That's the objective for the week, and then we'll be chasing stages. I was a bit of a free agent today and I had the opportunity to do my sprinting. We know that in Paris-Nice we will not win the general classification in the first stages but we have the possibility to lose it so the team was really focused on Ion. I played my card to the fullest. In the final, it rubbed, I had trouble keeping the wheel of Merlier. I had to make an effort before the last kilometer not to lose all my chances, that makes 7th, but it's satisfying anyway, I have the condition and there will be other opportunities during the week."