Snow stopped play at Paris-Nice – Race to the Sun still some way from its destination
I had hoped to give you some sort of Paris-Nice state-of-play update after today’s stage. I wanted to set the scene for the second half of the race by highlighting which protagonists were still in the hunt for the overall win. Unfortunately, it’s all rather more open than it should be after they abandoned what had promised to be an important stage today due to horrendous weather.
Stage three always looked tough on paper with Mont Brouilly appearing twice on the menu. While not especially long, it’s a climb that alternates steep slopes with near-flat, buggering about with riders’ rhythm and positively inviting attacks. ‘On paper’ quickly became less significant than ‘on the weather forecast’ though.
Cannondale rider Wouter Wippert described conditions as ‘fresh’. These photos from Orica-GreenEDGE make it clear that Wippert is prone to understatement.
— ORICA-GreenEDGE (@ORICA_GreenEDGE) March 9, 2016
Marcel Kittel had his own coping mechanism.
What an epic, EPIC, EEEEPIC day in Paris-Nice!!!1!! OR maybe just a ridiculous cold one with rain, snow, wind & bibshorts full of warm pee.
— Marcel Kittel (@marcelkittel) March 9, 2016
In terms of the race, Michael Matthews is in a different yellow garment at the minute, but there are mountains to come. Tom Dumoulin is first of the overall contenders in second place. Geraint Thomas is five seconds behind him with Richie Porte another eight seconds further back.
Like I say, it’s basically all still open. If they can find some mountains free of neige they’ll make sense of things in the coming days.
Chilly stuff. If Paris-Nice is the Race to the Sun, maybe they should speed up.