Our team won a total of 18 stages at the previous participations.

Paris-Nice, one of the most prestigious events of the season, will mark Remco Evenepoel’s first outing in a French stage race. Having previously ridden in the Hexagon at the 2021 and 2023 editions of the Chrono des Nations, the Belgian Champion will now take on one of the hardest races of the calendar, supported by a strong Soudal Quick-Step cast.

Gone are the times when Paris-Nice gave the sprinters at least three opportunities; this year, the fast men of the peloton will have just one, and quite early in the week, just before the 26.9km team time trial held around Auxerre, the city of the eponymous football team that in 1996 was crowned French champion.

The following three stages will contain more than a dozen classified climbs, many to the liking of the puncheurs and the attackers, including Mont Brouilly, where Julian Alaphilippe won an ITT seven years ago. From there, it will all be about the yellow jersey contenders, who’ll take center stage for the weekend’s big showdown: a summit finish in Auron (7.3km, 7.2%) and the short but full gas stage starting and finishing in Nice, where attacks should come as soon as the road will go up, just 20 kilometers into the day.

The 82nd edition of the “Race to the Sun” will see a solid Soudal Quick-Step line up at the start in Les Mureaux, a small town located not far from Paris: Belgian Champion Remco Evenepoel – who has enjoyed an excellent start to the season, winning the Figueira Champions Classic and the Volta ao Algarve in February – will lead next week a team comprising also Mattia Cattaneo, Yves Lampaert, Gianni Moscon, Casper Pedersen, Ilan Van Wilder and Louis Vervaeke.

“Paris-Nice is an important race for the squad. We can expect a demanding first two days, which will be very technical, with a lot of road furniture, so the main thing there will be getting over these stages without any issues. Then we’ll have the team time trial, where the time of the first rider to cross the line will count, something on which we have worked on, and from there our focus will be on the three stages in the weekend, all hard and important for how the overall standings will look at the end of the race. Our aim is to finish as high as possible in the general classification, and we are ready to do our best for this”, said Soudal Quick-Step sports director Klaas Lodewyck.


Photo credit: ©Dario Belingheri / Getty Images

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