After the blown-out 6th stage, Paris-Nice continues with the most difficult mountain stage of the cycling race towards the Sun. The short, 143 km long Stage 7 ends with a long but steady and scenic climb to the Couillole Pass (15.7 km with a 7.1% climb).
Due to the wind, the cycling caravan missed Friday’s eventful stage, so it arrived in Nice by bus. Most spent the day on trainers and short rides along the coast, but the leading rider of the race Tadej Pogačar he went to stretch his legs a little more and completed an 86-kilometer circuit along and above the Var river.
Before what is on paper the most difficult stage of the 81st French route to the Sun, Pogačar is only 6 seconds ahead of David Gaudu, while the third Jonas Vingegaard is already 46 seconds behind. Taking into account the always unpredictable last, 8th, stage around Nice, we have also seen major upheavals in the last decade.
The wind in the chest is an obstacle for the attackers
Start in the west of Nice at 11:00, then a long climb of the 1st category to the Tourette du Chateau (17.8 km with 4.6%), followed by a short peak with a flying finish and bonuses in the village of Villars-sur-Var (2.3 km with 6.3%), and at the end there is a good 40-minute climb to the Couillole pass. It is a 15.7 km long ascent along an extremely picturesque road with a constant gradient of 7 percent, only on two kilometers the average rises to 8 percent.
The expected wind in the chest will make more enterprising attacks impossible and will be a wind to the mill of Pogačar, who is the undisputed favorite to win the new stage and increase the lead in the uphill sprint of the captains’ group. But at least the teams of Groupa FDJ and Jumbo Visma should prepare some kind of attack on the UAE Emirates line-up.
After 3,600 meters of altitude and 143 kilometers, the fastest time on the pass is expected around 2:40 p.m.