PNC15_Carte generique_sans legendeWhere: France
When: March 6-13, 2016
Rank: UCI WorldTour

Britain’s Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) won his first WorldTour stage race in remarkable circumstances, overcoming a 30-second deficit on the road to Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) in the final stage of the 2016 Paris-Nice.

With Contador just 15 seconds behind in the general classification heading into the last day, the Spaniard laid relentless attacks on the yellow jersey holder.

Thomas’s chances looked over as he was dropped on the Col d’Eze, but his descending skills and time trial abilities came to the fore in the chase down the other side, bringing the gap down from 30 seconds to just five by the finish line.

Paris-Nice is where the European stage race season starts in earnest, and consequently where some of the world’s best stages racers have their first chance to make a serious statement this season.

The weather played a big role in the 2016 edition, with the third stage being cancelled halfway through due to the snow and cold temperatures experienced by the riders out on the road.

Snow hits Paris-Nice (Photo: Twitter/FDJ)

Snow hits Paris-Nice (Photo: Twitter/FDJ)

Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) wore the leader’s jersey for the majority of the week having taken a surprising win in the 6km prologue that started the race. The Australian then won stage three after Nacer Bouhanni was relegated to third place after deviating from his line into Matthews.

Matthews lost the lead on the penultimate stage, losing 20 minutes to Thomas and co on the summit finish on the Col de la Madone, where Ilnur Zakarin took the stage win ahead of Thomas and Contador.

It was Team Sky’s fourth victory at Paris-Nice in five years, with Thomas following in the footsteps of Sir Bradley Wiggins (2012) and Richie Porte (2013 & 2015).

Paris-Nice 2016: Stages

Prologue, March 6: Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, 6.1km (ITT) | Report
Stage one, March 7: Condé-sur-Vesgre > Vendôme, 198km | Report
Stage two, March 8: Contres > Commentry, 213.5km | Report
Stage three, March 9: Cusset > Mont Brouilly, 168km | Report
Stage four, March 10: Juliénas > Romans-sur-Isère, 195.5km | Report
Stage five, March 11: Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux > Salon-de-Provence, 198km | Report
Stage six, March 12: Nice > La Madone d’Utelle, 177km | Report
Stage seven, March 13: Nice > Nice, 134km | Report

Paris-Nice 2016: Teams

Ag2r La Mondiale (France)
Astana (Kazakhstan) BMC (USA)
Cannondale (USA)
Cofidis (France)
Delko Marseille Provence (France)
Dimension Data (RSA)
Direct Energie (France)
Etixx-QuickStep (Belgium)
FDJ (France)
Fortuneo-Vital Concept (France)
Giant-Alpecin (Germany)
IAM Cycling (Switzerland)
Katusha (Russia)
Lampre-Merida (Italy)
Lotto-Soudal (Belgium)
LottoNL-Jumbo (Netherlands)
Movistar (Spain)
Orica-GreenEdge (Australia)
Sky (Great Britain)
Tinkoff (Russia)
Trek-Segafredo (USA)

Paris-Nice: Recent winners

2016: Geraint Thomas (GBr)
2015: Richie Porte (Aus)
2014: Carlos Betancur (Col)
2013: Richie Porte (Aus)
2012: Bradley Wiggins (GBr)
2011: Tony Martin (Ger)
2010: Alberto Contador (Spa)
2009: Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa)
2008: Davide Rebellin (Ita)
2007: Alberto Contador (Ita)
2006: Floyd Landis (USA)

Paris-Nice: top 10 (2016)

1. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky, 27-26-40
2. Alberto Contador (Esp) Tinkoff, at 4s
3. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC, at 12s
4. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha, at 20s
5. Ion Izagirre (Esp) Movistar, at 37s
6. Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky, at 44s
7. Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge, st
8. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto-Soudal, at 51s
9. Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale, at 1-00
10. Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida, 1-07

Stage reports: Prologue | Stage one | Stage two | Stage three | Stage four | Stage five | Stage six | Stage seven
Key info: The route | TV guide
Website: Paris-Nice

Paris-Nice - Stage 6

A royal battle between the big guns of this year’s Paris-Nice – including Alberto Contador (Tinkoff), Richie Porte (BMC Racing) and Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) – left the Welshman in…