Tadej Pogacar and the Emirates Emirates team got off to a good start in the “Race to the Sun”, gaining extra seconds in the first stage of Paris-Nice and at La Verrière (169.4km).
At the top of the final climb at -5km, offering up to 6 inches of bonus seconds, Pogacar took the lead and gained a valuable advantage over his rivals.
Tim Merlier (Soudal-Quickstep) will take the win and lead going into stage two, from Bazainville to Fontainebleau (163.7km), with Pogačar finishing third with +4 on GC.
Pogacar said: “The guys did really well today. It wasn’t very windy but our technical roads were small and busy at times. I tried pushing a little bit on the last climb but I could see it wasn’t working , so we sat up. We’re going to have a lot of days going on. I’m just happy to get the extra seconds and put on the white jersey.”
Phase 1 Results
1. Tim Merlier (Soudal-Quickstep) 3:50:52
2. Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) st
3. Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) Street
General classification after the first stage
1. Tim Merlier (Soudal-Quickstep) 3:50:42
2. Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) +4″
3. Tadej Pogacar (Emirates) +6”