The stage analysis
Thursday 15 March 2007
|stage 4 | Maurs la Jolie > Mende - 169.5 km
Maurs â€“ Mende
The analysis of FranÃ§ois Lemarchand (former rider, race regulator on the A.S.O. cycling events)
This short stage could well be one of the most exciting moments of the events. While the day’s verdict won’t necessarily designate the final overall winner, it could however give a good idea of who will be involved in the big battle for victory. On these narrow and hilly roads, the pace will need to be insured by a strong team working for its leader. Indeed in the tough climbs up the CÃ´te de Chabrits and the CÃ´te de Mende, only the strongest will survive. The final part is the same as during the 1995 Tour when Laurent Jalabert had triumphed on the 14th of July, although the finish won’t be by the airport that had welcomed the final scene of the Grande Vadrouille with French actors Louis de FunÃ¨s and Bourvil. For this first stage of Paris-Nice ending in Mende, the finish line will be positioned exactly at the top of the very demanding three kilometre climb, with a 10% average climbing ratio.