Christian Prudhomme has promised "suspense right to the end" after unveiling the 2012 Paris-Nice route, which will finish with a 9.5km mountain time trial on the Col d'Eze.

paris-nice-2012

The fresh route is set to suit a rider in the mould of Omega Pharma-Quickstep's Levi Leipheimer of Team Sky's Chris Froome, while Andy and Frank Schleck (Radioshack-Nissan-Trek), Janez Brajkovic (Astana), Tejay Van Garderen (BMC), Thomas Voeckler and Pierre Rolland (both Europcar), Luis-Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) and Ivan Basso (Liquigas) are also set to compete for the title.

"This route should guarantee suspense right to the end," said race organiser Prudhomme, who is also race director of the Tour de France.

The undulating roads of the Massif Central should provide breakaway rider with the opportunity to gain time, while stage five finishes with a steep 3 km climb to the finish in Mende, previously used on the 12th stage of the 2012 Tour de France in 2010, when Joaquin Rodriguez outlasted Alberto Contador.

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2012 Paris-Nice route

March 4 - Stage 1 – Dampierre-en-Yvelines - Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse TT - 9.4km March 5 - Stage 2 – Mantes-la-Jolie  - Orléans - 185km March 6 - Stage 3 – Vierzon - Lac de Vassivière - 194km March 7 - Stage 4 – Brive-la-Gaillarde - Rodez - 183km March 8 - Stage 5 – Onet-le-Chateau - Mende - 178km March 9 - Stage 6 – Suze-la-Rousse - Sisteron - 176.5km March 10 - Stage 7 – Sisteron - Nice - 220 km March 11 - Stage 8 – Nice - Col d'Èze TT - 9.6 km