UCI WorldTour racing returns to the fore this weekend with the start of the 72nd edition of Paris-Nice on Sunday (March 9).
Richie Porte (Team Sky) won the race last year, following team-mate Bradley Wiggins’ success 12 months earlier, but the Australian will no longer defend his yellow jersey as planned, having replaced Chris Froome at Tirenno-Adriatico.
With a revamped route announced by organisers, which does not feature any time trials or summit finishes, the ‘Race to the Sun’ is expected to be much more open.
Following Simon Gerrans’ victory at the Tour Down Under, Orica-GreenEDGE currently boast an early overall lead in the UCI WorldTour rankings but several teams have already confirmed strong line-ups for Paris-Nice.
Read on for our preview of the course and contenders over the following pages.