Team Saxo Bank is expecting big things in this year’s Paris-Nice and brings a stacked squad that includes candidates for stage wins as well as a shot at the GC for the season’s first major stage race.
Headlining the team’s GC hopes will be Fränk Schleck, winner of a stage at the Tour of California last month, while Olympic silver medalist Gustav Larsson has a chance to win the opening time trial for the “Race to the Sun,” set for March 8-15.
“The way the route is this year, we have every reason to turn up our level of ambition,” said Saxo Bank sport director Kim Andersen. “Already during first stage, instead of the usual ultra-short prologue, is a short time trial, we should have a good chance to capture the jersey with either Jens Voigt or Larsson.”
Paris-Nice opens Sunday with a 9.3km time trial in Amilly and features a mountainous course, capped by the summit finish to La Montagne de Lure, dubbed “Mont Ventoux’s little sister.”
“The final three or four days will be in the mountains and this is where Fränk (Schleck) comes in fresh from his queen stage victory in California. In fact, the route seems tailor made for him,” Andersen continued. “I also think that Chris Anker and Jakob Fuglsang have shown great form right from the beginning of the season, which is all the more reason for optimism here.”
Team Saxo Bank for Paris-Nice
Chris Anker Sørensen