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62nd Paris-Nice - 2.HC

France, March 7-14, 2004

2003 results     Stage List     Preview    Start List     Past winners

Vinokourov a favourite in varied Paris-Nice

By Chris Henry

2004 Race to the sun
Photo: © ASO
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The 2004 edition of Paris-Nice, slated for March 7-14, will once more serve as the first major objective for many riders. With the season under way since January, Paris-Nice continues to grow in importance, no longer a preparation race for the bigger tours of the summer. Since its acquisition of the race in 2002, Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), which also organises the Tour de France and major classics such as Paris-Roubaix and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, has sought to ensure the importance of Paris-Nice on the racing calendar by selecting only Division I teams.

Two time winner and defending champion Alexandre Vinokourov will lead the list of favourites once again, after an emotional victory in 2003. Last year's race was marked by the tragic death of Vinokourov's friend and compatriot Andrei Kivilev, who succumbed to injuries sustained in a crash on the second road stage to Saint-Etienne. Vinokourov was already a candidate for repeat success, but the desire to win for his fallen friend meant that missing out on a second yellow jersey in Nice was not an option.

This year's "race to the sun" begins outside of Paris and follows the traditional southward trajectory toward Nice and the Mediterranean coast, beginning with flat sprinter's stages and finishing with a five climb romp around Nice before the finish on the famed Promenade des Anglais.

While Paris-Nice has often started with a prologue time trial and included a longer individual test against the clock mid-way through, this year will feature just one time trial. The climbs included in the race are not those for the pure mountain men, but rather offered up in a parcours geared to aggressive, attacking riders who can excel on varied terrain.

The Stages

  • Stage 1 - March 7: Chaville - Issy-les-Moulineaux / Vanves, 13.2 km
  • Stage 2 - March 8: Chaville - Montargis, 166.5 km
  • Stage 3 - March 9: La Chapelle-Saint-Ursin - Roanne, 229 km
  • Stage 4 - March 10: Roanne - Le Puy-en-Velay, 179 km
  • Stage 5 - March 11: Le Puy-en-Velay - Rasteau, 215 km
  • Stage 6 - March 12: Rasteau - Gap, 173.5 km
  • Stage 7 - March 13: Digne-les-Bains - Cannes, 185.5 km
  • Stage 8 - March 14: Nice - Nice, 144 km

Past winners

2003 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Team Telekom
2002 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Team Telekom     
2001 Dario Frigo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
2000 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Deutsche Telekom
1999 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank
1998 Frank Vandenbroucke (Bel) Mapei-Bricobi
1997 Laurent Jalabert (Fra)
1996 Laurent Jalabert (Fra)
1995 Laurent Jalabert (Fra)
1994 Tony Rominger (Swi)
1993 Alex Zülle (Swi)
1992 Jean-Francois Bernard (Fra)
1991 Tony Rominger (Swi)
1990 Miguel Indurain (Spa)
1989 Miguel Indurain (Spa)
1988 Sean Kelly (Ire)
1987 Sean Kelly (Ire)
1986 Sean Kelly (Ire)
1985 Sean Kelly (Ire)
1984 Sean Kelly (Ire)
1983 Sean Kelly (Ire)
1982 Sean Kelly (Ire)
1981 Stephen Roche (Ire)
1980 Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle (Fra)
1979 Joop Zoetemelk (Ned)
1978 Gerrie Knetemann (Ned)
1977 Freddy Maertens (Bel)
1976 Michel Laurent (Fra)
1975 Joop Zoetemelk (Ned)
1974 Joop Zoetemelk (Ned)
1973 Raymond Poulidor (Fra)
1972 Raymond Poulidor (Fra)
1971 Eddy Merckx (Bel)
1970 Eddy Merckx (Bel)
1969 Eddy Merckx (Bel)
1968 Rolf Wolfshohl (Ger)
1967 Tom Simpson (GB)
1966 Jacques Anquetil (Fra)
1965 Jacques Anquetil (Fra)
1964 Jan Janssen (Ned)
1963 Jacques Anquetil (Fra)
1962 Joseph Planckaert (Bel)
1961 Jacques Anquetil (Fra)
1960 Raymond Impanis (Bel)
1959 Jean Graczyk (Fra)
1958 Alfred De Bruyne (Bel)
1957 Jacques Anquetil (Fra)
1956 Alfred De Bruyne (Bel)
1955 Jean Bobet (Fra)
1954 Raymond Impanis (Bel)
1953 Jean-Pierre Munch (Fra)
1952 Louis Bobet (Fra)
1951 Roger Decock (Bel)
1946 Fermo Camellini (Ita)
1939 Maurice Archambaud (Fra)
1938 Jules Lowie (Bel)
1937 Roger Lapebie (Fra)
1936 Maurice Archambaud (Fra)
1935 René Vietto (Fra)
1934 Gaston Rebry (Bel)
1933 Alfons Schepers (Bel)
Past winners by Mario Stiehl, www.world-of-cycling.com