It is the first week of March. The pre-races are done, it is now time for some real hard work. In a one week stage race that really matters. It is Paris-Nice. For some reason people call this race ‘the race to the sun’. We presume that the weather in Nice is always nice and sunny. Maybe we should think twice about that now after what happened in today’s stage in Paris-Nice. The third stage to Mont Brouilly got cancelled because of snowy weather. That is right. The race jury and the organizers decided to cancel the stage, after first neutralizing the stage and trying to re-start with 40 kilometres to go. The snow was falling heavily though and it was becoming too dangerous for the riders to continue. The roads became slippery and the safety was no longer guaranteed. After the riders found out that the stage was cancelled, they got off their bikes immediately and searched for their team cars where it was nice and warm. Most riders are satisfied with the decision made by the jury and the organizers, as many of them stated on Twitter. Alberto Contador thought that it was the right decision to make, although Geraint Thomas wondered why the organizers did not have a plan B. He stated that they could have taken another road to get to the finish. Some riders just want to finish a stage, no matter what. Still, if we take a look at the photos, we will all understand why today got cancelled. Snow is beautiful, but riding in the snow is one hell of a job in the race to the sun.
It was warm in the team cars / © Aike Visbeek (Team Giant-Alpecin)
It was cold and slippery on the bike / © Team Giant-Alpecin
Soigneurs were waiting for riders in the feed zone / © Cannondale Pro Team
The race got cancelled, so the riders from Fortuneo – Vital Concept were happy to get in the car / © Fortuneo – Vital Concept
The riders from Team Giant-Alpecin put the heater on full blast in their car. According to Koen de Kort they were freezing / © Koen de Kort
And what did Louis Meintjes do back in the hotel?
Let his shoes and clothes dry very quickly / © Louis Meintjes