Israel – Premier Tech will be hunting stage win opportunities while keeping an eye on the General Classification at Paris – Nice when the ‘Race to the Sun’ gets underway this Sunday.
The 2023 edition features a team time trial on stage 3 and the traditional tough mountain tests to shake up the GC in the second half of the week, says Sports Director Oscar Guerrero.
“We will see how far Nick Schultz can go in the General Classification but it would be great to see him around the top-ten, and our guys like Hugo Houle can make the most of the opportunities for stage wins. The first two stages are normally sprint stages, so we can try and put Tom Van Asbroeck up there. Then we have the TTT, so after that we can see what our situation is and whether we keep going for the GC or switch our focus purely to stage wins and breakaway opportunities, with guys like Sebastian Berwick and Stevie Williams able to jump in. So we will keep things open and take it day by day.”
After making his stage race debut with IPT at Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol, Schultz is eager to get back to the start line.
“Paris-Nice is notoriously a very tough eight days of racing with lots of different elements to contend with,” explains Schultz. “After the first races with the team, I’m really looking forward to continuing to build on some solid work. I think we have a really strong group of guys and we can chip away daily, chasing opportunities and capitalizing on them. I’ll be looking to test myself as I did in Andalusia and see where that takes me.”
Paris – Nice (5-12 March)
Riders: Sebastian Berwick (AUS), Hugo Houle (CAN), Taj Jones (AUS), Guy Sagiv (ISR), Nick Schultz (AUS), Tom Van Asbroeck (BEL), Stevie Williams (UK).
Sports Directors: Oscar Guerrero, René Andrle, René Mandri