Olav Kooij survives punchy opening stage of Paris-Nice to clinch victory from Pedersen

The Visma-Lease a Bike rider took victory by half a wheel ahead of Pedersen

Clock16:03, Sunday 3rd March 2024
Kooij took his third win of 2024 on stage 1 of Paris Nice

© Getty Images

Kooij took his third win of 2024 on stage 1 of Paris Nice

Olav Kooij (Visma-Lease a Bike) sprinted to the win on stage 1 of Paris-Nice ahead of Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek) and Laurence Pithie (Groupama - FDJ).

The win put Kooij into the overall race lead heading into stage 2.

Stage 1 of the 2024 edition of Paris-Nice marked the first race for Primož Roglič in his new Bora-Hansgrohe colours. Joining him was Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) who was taking part in the first French stage race of his career.

The stage started and finished in Les Mureaux and featured three categorised climbs and more than 1,700 metres of elevation across the 157.7km parcours. Although classified as a sprint stage it was far from a nailed-on sprint finish, with the last classified climb coming 12km from the finish.

Heading out for a day in the breakaway were three riders, Stefan Bissinger and Jonas Rutsch (EF Education-Easy Post) and Mathieu Burgaudeau (TotalEnergies). With 70km remaining the trio had an advantage that hovered around 1:30, however, this was the most they would be allowed with the gap steadily closing from that point in the race.

With 56km of racing left to go the breakaway's advantage crept under the one-minute mark for the first time.

45km from the finish the infighting within the breakaway began with Bissinger making some moves to distance Burgaudeau, and Rutsch sitting firmly in his wheel. Although nothing came of the successive attacks from Bissinger it did signify the end of the breakaway’s harmony. After a bombardment of unsuccessful attacks, Bissinger found himself dropped by his breakaway comrades just 5km later, and within 1,000m the rest of the break had been caught.

With around 18km to go the race headed for the intermediate sprint where time bonuses would be awarded. The race to the line was up a punchy 10% gradient and saw the puncheurs mixing it with the pure climbers. With a few hundred metres to go Matteo Jorgenson (Visma-Lease a bike) lit things up, taking Remco Evenepoel, Egan Bernal and Matteo Trentin with him. Across the line Jorgenson took the full time bonus with Evenepoel and Bernal claiming the remaining bonus seconds respectively.

Over the top of the climb, Evenepoel decided to carry on with the effort and accelerated over the top, dragging with him a handful of riders. A five-second gap was established but was quickly reeled back by the peloton as the road flattened out.

The peloton tackled the final classified climb of the day with 12km to go. This time it was Bernal who decided to up the pace and string things out before Evenepoel made his move over the top and dragged with him a small group of riders. Over the top of the climb, Evenepoel took the maximum points on offer with Roglič and Brandon McNulty filling second and third place.

As the race headed over the plateau the small group that had forged ahead of the peloton struggled to cooperate and was soon brought back.

With the race heading into its conclusion Lidl-Trek found themselves with only one rider in front of Pedersen, with over one kilometre remaining. A long pull from Jasper Stuyven carried Pedersen to within the final 350 meters before leaving him to head for the line. However, it wasn’t to be with Kooij getting the better of him with a late surge from the Dane’s wheel.


Race Results

1

nl flag

KOOIJ Olav

Team Visma | Lease a Bike

3H 36' 28"

2

dk flag

PEDERSEN Mads

Lidl-Trek

"

3

nz flag

PITHIE Laurence

Groupama-FDJ

"

4

nl flag

EEKHOFF Nils

Team dsm-firmenich PostNL

"

5

ee flag

MIHKELS Madis

Intermarché-Wanty

"

6

au flag

MATTHEWS Michael

Team Jayco-AlUla

"

7

it flag

TRENTIN Matteo

Tudor Pro Cycling Team

"

8

dk flag

SKJELMOSE Mattias

Lidl-Trek

"

9

fr flag

DUJARDIN Sandy

TotalEnergies

"

10

au flag

GROVES Kaden

Alpecin-Deceuninck

"

Provided by FirstCycling

Major Races

See All

29 Jun - 21 Jul

fr flag

Tour de France

2.UWT

12 Aug - 18 Aug

fr flag

Tour de France Femmes

2.WWT

2 Jun - 9 Jun

fr flag

Critérium du Dauphiné

2.UWT

6 Jun - 9 Jun

gb flag

Tour of Britain Women

2.WWT

9 Jun - 16 Jun

ch flag

Tour de Suisse

2.UWT

Provided by FirstCycling

Related Content

Link to Tour de Suisse stage 3: Thibau Nys wins punchy sprint finish
Thibau Nys celebrates victory on stage 3 of the Tour de Suisse

Tour de Suisse stage 3: Thibau Nys wins punchy sprint finish

Alberto Bettiol moves into overall lead after placing third in lung-busting conclusion to hilly finale

Clock
Link to Tour de Suisse stage 2: Bryan Coquard wins sprint as Arnaud De Lie drops his chain
Bryan Coquard wins stage 2 of the Tour de Suisse

Tour de Suisse stage 2: Bryan Coquard wins sprint as Arnaud De Lie drops his chain

Frenchman capitalises on Belgian's mechanical in sprint finish after a hilly run-in

Clock
Link to Tour de Suisse stage 1: Yves Lampaert powers to time trial win and first race lead
Yves Lampaert won stage 1 of the Tour de Suisse

Tour de Suisse stage 1: Yves Lampaert powers to time trial win and first race lead

Stefan Bissegger second, Ethan Hayter third on 4.8km course in Vaduz

Clock
Link to Tour of Britain Women stage 4: Ruby Roseman-Gannon pips Majerus in photo finish as Kopecky wins GC
Ruby Roseman-Gannon won stage 4 of the Tour of Britain Women

Tour of Britain Women stage 4: Ruby Roseman-Gannon pips Majerus in photo finish as Kopecky wins GC

SD Worx-Protime try to gift win to Christine Majerus and complete clean sweep, but Australian just comes through on the line as Luxembourg rider celebrates early

Clock
Subscribe to the GCN Newsletter

Get the latest, most entertaining and best informed news, reviews, challenges, insights, analysis, competitions and offers - straight to your inbox