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Paris-Niza: one of the most iconic races in cycling history

Paris-Niza: one of the most iconic races in cycling history

In the cycling calendar spring begins with Paris-Niza, one of the most iconic and emblematic races of the world of cycling. From its humble origins in 1933 to its current status as one of the main races of the season in the cycling calendar, the test has a long and fascinating history. He has seen some of the greatest cyclists in the history of sport, including Eddy Merckx and Jacques Anquetil, among others. In addition, the race is known for its challenging terrain and the variable climatic conditions that make this mythical proof every year into a challenge not exempt from difficulties.

Origins and early years

The Paris-Niza race was first organized by the newspaper Le Petit Journal in 1933, as a way of promoting tourism in France and increasing circulation. The inaugural edition covered a distance of 1,539 kilometers in five stages, starting in Paris and ending in Nice. The race quickly gained popularity and became a must in the cycling calendar. In the first years, the Paris-Niza race was dominated by French cyclists, who won the first six editions of the test. The Paris-Nice soon became known for the demands of its layout, with several mountain stages that tested the scaled skills of the cyclists.

The postwar years

The Paris-Niza race was suspended during World War II, but resumed in 1946 and quickly recovered its status as one of the world's main races. During this period it was dominated by cyclists from France and Italy, with the legendary Fausto Coppi winning the race in 1952 and consolidating itself as one of the best cyclists of the moment.

The golden era

The 1960s and 1970s are considered the "golden era" of the Paris-Niza race. During this period the race was dominated by Cyclists from Belgium and the Netherlands, including Eddy Merckx, who won the race seven times between 1969 and 1975. This test contributed significantly to creating the legend of El Caníbal, due to voracity with which Todocampeón Belgian went out to play it every year.

It was modern

The Paris-Niza race has undergone several changes in recent years, but it is still one of the most important races in the cycling calendar. The current race format includes eight stages, with a mixture of flat terrain, hills and mountains. The race usually takes place in early March, which makes it an important test of the early season for cyclists. One of the most significant changes in recent years was the decision to move the finish line of the promenade des Anglais in Nice to Col d'Aze, a challenging escalation that has become a basic element of the race. This change has added an additional element of emotion to the race, with the cyclists fighting in the steep slopes of Col d'ame in the final stage.

The great champions

The Paris-Niza has seen some of the best cyclists in the history of cycling compete for the title. Eddy Merckx is considered the best cyclist in the history of the race, with his seven victories between 1969 and 1975 that demonstrate his domain. Other greats who have won the race include Jacques Anquetil, Sean Kelly, Fausto Coppi and Miguel Indurain, who rose to the top of the podium in 1989. In recent years, the race has been dominated by a new generation of cyclists, including Alberto Contador, Bradley Wiggins and Richie Porte. These cyclists have added their own chapter to the history of the race, with their impressive performances in the challenging field of the race.

The best editions

The Paris-Niza has seen many memorable editions over the years, but some stand out as the best. The 1955 edition is considered one of the best, with Louison Bobet winning an exciting last stage to ensure his third consecutive victory in the race. The 1971 edition is also legendary, with Eddy Merckx winning the race for more than nine minutes and dominating competition at each stage.
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