Race Recap

Race Recap: Paris-Nice – On the attack in the Race to the Sun


Early season stage racing continued for the team at Paris-Nice, otherwise known as the Race to the Sun, but as the riders would find out on the final day – they were only racing towards the rain! A typical Paris-Nice parcours awaited the peloton over the eight days of action, with stages for every type of rider, ensuring some exciting racing on each stage. Setting out with a plan, the team aimed to go for stage success by racing aggressively throughout the week; and race aggressively they did.

Stage 1: Mantes-la-Ville to Mantes-la-Ville (160 kilometres)

A punchy finale over some short and sharp climbs begged for some in the bunch to go on the attack. Riding well as a group, the team headed onto the last ascent towards the pointy end of the reduced peloton but with things strung out and the pace remaining high, the guys just couldn’t hold on to the attacking trio. Giving it their best in the chase, Nils Eekhoff led the team home in 14th place on the stage.

Nils said: ”It was a good day out and we worked well together as a group. We were a bit out of position earlier but we stuck together for the crucial moments after that, which we can be really satisfied about. We started the final climb towards the front with Søren, John and myself but the pace was high and we couldn’t follow. After that the guys tried to chase and I positioned myself for the sprint. We are all motivated and aiming for more in the coming days.”


Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 LAPORTE Christophe Jumbo-Visma 3:48:38 60
2 ROGLIČ Primož Jumbo-Visma ,, 25
3 VAN AERT Wout Jumbo-Visma ,, 10
14 EEKHOFF Nils Team DSM 0:22 -
30 LEKNESSUND Andreas Team DSM ,, -
38 KRAGH ANDERSEN Søren Team DSM ,, -
81 VERMAERKE Kevin Team DSM 2:04 -
82 DEGENKOLB John Team DSM ,, -
142 DENZ Nico Team DSM 6:46 -
143 BOL Cees Team DSM ,, -

Stage 2: Auffargis to Orléans (160 kilometres)

Crosswind chaos swept over the peloton on the second day of racing, as the bunch continued their journey south. Some bad luck saw John Degenkolb and Andreas Leknessund just miss the main split as it was forming, with Cees Bol and Søren Kragh Andersen represented in the front for the team. Søren did his best to bring Cees towards the front in the hectic, technical and fast finale with Cees sprinting to tenth place on the day.

Speaking after the stage Cees concluded: “It was a super hard day with lots of crosswind action, we were well positioned and Søren and I made the group. Unfortunately, John and Nils were involved in the crash and held up. Søren and I worked well in the final and a top 10 is a good step in the right direction. We are looking forward to the rest of the week!”


Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 JAKOBSEN Fabio Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team 3:22:54 60
2 VAN AERT Wout Jumbo-Visma ,, 25
3 LAPORTE Christophe Jumbo-Visma ,, 10
10 BOL Cees Team DSM ,, -
19 KRAGH ANDERSEN Søren Team DSM ,, -
50 DEGENKOLB John Team DSM 0:38 -
77 LEKNESSUND Andreas Team DSM 1:37 -
99 DENZ Nico Team DSM 6:43 -
123 VERMAERKE Kevin Team DSM 9:07 -
1005 EEKHOFF Nils Team DSM -03:22:54 -

Stage 3: Vierzon to Dun-le-Palestel (190 kilometres)

Animating the stage, we set out with a plan to launch Søren Kragh Andersen over the final hills, hoping to drag a group clear. Despite numerous attacks from Søren, and a follow up move from Andreas Leknessund, several teams in the peloton were clearly intent for the day to end in a reduced group sprint on the kick up to the line.

Søren said: “Today was a hard final so we tried a bit of an aggressive approach but unfortunately it didn’t pay off in the end. I think our shape is good though and everything is going in a good direction day-by-day, so we’ll look for new opportunities in the coming stages here.” 


Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 PEDERSEN Mads Trek - Segafredo 4:23:29 60
2 COQUARD Bryan Cofidis ,, 25
3 VAN AERT Wout Jumbo-Visma ,, 10
58 DEGENKOLB John Team DSM ,, -
61 LEKNESSUND Andreas Team DSM ,, -
68 KRAGH ANDERSEN Søren Team DSM ,, -
80 VERMAERKE Kevin Team DSM ,, -
106 DENZ Nico Team DSM 10:01 -
140 BOL Cees Team DSM 11:15 -

Stage 4: Domérat to Montluçon (13.4 kilometres TT)

It was TT day at Paris-Nice , with the guys giving it their all over the tough 13.4 kilometre long course. Søren Kragh Andersen and Andreas Leknessund were our best finishers, ending the stage in 16th and 20th place, with Søren moving up to tenth on GC.

Speaking honestly after the finish Søren expressed:“I’m a little disappointed about today as we had hoped for better but we gave it our best in the TT. We’re still in the top 10 on GC though and we will look for new opportunities coming days.”


Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 VAN AERT Wout Jumbo-Visma 16:20 60
2 ROGLIČ Primož Jumbo-Visma 0:02 25
3 DENNIS Rohan Jumbo-Visma 0:06 10
16 KRAGH ANDERSEN Søren Team DSM 0:41 -
20 LEKNESSUND Andreas Team DSM 0:44 -
48 DEGENKOLB John Team DSM 1:13 -
92 DENZ Nico Team DSM 1:54 -
112 VERMAERKE Kevin Team DSM 2:12 -
123 BOL Cees Team DSM 2:28 -

Stage 5: Saint-Just-Saint-Rambert to Saint-Sauveur-de-Montagut (189 kilometres)

After being set up well by the rest of the guys, Andreas Leknessund and Søren Kragh Andersen hung tough for us over the challenging climbs in the finale today, which included the brutally steep Col de la Mure. Fighting all the way to the end together, they crossed the line just behind the GC group, with Søren moving up to 7th on GC as a result.

Andreas concluded: “I think the day was a solid one for us. We were strong and the guys helped us a lot early in the stage and then to position me and Søren for those final climbs. I think we did our best today. We did a really good job together on the descent and run-in to the line to almost catch back up to the GC guys. We’ll keep fighting in the next stages.”



Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 MCNULTY Brandon UAE Team Emirates 4:53:30 60
2 BONNAMOUR Franck B&B Hotels - KTM 1:58 25
3 JORGENSON Matteo Movistar Team ,, 10
27 LEKNESSUND Andreas Team DSM 5:52 -
30 KRAGH ANDERSEN Søren Team DSM 6:00 -
79 DEGENKOLB John Team DSM 17:28 -
107 DENZ Nico Team DSM 24:22 -
114 BOL Cees Team DSM ,, -
1006 VERMAERKE Kevin Team DSM -04:53:30 -

Stage 6: Courthézon to Aubagne (214 kilometres)

We rolled the dice again in the final today with Søren Kragh Andersen going on the attack on the descent, before setting up John Degenkolb for the reduced sprint finish. Unfortunately, John had some back luck after a touch of wheels meant he couldn’t compete fully for the sprint but the guys are taking confidence from the day and we’ll try our best to animate the race again on the final two stages.

John expressed: “It was a very long and tough day. There was a lot of wind so the peloton was always lined out and it was not a comfortable pace as the breakaway was strong. When the final started it got faster and faster on the last long climb. I felt pretty strong in the final and that’s definitely a good thing. In the sprint I couldn’t do a real sprint after the touch of wheels, which was disappointing as I felt really good and well supported by Søren right to the end. It’s a pity that it didn’t work out but the feeling I have tells me that we’re heading in a really good way and our top shape is building.”


Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 BURGAUDEAU Mathieu TotalEnergies 5:33:06 60
2 PEDERSEN Mads Trek - Segafredo ,, 25
3 VAN AERT Wout Jumbo-Visma ,, 10
13 DEGENKOLB John Team DSM ,, -
19 KRAGH ANDERSEN Søren Team DSM ,, -
47 LEKNESSUND Andreas Team DSM ,, -
78 BOL Cees Team DSM 5:58 -
95 DENZ Nico Team DSM 15:23 -

Stage 7: Nice to Col de Turini (155 kilometres)

On the attack with Cees Bol and Nico Denz, John Degenkolb and Søren Kragh Andersen positioned Andreas Leknessund as best as possible for the final tough ascent of Col de Turini. Never giving up and fighting to stay with the GC group for as long as possible, Andreas lead us home on the stage just outside the top 15.

Andreas said: “We were looking for an opportunity to go in the break today but with Søren and I close on GC the bunch didn’t let us go but Nico and Cees managed to get in which was good. In the bunch we then focused on the last climb and I think we did a good job the whole day by being in the right spots. I was in a good position for the climb thanks to Søren and John. It was then just about the legs and I performed as I expected, so we can be satisfied with that. We’ll give it one final go tomorrow.”


Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 ROGLIČ Primož Jumbo-Visma 4:02:47 60
2 MARTÍNEZ Daniel Felipe INEOS Grenadiers ,, 25
3 YATES Simon Team BikeExchange - Jayco 0:02 10
19 LEKNESSUND Andreas Team DSM 3:23 -
43 KRAGH ANDERSEN Søren Team DSM 12:38 -
49 DENZ Nico Team DSM 18:14 -
50 DEGENKOLB John Team DSM ,, -
1005 BOL Cees Team DSM -04:02:47 -

Stage 8: Nice to Nice (116 kilometres)

The race ended with the typically short but explosive final stage around Nice and the surrounding hills. Battling poor weather conditions, with heavy rain and wind, it was set to be a demanding day in the saddle. Despite their best efforts, the team wasn’t able to make it into the breakaway of the day – because the bunch was going so fast that there was no breakaway, and instead it became a race of attrition. Fighting hard to the end, Andreas Leknessund almost made it onto the wheels of the front five on the penultimate climb but he just couldn’t hold the gap. In the end, Andreas and Søren Kragh Andersen fought valiantly all the way to the line, with Søren taking fifth place in the sprint and Andreas ending the race in 11th place on GC.

Speaking after the stage Søren said: “Today was a hard stage but we’re very happy to have made it into in the second group in the end, with Andreas and I there. Andreas did a super good job pulling the group into the final and I did the best sprint I could for fifth. With Andreas also finishing 11th on GC, I think we ended the race in a really good way.”


Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 YATES Simon Team BikeExchange - Jayco 2:52:59 60
2 VAN AERT Wout Jumbo-Visma 0:09 25
3 ROGLIČ Primož Jumbo-Visma ,, 10
5 KRAGH ANDERSEN Søren Team DSM 1:44 -
15 LEKNESSUND Andreas Team DSM 1:47 -
54 DEGENKOLB John Team DSM 17:43 -
55 DENZ Nico Team DSM ,, -

Reflecting on the race as a whole:

Andreas concluded: “As a team we are happy with finishing off the race in a good way. We had eight solid days, with a lot of positive points. For me personally I learned a lot from the guys, and I took big steps during the week thanks to the commitment and the feedback I received. We are in good shape and are looking forward to continue this positive trend going to the next races.”

Team DSM coach Phil West added: “We did a good job in general as a team. We saw some really nice teamwork and cohesion. We also had some real honest and direct feedback with each other, we had some real tough evaluations. For sure we made some mistakes but there are also lessons we can learn from it and in general we can be happy with how we were as a team. I think this is a really good place for us to be now. Overall, I’m super happy with the week – so it’s onwards and upwards.”