Heinrich Haussler and Ivan Cortina lead Bahrain-Merida at Paris-Nice
Mar 01 2018 01:47 pm CET

Heinrich Haussler and Ivan Cortina lead Bahrain-Merida at Paris-Nice
Heinrich Haussler and Ivan Cortina lead Bahrain-Merida at Paris-Nice
Bahrain-Merida © Mary Cárdenas / CyclingPub.com

Australian Heinrich Haussler and Spaniard Ivan Cortina will be leading Bahrain-Merida at the upcoming edition of Paris-Nice.

"It's a pretty tough race, with different stages each year," said sports director Gorazd Stangelj. "Some of the stages and climbs might be the same as in previous years, but riders certainly don't know all the stages.

"Another element that makes this race a hard one, is the weather. Last year we had really tough conditions with wind, rain and cold. We'll see what this year will bring," he added.

Stangelj believes that the first portion of the race will be a matter of surviving rather than anything else.

"On the first three sprint stages, our goal will be foremost to protect our leaders, to avoid crashes and to finish the race in time with the winner. Of course we will try to aim for the podium with Haussler and Cortina, but not at any price.

"The truly difficult stages will be the last few, after the time trial on the fourth stage. But with two leaders we will certainly be stronger and more flexible."

Haussler, who won a stage at the 2009 edition of the race and finished first in the points classification two years later, is looking forward to getting some stage race action.

"I am feeling strong and ready for Paris-Nice. I haven’t ridden a Tour in a very long time so I’m excited to be out there with the Team and test my legs with the rest of the peloton. It’s a great race to build the form for the upcoming one-day races."

The full line-up for Paris-Nice (March 4-11):

Ivan Cortina
Heinrich Haussler
Ion Izagirre
Gorka Izagirre
Manuele Boaro
Antonio Nibali
Luka Pibernik




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