Paris-Nice 2015: Top Contenders

Wiggins in Qatar (©GettyImages)

While Tirreno-Adriatico has got the better of its French counterpart Paris-Nice this year in terms of field - the Italian stage race obtaining the "Big Four" of stage racing (Contador, Froome, Quintana and Nibali) - the "Race to the Sun" has still managed to put an impressive field together for its 73rd edition.

Bradley Wiggins, who retires after Paris-Roubaix next month, will look to finish up his stage racing career with a victory here, but will face a strong challenge from several good time triallists, including potentially one previous winner from his own team.

Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky)

In his last major stage race, Wiggins will hope for a repeat of his 2012 overall victory. The fact that he is using this race as build up to Paris-Roubaix in one months time could mean he is too heavy to challenge when the road goes upwards, and he may wind up working for a team-mate.

Richie Porte (Team Sky)

The 2013 winner will, in a rare and most certainly the final occasion, challenge for stage race victory alongside his team-mate of three years, Bradley Wiggins. His blasting ride up Willunga hill in January's Tour Down Under showed that he has the form which was unfortunately missing through large parts of 2014. 

Tejay Van Garderen (BMC Racing)

2nd in the Tour of Oman, Van Garderen will look to go one better here. His Paris-Nice record includes 5th in 2012 and 4th in 2013.

Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing)

Dennis will look to continue his strong start to the 2015 season, which has seen him win the Tour Down Under and set the new world hour record. He will likely start off as co-leader of BMC with Van Garderen.

Jean-Christophe Peraud (Ag2r)

Peraud will be France's main hope for this edition of Paris-Nice, following his surprising 2nd overall at last years Tour de France. He has finished in the top-eight in three of his four Paris-Nice starts and this years course will likely suit him better than younger team-mate Romain Bardet.

Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo)

Majka's first start at Paris-Nice will see him carry the GC hopes of Tinkoff-Saxo. The young Pole had an excellent 2014 campaign, with 6th in the Giro and 2 stages plus the KOM jersey at the Tour among the highlights, and will look to add the his growing palmares here.

Fabio Aru (Astana) and Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Garmin) will both start their seasons here and could challenge for the overall. Outside contenders include Rui Coata (Lampre), Wilco Keldermann (Belkin), Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) and Romain Bardet (Ag2r).

Which rider will win the Paris-Nice 2015 event? Tell us by leaving a comment in the box below!

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