After Rally’s drama at the Vuelta a Murcia last week when Adam de Vos fought to second place on Stage 1’s cobbled finishing climb, the orange gang is off to the 52nd Tour Cycliste International des Alpes Maritimes et du Var, once known as Haut Var. Three hilly stages start Friday in Le Cannet, north of Cannes in the South of France. The four Rally Canadians who raced in Spain–de Vos, Nigel Ellsay, Pier-André Coté and Matteo Dal-Cin–will be joined by Nick Zukowsky, who started his Rally career earlier this month with 22nd place at the Saudi Tour.
Three days in the French Riviera? Sign us up!#TourduHautVar roster (Feb 21-23)
— Rally Cycling (@Rally_Cycling) February 20, 2020
Upon gathering himself after Stage 1 in Murcia, de Vos raced to 10th place overall in the maple leaf jersey.
"That was probably the hardest bit of biking I’ve ever done. The last 30 km we had such a huge gap we were able to really mess around. I don’t think there was more than a couple actual paceline pulls, the only way we were moving forward was haymaker attacks." – @A_de_Vos pic.twitter.com/DOVmPjxlfu
— Cycling Canada (@CyclingCanada) February 14, 2020
A whole six-pack of Canadians will be racing in the 2.1-rated Haut Var in the south of France, as Antoine Duchesne will be supporting Thibaut Pinot, the reigning champion. This will be Tony the Tiger’s third consecutive race in France, after coming 65th in the one-day Grand Prix Cycliste la Marseillaise and the Tour de La Provence where we was 89th.
Suite de ce beau mois de février dans le sud de la France avec le Tour du Haut-Var, qui devient cette année le Tour des Alpes-Maritimes et du Var !
Départ ce vendredi, arrivée finale dimanche 🚩 pic.twitter.com/FTA5NiNC0N
— Équipe Cycliste Groupama-FDJ (@GroupamaFDJ) February 20, 2020
Last year’s runner-up Romain Bardet will be looking to upset his compatriot Pinot as the AG2R rider prepares for his first attempt at the Giro d’Italia. Tour Down Under winner Richie Porte and Tour de La Provence champ Nairo Quintana will be looking for upset the Frenchmen. Eight WorldTour teams are competing.