UAE Team Emirates rider Tadej Pogacar. Image Credit: Supplied

Tadej Pogacar and UAE Team Emirates got the ‘Race to the Sun’ off to a fine start, taking the bonus seconds on offer to get the edge on several general classification rivals on stage 1 of Paris-Nice starting and finishing in La Verrière(169.4km).

There were a maximum of 6” bonus seconds on offer over the top of the final climb at -5km to go with Pogacar cresting first and taking a precious advantage on his rivals.

Third spot

Tim Merlier (Soudal-Quickstep) would take the victory and race lead heading into stage 2 from Bazainville to Fontainebleau(163.7km) with Pogačar in 3rd spot on GC at +4”.

Pogacar said: “The guys worked really well today. It wasn’t too windy but we had small technical roads and it was quite hectic at times. I tried to push on a bit over the last climb but I could see it wasn’t working so we sat up. We will have many days ahead to push on. I’m happy to have taken the bonus seconds and to be in the white jersey.”

Stage 1 results

1.Tim Merlier (Soudal-Quickstep) 3:50:52

2.Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) s.t

3.Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) s.t

General Classification after stage 1

1.Tim Merlier (Soudal-Quickstep) 3:50:42

2.Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) +4”

3.Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +6”