It's been a devastating few days for many GC hopefuls at Paris-Nice as the echelons have dashed prospects before the mountains have even come. Ilnur Zakarin has managed to fend off the worst of it though, staying well positioned in both the opening stages: "Yesterday it was a really hard stage, but the team gave me 100% support. I was in the second group when it split in the last 50k and Haller and Politt did a great job bringing me into the front group to stay in contention for GC. I feel good after a crash and stomach problems at UAE, now I feel ready." said Zakarin.
Scroll through for a behind the scenes gallery from our first few days of racing.