| paulcapewell.com
| We need to talk about that Paris-Nice logo
Posted on 09 March 2023

It's Paris-Nice this week - one of the first big stage races on the world road racing calendar.

It follows, as the title implies, a route roughly between the two French cities of Paris and Nice. It is dubbed 'the race to the sun', and being raced in March, it leaves the cold and windswept north of the country before arriving on the south coast of France a week later.

This week is shaping up to be a really interesting race - or maybe it's just the first one of the year I've followed closely - it's being shown on ITV4 in a nightly highlights package (and ITV4 is now available free to air in HD on Freesat meaning this is the first time such coverage has been in HD for free!).

In true "I haven't seen the stage yet!" fashion, I am a day behind. I watched the Team Time Trial and it was unexpectedly fascinating - mainly because they changed the rules.

Normally in a Team Time Trial, the team must stay together as much as they can, as the time is taken from something like the third or fourth to cross the line. You can't just have your sprinters shooting off up the road - the team's time will only be as good as their middling riders. You could afford to drop one or two off the back, but you needed a decent front to middle section.

For this year's Paris-Nice Team Time Trial - and I am not sure if this is new in Team Time Trials generally - the team itself is given the time of the first rider to cross the line. The fastest rider in the team can, essentially, just shoot off up the road, and each individual rider is given their own individual time.

So what's the point in having it as a team event at all?

Well, it actually made for a really fascinating race, as some teams are clearly better-suited to time trials, or are better practiced at the traditional format, staying mostly together, only dropping one or two slower riders along the course.

Other teams completely blew up, dropping their slower riders only a few KMs into the route, and pushing home with just one or two remaining near the front. And, of course, some of the stronger riders just spat the dummy and pushed off on their own - I won't spoil it, but you won't be surprised to see which riders did this.

The end result was actually quite surprising though, and it made for a really interesting day. And I think it completely disrupted the general classification which, after the previous stage did nothing to change the GC whatsoever, came as something of a relief.

I'm loving this week's race, and I'm very grateful it's on the telly.

Now, then. The Paris-Nice logo:

The logo is simple but cute - they've used a simple motif of the sun to represent the letter 'C' in NICE! Aww.

It's great that the logo designers found a letter in the word NICE that could be represented by a symbol, especially one so fitting.

If only there was a letter in PARIS that could also be represented by a symbol. Then both words could have a symbol! But no, the designers could not find one. Alas.


Just... why... WHY in god's name isn't the 'A' in PARIS represented by the Eiffel Tower?! Honestly. It's ridiculous. It's just there!

I believe there are weirdly French copyright issues around the Eiffel Tower, such that even photographing it is subject to licensing or fees or whatever. I may have this wrong. But I am sure I've heard of such troubles.

But, look. If you're going to use the sun in the Nice bit, let's use the Eiffel Tower in the Paris bit, yeah?

There, I fixed it.