Images: Yuzuru Sunada
We're halfway through the 2012 edition of Paris-Nice. Known as the "race to the sun", Paris-Nice is a week-long stage race used by both grand tour and classics specialists alike to hone their form ahead of the season's key objectives. Some riders have come out fighting while others languish at the back of the pack, still in need of serious training.
Who's showing good form so far? Bradley Wiggins is the man of the moment, having ridden a strong opening time trial and bolstering his position with bonus seconds and aggressive riding to take the yellow jersey after stage 2. Tom Boonen and Gianni Meersman are showing speed in the bunch sprints, while Alejandro Valverde pipped Simon Gerrans to the line in stage 3, putting himself up as a candidate for overall victory in the process. Finally, let us not overlook the consistently strong riding of American hopeful, Tejay Van Garderen, who wears the white jersey of best young rider and sits in third place overall after four stages.