A day for the sprinters.
A flat stage.
And the riders move east.
They will finish on a gokart racetrack. I am not 100% sure this is correct, but it should be very close. It looks like a lot of fun! It is a stage where you need a very strong sprint train.
The riders will have a tailwind until the last 35 km, where they will turn into a headwind. It is not the worst place for echelons but it is not the best either. As of right now, 4 m/s will not cut it. 25 degrees C with no rain.
How will the stage unfold?
We will have to monitor weather changes, there is a decent spot 48 – 38 km from the line, where if the wind is a bit stronger, we may see attempts to split the bunch.
If not, expect a bunch sprint. It is a difficult finish to say break down due to it being on a race track. We have eight corners/bends in the last 4.5 km. Once on the race tack, we will see the sprint trains fight for a good position.
With the last corner being 700m from the line, turning in to a headwind the timing is important too. You must have an experienced lead-out man and not take the front too early. A late surge is possible.
Phillipsen – perfection today from the team, everyone was wasting domestiques staying near the front on the run in for the U-turn. SKA was a bit naughty taking the inside of Asgreen at one time, they luckily avoided crashing. He was the best man and he proved to have the best train too. Did he deviate? I think we should start having straight finishes – that would be the first easy step to judge.
Jakobsen – they went to fast today on the small hill 1.7 km to go and dropped him. Asgreen looked back, saw Mørkøv while Mørkøv was looking for Jakobsen – it look chaotic and not very organized but remember Asgreen is not usually the 3rd man, I think Lampaert should be there. They lost Jakobsen, this time due to the pace being too high. Tomorrow is an easier stage, he should be challenging for yet another win.
Ewan – for once, he did a good job surfing wheels. De Buyst is obviously not at his best and Van Gils hit the deck on stage 2, therefore this result is very positive. He will be isolated again tomorrow, therefore there is a chance the result may vary for him this season. He was lucky he was there to get a lead-out from Jayco-AlUla today.
Bauhaus – I was impressed to see him today. Always at the center of the finale, and then following the right wheel at the right moment. That will give him some good results this year.
Groenewegen – poor job by the team, Mezgec burned both his and his sprinters matches moving him up. He has the speed but the team needs to do better tomorrow. They need a better third man to keep them near the front, Reinders did not deliver – perhaps swap him and C. Juul-Jensen.
Pedersen – position 30th or so with 1 km to go. Not good enough Trek. They get another chance tomorrow.
Welsford – he has to be in a better position if they want to utilize his speed to win. I think they are best to leave him near the front, they don’t have the sprint train to challenge inside the last km.
Meeus – ended up boxed in when Quick-step and Jayco saw a change to move up on the right side of the road. I think he stands a great chance tomorrow on an easier stage.
Wout van Aert – will he sprint? I doubt it. Things will turn around for him.
Girmay – not very organized today. They usually have better synergy the three of them (Petit, Teunissen and Girmay). He ended up getting boxed in.
Dark Horse – Cavendish.
⭐⭐⭐ Phillipsen, Groenewegen
⭐⭐ Pedersen, Meeus, Ewan
⭐ Wout van Aert, Welsford, Girmay, Bauhaus
Who will win?
I think Quick-Step gets it right tomorrow, the stage is much more suited for him tomorrow. A stage win for Jakobsen.