The classic Tour de Pologne stage. Atleast the circuit in Bielsko-Biala is.
It is a tough stage with 2900 climbing meters. It will be interesting to see, if any teams are willing to put the hammer down on Ochodzita and Salmopol. It is the last chance before the time trial.
Ochodzita is a nasty little wall. With 92 km from the top to the line, it is a bit early.
Salmopol is making it’s debut. Quite steady, the top is 57 km left.
The circuit has been used before, in 2021, 2020 and 2019. It is a strong man sprint. Four laps. The drag to the line is 2400m at 4%.
How will the stage unfold?
I think UAE have the strongest team with INEOS. Do UAE think they can drop Mohoric? I would go for it. Worse case scenario, Mohoric extends his lead in the sprint. Best case, McNulty or Majka get in a better spot before the time trial. Will it happen? Unlikely, I think Wellens from the breakaway is their best shot at the stage win. The Tour-legs on Mohoric are fantastic.
What about INEOS? It would not be their style. The terrain near the end is not difficult enough and I do not think they can distance Mohoric either.
I think there is a fair chance UAE or INEOS decide to try anyway. That means the breakaway likely will have a hard time making it. It is not impossible, it is not an easy stage to control for Bahrain-Victorious. They will hope they can get the bonus seconds after Salmopol.
Mohoric – sits with just 10 seconds to Almeida. He is not confident that is enough. That means taking another stage win and more bonus seconds is of great importance tomorrow. The bonus seconds after Salmopol should be a goal for the team as well as the stage win even it that requires isolating Mohoric for the final lap.
Almeida – I hope the team will attack tomorrow and not just him. He sits 10 seconds behind Mohoric, a margin he is confident to close in the time trial. I think they should aim to let the breakaway sail away, leaving bonus seconds out of the equation.
Kwiatkowski – they have a strong team. I hope to see them on the offensive tomorrow but they only really have one card to play, making it easy for Mohoric and UAE to manage.
Battistella – quick after a tough stage.
Vendrame – same can be said for this Italian.
Higuita – I think he will go better tomorrow. 10th the other day was a step in the right direction.
Godon – loves a strong man sprint. De Brabantse Pijl is a statement of that.
Herregodts – breakaway hope #1
Wellens – breakaway hope #2
Kämna – breakaway hope #3
⭐⭐⭐ Mohoric, Almeida
⭐⭐ Kwiatkowski, Higuita, Wellens
⭐ Kämna, Vendrame, Battistella, Godon
Who will win?
A breakaway win for Herregodts.