We should see a sprint in Peer.
Flat. If the wind blows, we could see some fun.
They do the circuit 4.5 times. It does have a few open spots.
The finale 5 km. I get the same feeling as in stage 1, the roads are fairly narrow from far out. Still, the last corner is 800m out, there will be time to move up, if you can find the space.
Up to 20-25 km/h. Wind from the SW. That makes it good for the southern part of the circuit. However, the jump from village to village.
Still, and this is hopeful thinking, I see from 9.5 km to the finish – 6.5 km from the finish, remember, they do this five times. Here, we have very narrow roads and the wind from a perfect direction. The issue is, are the crops too high? I do not know when harvesting begins
Phillipsen – he is mighty quick and he has the best lead-out man here. Maybe the best in the world right now. They did fantastic at the first stage, always staying near the front and moving up at the right time. I think he will be difficult to beat.
Merlier – not the best job by the team on the first stage. He was too far back which was a shame because he had the speed. Van Lerberghe is a fantastic lead-out man and he did well to save Merlier from a bad result. I think he can contest for the win.
Kooij – quick enough to challenge for the win, that is for certain. However, positioning cost him a better result in the first stage. I think the team did the right thing and tried to let him surf wheels on his own, as they don’t have a lead-out man at the same caliber as the others.
De Lie – opening up his sprint early and the others were simply faster. I think De Lie is better after a tough day and not your typical boulevard sprint. If the team manage to put him in the same position, they will hope for more than 4th.
Groenewegen – I just feel the team is not strong enough without Mezgec. That means he will have to find the wheel of Merlier or Phillipsen and hope he can beat them on the line.
Meeus – not sure why he wasn’t in the picture on stage 1. It is an easier finish, which suits him more. A top-5 is possible.
⭐⭐ Kooij, Phillipsen
⭐ Meeus, Groenewegen, De Lie
Who will win?
Quick-Step to do better and set Merlier up for a win.