2022 Tour of the Alps – Stage 1 Preview – Ciclismo Internacional

2022 Tour of the Alps – Stage 1 Preview

By @EchelonsHub

The Route

3700 meters of climbing in the opening day of the race. It is a chaotic one, with no predictable outcome in sight as the stage starts off calmly in the first half, however the second half sees virtually no flat roads. 

The main feature of the day is the long Passo Brocon ascent. On profile is only the second half, with is 12Km long at over 6% and officially, the climb summits with 45.5 kilometers to go before dissenting into the final circuit. 

In the final loop you find some rolling climbs, just before it the Passo Gobera with 24.5 kilometers to go, and in the final kilometers – which will be ridden twice – there is a small hilltop with around 1.5Km and some tough ramps. Anything can happen, a reduced bunch sprint, a late attack, a small group sprint, nothing can be counted out.

The Weather

No wind, cold temperatures and a slight possibility of a little rain towards the end. I wouldn’t say it will make a big difference in the day’s outcome though.

Breakaway chances: 15%

The downhill start to the stage is definitely not ideal for strong climbers to go up the road, but nevertheless I’ll give it a small possibility as the stage is likely to be the less attacked one of the week. There won’t be a leader or any clear favourite, so maybe a lucky group can strike out for a stage win. 

The Favourites

Giacomo Nizzolo – Don’t be mistaken, Nizzolo is here for the form. He’s just recently returned to the peloton and with the Giro d’Italia in sight, he has came to the Alps for some hard racing which he will need. With that said, why not? If he is to target a stage it is without a doubt this one, I can say that he is capable of climbing and Israel can commit to a chase if he gets over the mountains, in a sprint scenario he is without a doubt the fastest.

Vincenzo Albanese – EOLO can quite possible commit to Albanese. He’s recently finished Top10 in the colossal ascent to Mount Etna in the Giro di Sicilia, and he has got a strong sprint which has been proved plenty times. An 11th place at Milano-Sanremo shows the Italian absolutely has the legs to ride with the best on this kind of terrain, he will hope to still have strong support over the climbs though.

Ben Swift – Past the prime of his career, however Swift has the right skillset to go over the climbs and perhaps be present in a sprint finish. It’s a long shot, however when looking closely, if he’s on the right day, it isn’t that long is it.

I can’t get a clear image on how the stage will look though. The men mentioned above are on paper the fastest, however if attacks pop out in the main climb of the day it won’t be hard to see them out the back. At the same time I think it can be very easy for a late attack to succeed, as there won’t realistically be many, or any strong teams committed to chasing if a rouleur or an outsider gets a gap in the final kilometers.

I could say the likes of Fabio Felline and Natnael Tesfatsion are possible outsiders for a sprint, although they could do it in a late attack aswell. Others, like Clément Champoussin and Pello Bilbao would benefit from a harder race, in which a sprint could also be beneficial towards.

As for other outsiders, which I mostly see succeeding in a late attack, you can include Lennard Kamna and Cian Uijtdebroeks from BORA, Thymen Arensman for DSM, Jonathan Lastra for Caja Rural and Mikel Iturria for Euskaltel.

Inside The Bus

This morning I talk to…

#43 Patrick Gamper  – Let’s stay in the peloton and race conservatively today. There are five days of racing in the mountains, we want to test where your level and the team’s level is at, so that we can decide on how to race in the coming days. Towards the finale, if the stage win is up for grabs, do shoot your shot if you’re in the peloton, try to get a sneaky attack.

#83 Abner González – We have a relatively modest team here so you will be protected Abner, we’re very interested in seeing how you’ll do against strong competition and with the responsibility in your shoulders. This stage won’t be a target, I’ll tell the guys some will have the freedom to attack, as for you just save up, you’ll need your best legs in the mountains that are to come. 

#26 Pavel Sivakov – No need to go into overdrive, you Richie and Eddie will be eyeing the mountains and the rest of the team will take care of you, so that we take in as many cards as possible, so stay safe. 

Prediction Time

⭐⭐⭐Albanese

⭐⭐Swift, Nizzolo, Bilbao, Felline, Tesfatsion

⭐ Champoussin, Kamna, Uijtdebroeks, Arensman, Lastra, Iturria

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

It’s a very tricky day, a win can come from any scenario. On my side, I’ll trust on the more conservative ride, and somehow for there to be an alliance in the peloton that keeps it all together for a sprint, in which I will go for Vincenzo Albanese.

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