2022 Tour of the Alps – Stage 3 Preview – Ciclismo Internacional

2022 Tour of the Alps – Stage 3 Preview

By @EchelonsHubIt was a wild day at the Tour of the Alps, but with a finale that was in absolute control from Bahrain – Victorious. After a very strong group went up the road early on the first climb of the day, containing the likes of Miguel Angel Lopez, Pavel Sivakov, Michael Storer, Thymen Arensman and more, Bahrain took control of the race behind and managed to reel everyone in whilst maintaining all of their GC riders in the leading group. There was a sprint to the line, where Bilbao beat Romain Bardet and Attila Valter to the line.Positive: Bahrain rode incredibly strong, controlling what seemed to be an uncontrollable move, keeping all their cards on the table and taking the stage win despite all the work they did. Groupama’s Lenny Martinez, 18 years old, finished in the leading group in an impressive performance.Negative: Bouchard and AG2R did a great stage, but just having lost it all on the final descent was a very sour finale to what could be an impressive performance. Lopez and De la Cruz, despite the offensive stage, have had a very bad outcome to the day, with Filippo Zana also loosing his possibility to go for a stage win. 

The Route

The third stage of the race and another one in which the organizers have thought of long-range attacks. As far as that goes the race has plenty opportunities and tomorrow is another one, with a set of early climbs likely to do some damage, however it is in one specific point of the day where the attacks are expected to come, either from a breakaway or the peloton in an attempt to go for the stage win, possibly GC raid.Unofficially, the ascent is almost 20 kilometers long which makes it slightly harder than what the profile indicates. There is a gradual rise until the riders get on te proper slopes of the Passo Furcia, a climb that will have it’s summit with 23 kilometers to go from the finish. It’s main difficulty are it’s final 6 kilometers which average around 9%, it has some tough ramps and is at quite a high altitude, more than enough to cause havoc even between the best.A technical descent will follow, which leaves the riders in the run-up to Niederdorf, in which the final 13 kilometers are generally flat. 

The Weather

Very cold temperatures, below 10 degrees all day long which won’t be pleasant for many.

Breakaway chances: 15%

Honestly, with Bahrain leading the race and taking into account how strong they were today, I doubt they’ll let anyone take the stage. With this said, there are gaps built at this point, and this is a day I pointed out before the race as a possible breakaway day, as the GC guys should only push the pace in a single point of the race.

The Favourites

Bahrain – They have looked flawless today, Pello Bilbao is on great form and if he isn’t distanced on the climb it’s unlikely that he’ll be put under pressure afterwards as he appears to be the best descender and sprinter out of the GC riders, and with Mikel Landa, Santiago Buitrago and Hermann Pernsteiner riding alongside him it’ll be easy to find him isolated. 

INEOS – They played their card today in Pavel Sivakov, however it came up just short. The Frenchman can still do some damage though, although it is quite possible that with today’s effort, the team will be more focused on Richie Porte and Eddie Dunbar to do the big damage. They can also play with their numbers. 

Romain Bardet – Second on both sprints so far, Bardet is looking sharp, however we haven’t had yet an all-out climbing battle, in which I think his chances aren’t as good. Nevertheless, it’s not a brutal mountain stage, and the descent will be good for him, DSM have Thymen Arensman clearly in good form too so they can play it out.

Esteban ChavesHugh Carthy doesn’t look to be at his best, Esteban Chaves has looked go so far though. He’s a good climber, one of the best on his best legs, and EF have shown confidence in him so far this race, I think there’s a good reason why. 

Groupama – Storer had his shot today, he looks in good form but will need serious climbs to do the difference and after he didn’t manage today, it seems harder to do so tomorrow. Nevertheless, he’s an outsider, and so is Attila Valter.

You will find more outsiders in Felix Gall who has been very consistent so far, Geoffrey Bouchard has just lost the race lead but AG2R have several cards and he isn’t a complete outsider. Einer Rubio and Joe Dombrowski also made it in the front group today and will be contenders for the stage.

The likes of Miguel Ángel López, Thibaut Pinot, Clément Champoussin and Filippo Zana are great climbers, and if they happen to find themselves in a breakaway they can for sure go for the stage win, if they’re on a good day of course. 

Inside The Bus

This morning I talk to…

#81 Jorge Arcas – It was an impressive ride in this stage you did Jorge, I’m surprised. With this being put, you won’t go into domestique work neither breakaway, the focus is on keeping this spot in the overall together with Einer as best as possible in order to try and make something in the final two stages which will suit us better.

#154 Unai Quadrado – There’s no real ambition from you individually, but you can play a role in the collective. If in the peloton, the mission is to protect Bizkarra who can go for the GC and put our jersey in a good place. Ideally though, we’ll focus on getting riders in the breakaway where hopefully you can help.

#13 Joe Dombrowski – So, we meet for the second day in a row… I wasn’t expecting the stage to go the way it did, but you are now our GC candidate. This mean we’ll be protecting you, and it’ll be riding conservative towards the main climb of the day where you have to ride your best and get over the summit as close to the front as possible. Lopez and de la Cruz will have freedom to do their thing, but if it fits they’ll help you aswell.

Prediction Time

⭐⭐⭐Bilbao

⭐⭐Dunbar, Sivakov, Bardet, Chaves

⭐Landa, Buitrago, Porte, Arensman, Valter, Gall, Rubio, MA.Lopez, Champoussin, Zana

Photo: Tommaso Pelagalli/SCA/Cor Vos © 202

If a breakaway doesn’t win, either Bilbao does or a rider from INEOS Grenadiers, because I just can’t see Bahrain being ravaged tomorrow. I won’t go with Bilbao once again, as I don’t think Bahrain will be as hungry for a win, instead I’ll have INEOS with Eddie Dunbar as my choice.

Rúben SilvaFollow us on Twitter and InstagramJoin us on facebook: Ciclismo Internacional

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