2022 Tour of the Alps – Stage 4 Preview – Ciclismo Internacional

2022 Tour of the Alps – Stage 4 Preview

By @EchelonsHub

In what was a day  for the breakaway to fight for the stage win, Lennard Kamna took the second triumph of his season by attacking the escapee group inside the final kilometer to take a strong win. Breakaway companions Andrey Amador and Jonathan Lastra finished second and third, whilst the GC fight in the Passo Furcia was neutralized due to Pello Bilbao’s quick response to the attacks of INEOS Grenadiers.

Positive: Kamna, focusing on breakaways and netting his second win of the season, and Bahrain controlling another day in the peloton to keep their lead. 

Negative: Nothing to note. 

The Route

The fourth stage of the race may perhaps be categorized as the easiest, however it is the only one which sees a summit finish as the riders head into Austria for the final two days of racing. Perhaps an opportunity for a breakaway? Chances are high if the peloton sees the escapee group go in the first climb of the day, 8.2 kilometers at 5.5%.

None of the climbs on the day are steep, but instead more rolling. The battle for the stage win – and overall classification, if it happens – will happen on the slopes of the final ascent to Kals Am Grossglockner.

It is an ascent that can be split into several parts, I will refer to the two main. The first 3.5 kilometers average arond 8-9% and if attacks are to come, likely it will be here as the slopes are at it’s hardest. However, there’s a lot of climbing ahead, so tactics will matter. After a flat section, there will be a more gradient rise to the line. From 6 to 2.5Km to go the average will be around 6-7% and with the proximity to the finish it may also spark some moves. A combination of flat and false-flat will then lead to the finish line.

The Weather

The cold remains, however with that said riders don’t seem to have been hindered by it in the last few days so I think it will be a calm day for the rider weather wise. 

Breakaway chances: 40%

It is a summit finish, but not a hard climb. As the days go by more riders get freedom to go on breakaways, I think the break will go in the first climb of the day and then battle in the final ascent for the stage win, Bahrain have shown today that stage wins are no longer a priority. 

The Favourites

Pello Bilbao & Mikel Landa – Another day to control. Bahrain looked just as strong today, and tomorrow will be easier to control, so I don’t expect GC attacks to succeed as Bilbao looks to be the strongest on the road, with great support.

INEOS – Pavel Sivakov, Eddie Dunbar and Richie Porte. INEOS do have a lot of depth, and in such a shallow climb they can take advantage of it if they play their cards right. It won’t be easy, but they have the responsibility to put Bahrain under pressure no matter what happens.

Romain Bardet & Thymen Arensman – This is a climb that will suit them better, as the lack of hard gradients will mean Arensman will be more comfortable. As for Bardet, he’s been consistent so far, looks explosive and a sprint finish is definitely possible, so he’ll be eyeing a possible win. 

Esteban Chaves & Hugh Carthy – Carthy has looked stronger today, so I reckon EF have good chances now as not only do they have the Briton, but also Esteban Chaves who is in great form, and together they can attack the race. 

Groupama will also have some cards to play, however the day doesn’t seem hard enough for Michael Storer, too hard for Attila Valter, but Thibaut Pinot could do something good if he finds himself in the break. The likes of Felix Gall and Einer Rubio have also impressed until now and can surely do something.

Outsiders, for a possible late sneaky attack or a breakaway you’ll find the likes of Miguel Angel Lopez, Geoffrey Bouchard, Clément Champoussin, aswell as some riders who looked good today such as Vadim Pronskiy and Natnael Tesfatsion can also do good.

Inside The Bus

This morning I talk to…

#147 Jordí Lopez  – Let’s try to get in the break, ideally helping along Ion or José who should be possible contenders if they find themselves in front and the breakaway does make it, that’s the focus. 

#173 Chris Froome – Do your thing Chris, I’m unsure what the plan is, maybe getting in race kilometers, so just keep doing that, the guys will try to eye a stage win from the break.

#153 Joan Bou – Let’s try to get in the breakaway Joan, you and Mikel are good climbers, it will never be easy but the best chance we have is by doing that. The guys will help control early on, you’ll ideally be part of the moves on the first climb, and then all is to be decided in the final ascent, don’t be too conservative there, it can break up early on.

Prediction Time

⭐⭐⭐Bilbao

⭐⭐Sivakov, Dunbar, Bardet, MA.Lopez

⭐Landa, Buitrago, Porte, Arensman, Pinot, Valter, Gall, Rubio, Kamna, Tesfatsion, Chaves, Carthy

Either from a breakaway or a GC battle, I think Miguel Angel Lopez has got good chances to take a win. He’s lost time but he’s got the form, this final climb will suit him and as I dont think Bahrain will want to push things, I’ll go for an outsider for the win.

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