Dubai Tour 2015 – Stage 2 Preview – Ciclismo Internacional

Dubai Tour 2015 – Stage 2 Preview

By David Hunter

Dubai – Dubai 187km

The race heads out to the desert.

dubaib

After starting out in the city, the race ventures out into the desert. This will be a nervous time for all riders and if we get some wind, look for echelons. Wind is predicted, but at 9mph, it might not be strong enough. Crucially, it is a cross wind. The key point of the race will be the right hand turn, to bring the riders back towards the city. At that point, it’s a direct cross wind and it could have a devastating impact on the race.

The battle for position, going into the corner, should be frantic. As I said in an earlier preview, the Belgians and Dutch love a bit of gutter riding and look for the Classics riders to try and have some fun.

Etixx would normally be the best team for these conditions, but their big Belgian riders are not here, apart from Julien Vermote. The 25 year old is a very talented rider and will look to attack in the wind. Cavendish is a very clever rider and if Vermote attacks, he won’t be far behind.

Of all the riders in the peloton, Lars Boom will be the most looking forward to some wind. If he can get an advantage over his GC rivals, the race will be all over. Boom has a quick sprint, compared to most other riders, if he arrives in a small group, he should win the stage and the bonus seconds.

Team Sky usually ride the wind well. Their road caption is Bernie Eisel. He’s a very experienced rider and will try to ensure they are well positioned. I doubt Viviani and Swift will hang on but Geraint Thomas should. He’s another danger man, throw in Vansummeren and Pozzato and we could have some fun!

Movistar have a patchy recored in the wind but don’t think Valverde isn’t suited to these conditions. Remember him dropping Quintana in the Vuelta! Road position will be crucial and the experienced riders shouldn’t miss out.

Tinkoff-Saxo also like to blow races apart. They have a number of options: Boaro, Valgren and Kiserlovski. They are a dangerous team, with dangerous riders.

If the peloton stays together, the sprint should be a re-run of today. Etixx proved to be strong, even if Sabatini was a big disappointment. At least, he pulled off and disrupted the Sky train. How Ben Swift left enough space between himself and Fenn will certainly be talked about on the team bus. It was a perfect example of non-specialist lead-out man. Renshaw, the specialist, moved into the space and it was game over.

Andrea Guardini finished very quickly, with a proper sprint train he could even have won. That’s his problem, he’ll always be coming from behind Cav and Viviani. This makes it too difficult.

As predicted, Lobato was out of position and disappointing.

It was a surprise to see Mezgec attempting to sprint. Giant were poor and lack their usually cohesion.

Prediction Time

If the wind blows, Boom wins.

If we get a sprint, Cavendish wins.

*OVERALL PREVIEW

David Hunter

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