Dubai Tour 2016 – Stage 4 Preview – Ciclismo Internacional

Dubai Tour 2016 – Stage 4 Preview

By David Hunter

Dubai – Burj Khalifa 137km

dubai 4

Time for the final stage and the GC is delicately balanced. After some brilliant performances by Lobato, Nizzolo and Kittel, it’s the Trek man that leads the way. He has a 2 second gap to Lobato and a 6 second gap to Kittel. With 10, 6 and 4 seconds available at the finish, this is going to be tight.

To further complicate matters, we have two intermediate sprint points. They offer 3, 2 and 1 seconds, which is going to be important for Marcel Kittel. Due to count back, if Kittel and Nizzolo finish on the same time, Nizzolo will win. As it stands, he “only” needs to finish in 3rd place and he wins the GC.

From the stage 1 sprint, Kittel and Cavendish are miles faster than the rest and really should occupy the top two positions. The battle for third will be fierce with Guardini, Nizzolo, Viviani, Lobato and Modolo all battling for the podium. There will be no favours here, this is cycling!

Etixx have to make a choice, as they have three options.

  1. Hold the race together for the intermediate sprints. They can let a small break escape and chase them down by 70km. Only Nizzolo, Kittel and Lobato will be interested in the bonus seconds, so Kittel should get a 1 second advantage over Nizzolo. He would think that would be enough for him.
  2. Bring the break back for the 2nd sprint, at the 100km mark. Then do the same as above.
  3. Let it all come down to the final sprint. Let Kittel sprint, but get Trentin on his wheel. The Italian is very fast and would have a good chance of a podium spot, denying Nizzolo the necessary seconds.

They certainly have an interesting choice to make. I would go with option 2.

JJ Lobato could spring a surprise. When sprinting well, he is capable of a podium position but he isn’t as fast as Kittel and Cavendish. It looks certain that he’ll drop down to 3rd on GC. Still a good week for the Spaniard, with positive signs going into Andalucia.

We will never know what Mark Cavendish would have done today. I think he would have been challenging Nizzolo for 2nd. He will be angry, a good emotion for a sprinter. Sadly, Bernie Eisel broke his collarbone, leaving Cavendish with just one rider in the sprints. Renshaw and Cavendish are experienced campaigners, don’t expect them to roll over and surrender. They will hope that the others waste energy on the bonus sprints and he can be fresh for the finale. As he only has Renshaw, he’ll need to come from behind Kittel to win. This is not easy!

Prediction Time

Stage win for Kittel and the overall.

David HunterFollow us on @CiclismoInterJoin us on facebook: Ciclismo Internacional

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