Eneco Tour 2014 – Stage 7 Preview – Ciclismo Internacional

Eneco Tour 2014 – Stage 7 Preview

By David Hunter

Stage 6 Recap

What a day! The break went and it featured Boonen and Moser, amongst others. Last man standing was Nathan Haas. In the final 15km, the GC boys started to attack each other. Due to a lack of teammates, Tom Dumoulin was left isolated. He chased a few attacks down, but when Tim Wellens attacked, he was allowed some freedom. The peloton let Dumoulin do the chasing and with 5km to go, Lars Boom attacked. It was a ferocious, sustained attack and Dumoulin couldn’t get on his wheel. Wellens was too far in front for Boom to catch him and he took the stage win. Boom hung on to second place, with Greg Van Avermaet in third. Tom Dumoulin was only two seconds after Boom, a great effort, but he lost the overall lead. Tim Wellens is now the leader of the race, with 7 seconds on Boom and 13 on Dumoulin.

Stage 7 Riemst – Sittard/Geleen 183.4km

eneco7

After a wonderful week of racing, we end with a mini Amstel Gold. With just 13 seconds separating the top 3, we are in for a very nervous, attacking race.

After a disastrous week, Lotto have ended up in the lead! Can they defend it? It’s going to be very difficult for Wellens to hang on for the win. He doesn’t have an explosive sprint, so it’s unlikely he’ll end up in the bonus seconds. This increases the chances of Lars Boom taking the win.

Boom and Dumoulin have been the best riders this week. They have been consistently strong and look set to battle it out, in this stage. Dumoulin suffered today, as he was made to chase and didn’t have any teammates. That won’t happen in this stage. With the pressure on Wellens, he can sit back and carefully time his attack.

Lars Boom has been able to respond to the attacks of Dumoulin, and he broke him today. Lars will be confident of making the crucial move towards the end of the stage.

Greg Van Avermaet continues to look in great form. He probably won’t be able to finish on the podium, but could easily take another stage win. He is now the main man for BMC, after Gilbert’s disappointing show today.

The battle for bonus seconds, means the chances of the break surviving is very slim. I would expect to see Ian Stannard trying to test out his legs, in the morning break.

The stage will start to look like an elimination race, towards the end of the stage. The nature of the course means it’ll be survival of the fittest.

The weather will be another important factor in the race. There is only a small chance of rain but high winds are expected. Will Belkin try to create some echelons?

The other crucial factor is bonus seconds. At the finishing line, you got 10, 6 and 4 seconds for the top 3. That means a win for Boom and no Wellens in  the top 3 and Boom wins the GC. We also have 3, 2 and 1 available at the sprint points. Conveniently the organisers have placed one of these, with just 7km remaining in the stage. This is a great chance for Boom to take some seconds. With Vanmarcke also there, they’ll get him to sprint and cut down on the chance of Wellens getting any seconds. If Boom takes the 3 seconds and Wellens doesn’t get any bonus, then a 3rd place finish, at the end of the stage, will be enough to give Boom the overall victory on count back.

Prediction time…

Boom to win the GC, if he takes the intermediate sprint, he won’t need to win the stage. If he goes with Dumoulin, then he’ll let Tom take the stage.

David Hunter

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