Ruta Del Sol 2015 – Stage 5 Preview – Ciclismo Internacional

Ruta Del Sol 2015 – Stage 5 Preview

By David Hunter

Montilla – Alhaurin de la Torre 169.8km

and5The last stage and the easiest day in the saddleandalucía6We only one categorised climb and a long downhill run towards the finishing line, the sprinters will be getting excited. Sorry boys but the final kilometre is not to your liking!

and5aThe final kilometre rises at an average of 7%, but that’s not the full story. From 500metres to go until 200metres, we have an average of 21%. This is what the road book says, having viewed the street I don’t think it’s as steep. Sometimes, the road book does get it wrong, but so can I!

and5bThis is how I see the end of the stage. The first section is 6.3% for 470metres, followed by 7.1% for 210m. Once we turn right, the road levels out for a flat finish. It reminds me of the stage 1 finish in the Volta ao Algarve and is on a similar type of road.

and5c

The final kilometre is a very long suburban street. As it rises, they can see it go all the way to the right turn. The turn is very tight, more than 90 degrees and it’s narrow. It is vital that you are in the first 10 riders, at this point.

We’ve already had an uphill sprint, with Lobato taking a great win. Both he and Degenkolb are very good sprinting uphill, it’ll be good to see a rematch, as Degenkolb wants a stage!

After a brilliant performance in stage 4, Chris Froome leads Alberto Contador by just 2 seconds. It’s going to be very difficult for Contador to gain that time back. For me, the GC is over. A bold statement!

Other riders who will enjoy the uphill finish are: Hofland, Gasparotto, Theuns, Ligthart, Ratto, Bole and Vichot.

Prediction Time

The stage is all set for another Degenkolb/Lobato battle. This is very close to call, but I think Degenkolb will get his revenge. Importantly, the finish is actually flat and Lobato doesn’t win many flat sprints, he’s much better sprinting on an incline. If the road does turn out to be 21%, then watch out for Enrico Gasparotto. Having won Amstel Gold he’s no stranger to this type of climb.

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