The Tour of Britain 2016 – Overall preview – Ciclismo Internacional

The Tour of Britain 2016 – Overall preview

By David Hunter

We are back in Britain, for 8 stages, including a split stage. It promises to be another entertaining edition of the race.

Stage 1

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The race begins in Glasgow, the city of my birth! It’s a lumpy stage, but should end in a bunch sprint.

Stage 2

tob2ok

The 2nd stage is much harder affair. It has 3715m of climbing in 187.7km, that’s a lot. This should end with a much reduced peloton, with a strong chance of a small group of 4 riders sprinting for the stage and yellow jersey.

Stage 3

tob3

It has less climbing than the previous day, but a lot of it comes in the second half. The two cat 1 climbs will make it tough for the sprinters.

Stage 4

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The longest stage of the race at 218km. It features a total of 4225m of climbing, making it one for the classics specialists. This is a really tough day in the saddle.

Stage 5

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Another tough day in the saddle, but this should be one for the sprinters, despite the little kicker near the finish.

Stage 6

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The summit finish in Dartmoor is back. A tough climb, but don’t expect big gaps between the top 5 riders, it isn’t that hard.

Stage 7a

tob7

We have a 15km TT in the morning, that will go a long way to deciding who will win the yellow jersey.

Stage 7b

Six laps of the TT course, in the afternoon. Each lap features 600m at 9%, making it possible to see some movement on GC. This is a really difficult split stage.

Stage 8

tob8

Sprint stage in London to finish the week off.

Contenders

Wout Poels – was amazing in the Tour de France, but flopped in Rio. He was 2nd here in 2015, losing out to Edvald Boasson Hagen. The terrain looks great for him, with a hill finish and a 15km ITT. Sky always want to win their home races, so expect them to ride aggressively.

Nico Roche – would normally start as one of the favourites, but this is his first race since falling ill during the Olympics. That makes it very hard for him to be competitive.

Dan Martin – the TT will kill off his hopes.

Adrien Costa – the 19 year old, American sensation, makes his Etixx debut. He’s just finished 2nd in the Tour of Utah and 3rd in the Tour de l’Avenir. Considering his age, he must be starting to feel tired. Even if he doesn’t ride for GC, it will be good to see one of the stars of the future.

Steve Cummings – this looks great for him. Very rarely gets to threaten in stage races, he will be looking forward to this one. He won the Tour de Med back in 2014, a race with a similar TT to this one.

Gorka Izagirre – rarely gets a chance to ride for himself. A strong climber, with an even better TT. He has the skills required to go well and threaten for the overall win. He also has a strong sprint, so he might pick up a few bonus seconds along the way, a vital part of week long stage racing.

Rohan Dennis – the hill finish isn’t a mountain, this is England! Dennis should not be getting dropped and has one of the best TTs in the field. He must start as one of the favourites. In 2015, he won the Tour Down Under and USA Pro Challenge, he is a rider that can win stage races. Team Sky will be scared of him. He looked good in California, finishing 2nd on GC.

Tony Gallopin – due to the demanding nature of the route, Gallopin has a great chance of winning a few stages. The hill finish shouldn’t really be too hard for him and he can do a good TT when he needs to. I love that he’s here, as he’s a classy rider.

Tom Dumoulin – here to prepare for the World Championships, but I still expect him to challenge for the yellow jersey. Was going great in the Tour, until his crash. He would have been disappointed with silver in Rio, the guy’s a winner. Starts the race as one of the favourites.

Prediction Time

Due to the 15km TT, it should be Dumoulin v Dennis v Poels. The Sky man, Poels, will lose time in the TT, so he needs to ride an attacking race. Sky have the quality to disrupt the other teams, especially Giant, who don’t look very strong. BMC have a solid team to support Dennis, he should be confident. All three riders should be able to handle the lumpy terrain and the hill top finish. This is going to be very close! I think that Rohan Dennis has enough to take the yellow jersey.

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

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