Tour de San Luis 2016 – Stage 5 Preview – Ciclismo Internacional

Tour de San Luis 2016 – Stage 5 Preview

By David Hunter

Renca – Juana Koslay 168.6km


After the fun in the mountains, we have another day for the sprinters. This is a favourite stage of the organisers, but the profile makes it look a much harder finish than it actually is. The end of the stage, looks around 6%, but it’s actually around 2%. That is nothing to worry about the riders.

Gaviria won in 2015, aided by a woeful Etixx lead-out for Cavendish. Nizzolo took the honours in 2014, Mattia Gavazzi in 2013 and Francesco Chicchi in 2012. This stage always delivers a sprint. Maybe this run is about to come to an end.

The only thing stopping the sprinters is a breakaway. This stage is sandwiched between two big mountain stages. With teams looking to save energy for the following day, the escape has a great chance of success.

To ensure it stays away, it does need to contain riders from the world tour teams. You’ll probably find a few phone calls made between these teams, as they agree to let the break go. Time to look at the contenders.

Movistar – Fran Ventoso.

Etixx – Fabio Sabatini.

Cannondale – Alex Howes.

AG2R – Quentin Jauregui.

Lampre – Jan Polanc.

Astana – Valerio Agnoli.

Tinkoff – Nikolay Trusov.

If the break contains riders from Movistar, Etixx and Astana then it’s time for the rest to have an easy day in the saddle. The other issue for fans of a sprint is the dominance of Fernando Gaviria. I hope you saw the look over his shoulder at the end of stage 3. That was a clear signal to everyone else that he is miles faster than them. Etixx will get no help on the front of the bunch, they don’t like this! Already with one stage in the bag, they might just sit up and let the break disappear.

The dominance of Gaviria, a stage in between mountain stages and lots of riders down on GC. This is as much a nailed on breakaway day as I’ve ever seen!

Personally, I’d love Vegard Breen to do well. I was amazed that his contract was not renewed by Lotto. He then had to wait for a long time, before securing a deal with the new Bretagne, Fortuneo – Vital Concept. It’s a drop down in level for the Norwegian, one he doesn’t deserve. He’s only signed a one year deal, so he’ll be hoping to claim some big results and move back to the world tour in 2017. A result here would help.

A rider who I haven’t mentioned yet is Marco Frapporti of Androni. Easily one of the breakaway champions, Frapporti is regularly seen out the front of the bunch. He just loves eating up the kilometres and getting his name on the television. It would be fitting to see him make the break, the day it survives. Androni could do with some good news.

If we do get a sprint, the top 3 will remain the same: Gaviria, Sagan, Viviani. I know, boring! It’s not the fault of the Colombian, he’s just too good.

Prediction Time

Marco “Breakaway Expert” Frapporti. In honesty, this stage is a total lottery!

David Hunter

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