Tour de Suisse 2015 – Stage 5 Preview – Ciclismo Internacional

Tour de Suisse 2015 – Stage 5 Preview

By David Hunter

Wil – Biel 193.1km


At last, a day for sprint fans! After a prologue and 4 gruelling stages, we have a day suited to the fast men. There are still a few bumps along the way, but nothing that should see any of the sprinters dropped. The only classified climb is 1km at 8.3%. This is a day for a sprint finish, possibly the only one in the whole race.

Time to talk sprinters and trains:)

Kristoff arrives his most of his top team: Guarnieri, Haller, Kozontchuk, Kuznetsov and Laugtin. The Italian has worked very well with Kristoff, in 2015. He might not be as recognised as Renshaw or Henderson, but he is one of the best lead-out men, in the world. It’s been quite the year for Kristoff: 3 wins in Qatar, 1 in Oman, 1 in Paris-Nice, 3 in De Panne, 2 in Norway and 3 in Fjords. Not to mention his one day successes!

Cavendish has Renshaw, Trentin, Vermote, Stybar and Kwiatkowski. With no GC prospect and a poor week, Etixx, will be looking forward to getting a good result. Every stage race he’s finished, this year, the Manx Missel has walked away with 1 win, at worst(same with Kristoff). He picked up 1 in San Luis, 2 in Dubai, 3 in Turkey and 4 in California. It really has been a brilliant 5 months for Cav, as he regained his seat at the top table of elite sprinters.

It’s very interesting to see both sprinters arrive with their best lead-out man. Kristoff’s biggest sprint wins have been in PN and Scheldprijs. In both races, it was Guarnieri, guiding him into the right place. The Italian, is not a lead-out man, in the image of Renshaw or Henderson. He is normally content to place Kristoff around 3rd wheel, with 250m to go. He doesn’t surge to the front, giving a classic lead-out. The reason for this, is a lack of top end speed. What he lacks in speed, he makes up for in tactical ability. He knows the strength of Kristoff, although, does he have the speed to come round Cavendish? They have sprinted against each other just once, in 2015. It was back in March, in KBK. Lotto controlled the final kilometre, but Guarnieri managed to bring Kristoff to the front with 300m to go. He launched his sprint, but Cavendish was able to come round him. That defeat will still hurt!

A huge part of Cav’s success, has been Mark Renshaw. They are back to their HTC level and everyone is scared of them. My only concern is the rest of the train, which is lacking a few men. The will look towards the World Champion, in the hope of a big pull, inside 3km. With Renshaw at his side, Cavendish will be confident of success.

We do have a number of fast sprinters here: Degenkolb, Sagan, Demare, Albasini, Bonifazio and Stuyven.

John Degenkolb arrives with a strong team: Preidler, Frohlinger, Arndt and De Kort. This will certainly be able to rival Etixx and Katusha, in the closing kilometres. They no longer have to defend yellow, this stage is all about the German. To beat Cavendish and Kristoff, he would need a brilliant lead-out. De Kort is good, but is he that good?

Arnaud Demare won 2 stages in Tour of Belgium. He will be helped by William Bonnet and Sebastien Chavanel. Lacking in numbers, they will need to time their move well, but he is in good form and about to peak for the TDF. Demare will fancy his chances of making the podium.

Prediction Time

No way the sprinters pass up this opportunity. Etixx and Katusha will have a battle to control the closing kilometres, with Etixx winning. If I was DS, I would let Kwiatkowski control from 1.5km. He would pass onto Trentin, then Renshaw, then Cavendish. Kristoff is fast and Guarnieri is good, but Cavendish is the best. A win for Cav, an important one before the Tour.

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

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