Tour of Britain 2018 – Stage 5 Preview – Ciclismo Internacional

Tour of Britain 2018 – Stage 5 Preview

By David Hunter

Cockermouth – Whinlatter 14km TTT

Welcome to the strangest TTT you’re likely to see.

We have rolling roads for the opening 4km, a short flat section and a grippy climb. People will obviously focus on the climb, but the opening 7km is also going to be very important. Once onto the climb, we’re talking about 6km at around 4%.

You can see from the profile that the climb has some difficult and easy sections, it’s going to be very hard for teams to find a rhythm. The climb actually has it all: steep sections, flat sections and downhill sections. This could be carnage.

Despite only having six men on each team, the time will be taken when the fourth man crosses the line. Given the terrain, this is rather harsh and will certainly slow some squads down.

Weather

Should be dry, with a strengthen wind from the West. This means a tailwind and it’s better to be a late starter.

Contenders

Sky – on paper, they have the strongest team, but what about in reality? Both Froome and Thomas are a long way from top form, leaving the squad a little thin on the ground.  If Sky are going to win the stage, they need huge performances from their two superstars, but I’m not sure they have enough left in the tank.

BMC – as always, BMC arrived with this stage as the target. Funnily enough, their team doesn’t look the strongest but they always perform incredibly well in this discipline. Van Garderden, Bevin and Küng will need to be at their strongest, but they’ll also need another rider to step up and deliver a big ride.

QuickStep – they have three of the strongest riders in this race: Jungels, Alaphilippe and Schachmann. I think they would easily win the stage, if the time was taken on the third rider. The pressure will fall on the shoulders of Max Richeze to be their fourth man and he’ll need to hang tough as the big engines push on. Like all teams, they must think very carefully about how they attack the climb.

Jumbo – we have some big engines, but not the best climbing four. Roglic is strong, but not 100%. Van Emden is strong, but not the best on the climb. It’s going to be difficult for Jumbo to threaten the podium.

Katusha – the dark horses for the stage, as they have Tony Martin, Dowsett, Schmidt and Pollitt. The amount of climbing in the final 6km will probably stop them from winning, but a podium spot is a realistic ambition.

Prediction Time

It’s always wise to pick BMC to win a TTT and I’ll stick with that rule!

*Overall Preview

David Hunter

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