Tour of Poland 2014 – Stage 4 Preview – Ciclismo Internacional

Tour of Poland 2014 – Stage 4 Preview

By David Hunter

Stage 3 Recap

At last we got a real sprint! Chaos rained on the finishing circuit as it was tight and narrow. Giant delivered the best lead-out but Modolo got on the end of the train, not Mezgec. With the Italian in the best position, it looked like he was going to win. Behind him was Mezgec, then Matthews, then Bos. Modolo quickly started to lose ground, with Mezgec powering past him. Coming all the way from 4th wheel was a flying Theo Bos. The Dutchman took a superb win, with Mezgec 2nd and Matthews 3rd.

Stage 4 Tarnow Gemini Park – Katowice 236km

pol3Yet another monster day in the saddle, yet another day for the sprinters, yet another circuit finish. Is anyone else getting bored of this?

pol4pfThere is a slight rise from 3km remaining to 1km, but nothing to put off any sprinters.

katowice

With 2km remaining, the riders turn left and begin two long straights, separated by a u-turn. This looks, on paper, a similar finish to stage 1, but no bridges!

The circuit is fairly technical with many corners. It won’t be easy for teams to control the run-in and it looks to favour a breakaway rider, but it’s the last chance for any sprinter to take a victory, so they’ll be keen to get this one right.

With Vakoc of OPQS still in the yellow jersey, we can assume that they will ride to keep him in it for another day. All the breaks have been small, so far, usually populated by Polish riders. I think this pattern will continue.

After today it’s clear we have to consider 4 sprinters for the win: Bos, Mezgec, Matthews and Modolo.

Matthews won the sprint for 2nd in stage 2, but not against the other big 3. Today, he struggled to match their pace.

Mezgec complained about gearing problems today, but he looked like he ran out of gas.

Bos was great today but he is very inconsistent and can’t be trusted.

Today was Modolo’s first sprint for a while and this might explain his lack of top-end speed.

Prediction time…

With today’s sprint in the legs, I go for Modolo.

David Hunter

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