By David Hunter
Stage 3 Recap
Sprint, as expected, and won by Hofland, as expected! Wackermann delivered the sprint I expected, in stage 1, to claim 2nd place. Easy when you’re the only sprinter in the race.
Stage 4 Ogden – Powder Mountain 168.5km
At last, some real action!
Of course, I don’t mean action throughout the whole stage! My advice, is to go and do whatever you like, until the final climb. It’s going to be one boring stage until then.
The final climb is a beauty, 9.5km at 10.4%. Forget all that’s gone before, this is when the race begins.
Who can cope with the climb? Who has the team to support them? Will a break make it?
I’ll look at the last question, first.
The break has no chance, because it will be full of lower riders, who aren’t good enough. Belkin, Garmin and BMC want the stage and they’ll fight it out.
So, who can cope with the climb? We have the big name climbers: Danielson, Kelderman, Zoidl, Horner, Evans, Basso, Bennett, Busche and Ancona. We have the lesser known riders: Jones, Diniz, Euser, Jaramillo and Bolivar.
Who has the best team? Garmin-Sharp, by a mile.
So what will happen? Garmin will ride tempo and dominate the final climb. It will be a battle of the fittest and we will gradually lose riders, due to the pace of the peloton. Riders will find it hard to attack, due to the tempo and altitude. Eventually, we will have a group of 10 riders with around 3km to go. At that point it will explode!
I would love to see some of the lesser known riders stay with the big names. They riders I’ve mentioned are very talented and deserve to show themselves on the big stage.
The climb itself is very straight. Riders don’t like this, as they just get to stare into the distance. If we have a headwind, it will make it very difficult to attack and stay away. The wind will have a large impact on the stage.
I see a fight between Danielson, Kelderman, Busche, Bolivar and Jaramillo. Given that the team arrived in America, weeks ago, and he’s been riding these climbs, I think Wilco Kelderman will take a big win for him and Belkin.
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