Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana 2016 – Stage 3 Preview – Ciclismo Internacional

Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana 2016 – Stage 3 Preview

By David Hunter

Sagunto – Alzira 173.5km

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After a day for TT riders and one for the climbers, today is a chance for the sprinters to shine. The early climb should make it straightforward for the break to get a nice lead, it will be up to the sprinter teams to keep it at a reachable gap. Team Sky will also pitch in, they hate letting a break getting a big lead.

The sprinters have decided to come to this race as we have two potential sprinting days. Their teams will ensure that they don’t waste them. That being said, we don’t have a huge amount of sprinting talent.

Cofidis – Simon, Bozic, Soupe, Bouhanni.

IAM – Brandle, Clement, Hollenstein, Tanner, Van Genechten

Katusha – Porsev

Etixx – Terpstra, Lampaert, Boonen, Meersman

Jumbo – Martens, Groenewegen

Roompot – Ray Kreder

Bardiani – Boem, Colbrelli, Simion, Ruffoni

Team Roth – Andrea Pasqualon

GM – Filippo Fortin

Southeast – Fonzi, Bertazzo, Mareczko

In terms of speed, this should be a battle between Bouhanni and Mareczko. However, positioning is hugely important, so riding for a good team really helps. That brings Meersman, Van Genechten and Groenewegen into the mix. Southeast don’t have the strongest squad, so Mareczko will have to ride the train of another team. We all remember how fast he was in San Luis, this kid can sprint!

Getting past Nacer Bouhanni will not be easy. He arrives with a full sprint train, including Borut Bozic, their new signing from Astana. He will be a very important addition to the squad, as they often looked one man light in the big races. With Bozic in the team, they have a very talented train, with three quick riders. Bouhanni just needs to stop falling off his bike! He started the season well, finishing behind Greipel in Mallorca. This is a big chance to get his first win.

Etixx are always good at leading out their sprinters, but Meersman didn’t have a sprint in Mallorca. I am unsure about his form, but he does like sprinting in Spain. Given the riders he has to help, he will be put into the right position, form will tell what he does from there.

IAM also arrive with a strong lead-out, but Van Genechten is an inconsistent sprinter. They are a team that devote a lot of time in preparing the sprint, so expect to see them in the closing kilometres.

Dylan Groenewegen has just taken a step up, moving from Roompot. The main difference for sprinters moving to bigger teams is the lead-out. No longer will he be fighting around 10th wheel, he’ll be at the pointy end of the action. That will give everyone a chance to see just how fast he is. I will be watching with interest.

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It’s a fairly straightforward finish for the sprinters, except the 180 degree turn with 660m to go. That will make it a double sprint: one for the turn and one for the finish. It also means you need to be explosive, as you must slow right down for the turn. All the riders will then have to pick up their speed again, with only 600m until the finish. Having a strong lead-out and a good position is important.

Prediction Time

Cofidis have the longest and fastest train. Bouhanni is the fastest sprinter here. Sometimes 2+2=4, it’s a Bouhanni win!

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

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