Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco 2014 – Stage 3 preview – Ciclismo Internacional

Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco 2014 – Stage 3 preview

By David Hunter

Stage 2 Recap

As I predicted the break made it! Despite picking Tim Wellens, here is what I said about Tony Martin,

“The big German likes to warm up for his TTs and this could be a chance to do just that.”

Only Sky and Orica tried to bring him back and as I said, they don’t have the big engines in their squad. It was another amazing performance by Tony and all that watched him lose by 5 metres in La Vuelta, will have been delighted to see him win.

Stage 3 Urdaz-Urdazubi – Vitoria 194.5km

Today is the day for the sprint!

vasco3

2 cat 2 climbs at the start of the stage and then 2 cat 3 climbs at the end. The final climb is not difficult:vasco31

This means that a fairly large group will arrange at the finish in Vitoria. Time for a history lesson! Daryl Impey won this stage in 2012 and 2013. Last year it was a mild surprise that Michael Matthews was his lead-out man, but this year Impey is not riding and Orica will be all for Michael “Bling” Matthews. Tha Aussie won La Rioja on Sunday and rode well in stage 2, choosing not to contest the sprint. His only competition is Ben Swift of Team Sky.

Swift has had a good start to 2014. He was 2nd in Trofeo Ses Salines, 3rd in Trofeo Platja de Muro, 3rd in Milan-SanRemo and won stage 1 in Coppi e Bartali.  You have to take his win in Italy with a pinch of salt. His team broke the peloton in 2 and he basically won a sprint against himself. In stage 3, he was comprehensively beaten by Elia Viviani. In stage 2 of this race, he only just managed to beat Michal Kwiatkowski in the sprint, this was not a good sign.

Orica have spoken about their motivation to win a stage in this race and this stage in particular. This is certain to end in a bunch sprint and I’m equally certain that Michael Matthews will win.

If looking elsewhere, then good luck! The battle for 3rd should be between Tosh Van der Sande(Lotto) and Daniele Ratto(Cannondale). I probably favour the Belgian after some impressive performances in Catalunya.

Predicition time …. Michael Matthews, easy

David Hunter

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2 thoughts on “Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco 2014 – Stage 3 preview

  1. I’m a big fan of Tosh Van der Sande… But he has been sick and on antibiotics this week so dont count on him for a top 3 tomorrow. Normally a stage for him but not in these conditions.

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