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Posts Tagged ‘Mark Cavendish’

The overall top 3 for the Tour is virtually locked in after the Pyrenees, with the likely result of the final time trial being to simply confirm the dominance of the two Sky boys, and shuffle a few of the lower places.  Prior to that, we have a 221km stage that nominally should be a sprint stage, but likely sprint teams will need to be motivated to control things  as it is a very tough day in the saddle.  Exhaustion for those who are already exhausted.

Firstly, such a long stage at such a late point is tough, and secondly, the profile (and knowing the area from races I’ve been to in previous years) is almost NEVER flat.  This is a total headwreck of a day – it is mentally exhausting to be constantly up and down little rollers, and in and out of corners.  Riders need to concentrate all day to avoid crashes and be in the right place at the right time

Translation: it wouldn’t be a surprise if the break stays away!  The responsibility will largely rest on the Orica GreenEdge boys as they haven’t been working on the front of the bunch for the past few days (unlike the Lotto, Liquigas and Sky lads, who have all been working hard for their various GC men).

I’m hoping they do the job, and Gossy delivers on the line.  He’s in good form, but hasn’t quite bopped a win yet.  Tonight is his night!  Followed by Cav then Greipel.

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Today we see the closing stage of the opening flurry of salvos fired in the battle for the Green Jersey.  This will be another bunch kick stage that covers 210km, and brings the race in range of the mountains and hills that will play a role in deciding the final order of the overall contenders.

Once again, there will be a break of a few riders from unthreatening teams allowed to get away by the Radioshack Nissan controlled peloton, once a certain time gap and a certain distance from home is reached, the Shack boys will be joined by riders from any of the teams who fancy their sprinters to win the day, and the break will be reeled in.  Presumably a little further out than they were last night!
There will be a few attempts to shoot off the front in the final 10km, but once the Lotto-Belisol boys get themselves organised, the train will steam along without too many lads having the ability to streak away.
The final has two 90degree corners, but shouldn’t be too hectic, and if Andre Greipel has as ggood a lead as he had yesterday, he should be a special to win it again.
Greipel from Cav from Goss.

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Stage 5 is a guaranteed bunch kick.  It is in the mold of the traditional early week flat stages of the Tour from years gone by.  It is a 197km shot across the northeast of France, coincidentally passing very close to where the Australian WW1 cemetery at Villers-Brettoneux is located.   A very moving place.

The final kilometre today (moving right along after a mildly random digression) includes a 30m climb and a very sharp left hand turn, so despite the stage itself being a bunch kick, the winner is anything but a foregone conclusion!  The corner being so sharp and so late in the race means that there will be a virtual race by the teams with leadout trains to get to that corner first, meaning Lotto Bellisol for Greipel and Orica GreenEdge for Gossy will be battling it out.

The only man thus far able to double down on his wins is Peter Sagan, and I think that statisstic will remain the same as Greipel is noted for struggling to hold his position when the sprint is hectic.  For that reason, I’m plumping for Gossy to win it (biased? Moi?) with Cav to bop a second place and Sagan rounding it out for third.

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