By David Hunter
Flamatt – Murten 161km
The first opportunity for the pure sprinters.
We still have a few bumps along the way, but it’s just about as flat as you get in the Tour de Suisse. This is a nailed on sprint finish.
The run for home is relatively straightforward for the bunch, but there is a sting in the tail.
Once the riders make the tight left turn, the road rises for the final 300m at 6%. As the corner is tight, the riders won’t be able to carry a lot of speed into the final rise, making it a tough little finish. This is certainly still one for the sprinters, but the kick up also gives the punchy sprinters a chance to beat the speed demons.
A beautiful day with little wind.
Elia Viviani – had a disappointing time at the Giro, which seemed to really affect his confidence. The Italian should have had some time to reset his goals and arrives in this race with a point to prove. He has the best sprint train in the race, he’s able to call on the help of Asgreen, Lampaert, Mørkøv and Richeze in the closing stages. That should put him in prime position for the final kilometre, but only if he chooses to follow his train. He needs to ditch his tactic of trying to follow other sprinters, he needs faith in his train as they are the best in the business.
Peter Sagan – you can bet he’s in a great spot for the final corner, he always is. Sagan will look at the uphill sprint with excitement, he’s a very hard man to beat in a finish like this.
Alexander Kristoff – he’ll like the look of the final 300m, but needs a good position to challenge. His team don’t have a recognised lead out man, meaning Kristoff will have to do the positioning all by himself. He is still capable of getting into a good spot, but this is certainly a disadvantage compared to some of his rivals.
Matteo Trentin – this is a finish that should suit the Italian. After a disappointing 2018, he’s returned to old ways in 2019, riding as good as ever before. His sprint train isn’t the best, but he is good at looking after himself in sprint finishes. If he starts the final 300m in a good position, he’ll expect to finish on the podium.
John Degenkolb – with strong rumours about his time at Trek coming to an acrimonious end, it looks like the German might not be going to the Tour, especially as it seems he’s signing for Lotto. It’s always disappointing when this happens, but I can understand where the team are coming from. Degenkolb can either react by going in a sulk, or proving to everyone why he should be on the start line in July. It will be difficult for him to win against these riders, but he should be challenging for the podium.
Michael Matthews – another rider who likes an uphill sprint, but he would prefer it to be slightly longer. The Aussie is a magnificent rider, but he lacks the explosive kick that some of the other sprinters possess. He should be challenging, but winning will be hard.
As we have a tight corner and an uphill sprint, it has to be a day for Peter Sagan.
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