Paris – Nice 2016 – Prologue Preview

By David Hunter

Conflans Sainte Honorine 6.1km

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This is a day for the power riders. Very little braking, it’s full gas all the way. Many riders will have been training for this, by doing 5 minute power tests. These are not fun!

The short distance means that very little will separate the riders, just one mistake will ensure that you don’t win. These short efforts are not for all riders, it takes a specific skill set to win this type of stage.

Contenders

Tom Dumoulin – should start as the favourite. Has really developed into one of the best TT riders in the world. The short distance should suit him as he has great acceleration.

Jos van Emden – had a great 2015, in terms of TT results. He will be hoping to continue that in 2016, but might not get the best starting slot from Jumbo, as Kelderman is their main man.

Matthias Brandle – good over short distances, but yet to prove himself in world tour races. Top 5 for me.

Lars Boom – should be great for him, but his recent record isn’t great. You have to go all the way to February 2013 for his last TT success. Seems to be living off his reputation in this discipline.

Niki Terpstra – the beast! Would like some crosswinds.

Geraint Thomas – has a huge chance. As an ex-pursuit rider, this distance is perfect for him. An early win would set him up nice for the coming week.

Wilco Kelderman – the flying Dutchman is one to watch. Jumbo were the big improvers in TTs last year, mainly due to an excellent bike. Kelderman was very close to a win in the Andalucia TT, this distance suits him better.

Michael Matthews – been waiting a while for him to seriously challenge in a TT. Have a feeling that my wait will continue, although, he should finish in the top 10.

Marcel Kittel – given his form and his good record in prologues, I think we have a serious contender on our hands. Etixx are used to winning stages like this, he represents their best chance here.

Jerome Coppel – a huge improver in the TT category. The short distance is not brilliant for him, but do not count him out. I have been hugely impressed by him and he’s in wonderful form. Could challenge for the win.

Prediction Time

It really should be Dumoulin but something in my head is telling me Kelderman is going to win. I’ll listen to the voice in my head and go with Wilco Kelderman!

David Hunter

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