Tour de Pologne 2021 – Stage 4 preview

By David Hunter

Tarnów > Bukovina Resort 161km

The Queen stage but not as we know it.

This stage is the one that normally settles the GC, but this year it’s significantly easier. I’m reliably informed this is due to the poor road conditions in the area. We still have a steep climb of 2km at 9%, but this is stuck in the middle of the stage, where it’s unlikely to see any action. It looks like the peloton be will together until the final 20km.

Weather

Another sunny day with hardly any wind.

Key Points

7.1km at 4.2%, with a steep section close to the crest. This is where the pace will be pushed, and the sprinters dropped. The top of the climb is just 11km from home, it’s possible for a small group to go clear and not be seen again, especially as the descent is narrow and fast.

The run for home starts with a steep ramp, levels off and then kicks up again at the finish.

Tactics

It’s hard to remove memories of this stage from my mind, but I need to as this year it should be totally different. With just 2577m of climbing we could have a relatively big group still together and potentially a sprint from around 50-70 riders, but it should be too hard for the pure sprinters.

Deceuninck – Quick Step are in control of the race, but they are unlikely to have the numbers to control all the attacks in the closing stages. They do have Cavagna, Honoré and Almeida, but I think they’ll look to join in with the moves, not hold the bunch together. The same can be said for the other big teams, namely Bahrain and UAE. I think we’ll see lots of attacking in the closing stages, the finish could be very unstructured.

We’ll have to wait and see if a team steps forward and looks to control for a sprint finish but given the climb up to the finishing line this won’t be easy. Despite a relatively boring looking profile I think we’ll get an exciting finish to the stage.

Contenders

Matej Mohorič – my God, his current form is off the scale. Despite already doing some big efforts, he somehow managed to finish third on Tuesday, that was an insane performance. This stage looks very good for him, remember that he has a good sprint on him. Bahrain will now be riding for him, he won’t have to waste energy earlier in the stage, he can save it all for the final 20km. He must start as the favourite; I hope he rides a patient race.

Diego Ulissi – very close to winning on Tuesday, he’ll be hopeful of going one better in this stage. The Italian has a strong uphill sprint, but will he be quicker than Mohorič? I think he’ll back himself to win if it comes to a sprint.

Michał Kwiatkowski – the Pole was badly let down by his teammates on Tuesday, he had no one left to help in the closing stages, meaning he used up valuable energy. This is another chance for him to fight for the stage win and valuable bonus seconds. If it ends in a sprint having a good position could be the difference between winning and losing.

Mikkel Honoré – the Deceuninck tactics will be interesting as they have two riders who could win this stage. I think they won’t simply wait for a sprint; they must use Honoré as an attacking option. He came very close to winning San Sebastian; his current form is very good, and he’ll sense a chance of winning the stage and moving into the race lead.

Dion Smith – it all depends on how hard they race the finale. Smith copes well with hills and has a fast finish. If the group is relatively big, he’ll still be there and will likely be faster than the riders already mentioned.

Lorenzo Rota – the Italian is enjoying a purple patch of form; it would be huge if he can take his first pro win at this race.

João Almeida – given his finishing speed he cannot be written off, but he would need the group to be fairly small to win the sprint.

Fernando Gaviria – okay, you might think I’ve lost my mind but let me explain myself! The finish isn’t that hard, it is possible for a sprinter to survive if things are controlled. In the Tour de Wallonie he made the select front group in stage 4, after a very steep little climb. He has a small chance of winning this one.

Jake Stewart – he likes a sprint after a tough day, I’m hoping he makes the front group and gets a chance to sprint for his first professional win.

Stefano Oldani – current form is very good, and he also packs a fast sprint finish. Lotto Soudal will be working for Wellens, but I hope they save Oldani back for a potential sprint.

Prediction Time

It’s very hard to see past Matej Mohorič given his current form.

David Hunter

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram

Join us on facebook: Ciclismo Internacional

Copyright © 2012-2021 Ciclismo Internacional. All Rights Reserved

2 thoughts on “Tour de Pologne 2021 – Stage 4 preview

  1. Almeida deserves more credit in your reviews, he is the favourite for this race and today he will attack again… Today or Tomorrow Mohoric is out of contention i believe

Leave a Reply

close
Facebook IconTwitter IconMi BlogMi Blog
%d bloggers like this: