By David Hunter
Bellinzona – Bellinzona 120km
Last chance for the sprinters, to be fair, it’s the one and only chance for a few of them!
Standard circuit race, with no categorised climbs. With just 824m of climbing, this is a nailed on sprint.
A lovely day for the bunch.
Relatively straightforward, but it is important to be at the front for the final corner. After that we have a long bend to the left and holding the inside line will give you an advantage.
Fernando Gaviria – no stage win in this race, something that will be annoying him. He’s been close, but just not close enough to take the win. This should be a traditional sprint, which gives him a big advantage over his rivals. The Colombian has the best sprint train in the race and they are sure to be in control of the final kilometres. That will allow Gaviria to be the first to launch his sprint, we’ll have to see if anyone can come past him.
Peter Sagan – has been in impressive form during this race, his rivals must be very worried about July. Despite not really having a recognised lead out, Sagan simply positions himself near the front of the race and doesn’t move! His bike handling skills are second to none and he can easily jump from wheel to wheel, even in the craziest of sprints. He would like to take another win, as it would be a big psychological blow to his rivals.
Andre Greipel – turns out Gorillas don’t like Switzerland! I don’t think I’ve seen him once this week and his team will be hoping for a much better performance in this stage. The German is now in the twilight of his career, but still capable of pulling out some big results. We will have to see if he still has what it takes to win a sprint finish against the very best in the world.
Arnaud Demare – another who didn’t enjoy the first two sprint stages. The full FDJ sprint train will be on hand to guide their sprinter into position and they are good. Demare will be put into a great spot and we’ll have to see what his sprinting legs are like. This week will have done him good, as he certainly arrived a little under cooked.
John Degenkolb – I have my concerns about his future in the big sprints. I hope I’m wrong, but he just doesn’t seem to have it anymore.
Alexander Kristoff – needs a confidence boost before the Tour. Similar to Greipel and Degenklolb, Kristoff will be wondering if he has what it takes to trouble Sagan and Gaviria. He might have won five races this season, but Kristoff is looking like a shadow of his former self.
Sonny Colbrelli – flat sprint, he won’t be winning.
Michael Matthews – see above.
Should be Gaviria v Sagan v Demare. After his performance in California, I think we’ll see Fernando Gaviria take the win and give Sagan a little pat on the head!
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