By David Hunter
Fethiye – Marmaris 128.6km
After today’s long stage, this is the shortest of the race, just 128.6km long.
It is a stage that is punctuated by many climbs, but only one categorised effort. The cat 2 hill is 8.3km at 3.9%, nothing that will worry the peloton. The crucial point of this race, is the uncategorised climb that crests just 7km from the finish.
This is a popular finish for the organisers, especially as Marmaris is a big tourist resort. The climb is on a long stretch of highway, but it does kick up near the top. Most of the climb is around 3%, but the final 500m does see slopes near 6%. If a team puts in a big effort, lots of riders will be dropped.
The previous stages in Marmaris have all ended in sprints, but featuring a significantly reduced peloton. Expect to see around 50 riders left, once we crest the climb.
Two turns in the final kilometre will certainly make this an interesting finish.
It’s a very fast finish, with riders carrying a lot of momentum off the climb. Despite this, the stage always finishes in a sprint, but there is a chance for attackers to escape the bunch.
Similar conditions to the opening two stages, sun and not much wind.
Sam Bennett – two wins from two, Bennett is going very well. This stage is different from the opening two, the climb will test him deep into the season. Already having two wins means that there is no pressure on his shoulders and he’ll see if he can stay with the bunch over the climb. If he does, he has good chance of taking his third win.
Edward Theuns – this is a stage he’ll love the look of. Coming out of the Vuelta, Eddy has maintained a high level of performance. He might have lost a little speed from his sprint, but he is climbing very well. Expect to see a huge effort from Trek, as they try to put Bennett into difficulty on the climb.
Gregor Muhlberger – should be plan B for Bora. The 23 year old Austrian champion has enjoyed a strong season. A vital part of the lead out train, he is also a strong climber, helping Majka to win the Tour of Slovenia. If Bennett gets dropped, he will go hunting the stage win.
Diego Ulissi – we’ve already seen him being very active in this race, taking bonus seconds at intermediate sprints. It will be hard for him to escape the bunch, as he is one of the GC favourites, but he has the punch required to gap most riders at the top of the climb. Once over the top, it’s up to his descending skills. The Italian won’t be the only rider interested in attacking, we should see him near the front making sure his rivals don’t escape.
Trek to set a fierce pace on the climb and Edward Theuns to take the win. This looks a brilliant stage for him.
Follow us on @CiclismoInter
Join us on facebook: Ciclismo Internacional
Copyright © 2012-2017 Ciclismo Internacional. All Rights Reserved