• Rúben Silva

Tour de Pologne Stage 3 Preview

It was a very chaotic finish and the slight downhill would favour the power sprinters and one seized the opportunity to snatch a surprise win, Luka Mezgec found himself with the perfect scenario when a space opened itself in front of him and coming from the back he sprinted past Gaviria for a massive win in Katowice, in front of Gaviria and Ackermann.

Positive: Mezgec the winner taking the obvious prize for today's stage, I'll mention also Charles Planet of Novo Nordisk who is only a single second away from Ackermann after being on the breakaway the past two days.

Negative: Jakobsen was completely boxed in the sprint, Degenkolb also after his teammate led out the sprinters, and Dimension Data's bad run continues as Ben O'Connor lost time today and is virtually out of the GC.

The Route

Tradition remains as in the third day of racing the sprinters will have their way around. The profile again is very disleading, it's pan-flat in reality. It's a traditional stage in Poland there isn't anything really to note in the day.

The finishing circuit is again not a technical one, the finishing straight is 900 meters long and the whole lap is 6.2 kilometers long, which they will be doing 4 times.

The Weather

There's a small chance of rain, adding to that a breeze from the west which will get the riders into another headwind sprint as in the opening stage, will mean that positioning will be everything as it's been in the last two sprints, should favour the leadouts as the finish isn't technical.

The Favourites

Today was a sprint out of the ordinary, tomorrow we return to more familiar type of sprint, the stage should be easy to control again plus there aren't many riders with big intentions to be in the front of the race so we will see a repitition of the last stages.

Luka Mezgec and Danny van Poppel have been consistent and strong in front, they will get a secondary role but with a serious definition as they've dealt with the sprints very well, the headwind in the finishing straight will mean there's a chance that a rider coming from behind can once again take the win and I would like to mention them as the possibilities, Max Walscheid aswell but despite strong he hasn't nailed his timing in the sprints yet.

Fernando Gaviria hit it early in both the sprints so far and had two second places, he has the speed and tomorrow should be a good sprint for him, and the same can be said of Ackermann of course, he wasn't there today because he just couldn't get up to speed when Mezgec and Gaviria powered through but he was the best of the rest. Fabio Jakobsen, on the other hand, has not had a good run in the sprints at all, the first stage he was third but came from way behind and today he was completely blocked in the final meters. He still needs to learn the craft of positioning by himself in the peloton as he doesn't have the best team to lead him out here.

Marc Sarreau, Sacha Modolo have been decent in the sprints so far and consistent aswell, Jakub Mareczko and John Degenkolb haven't but they do have the speed it takes to be in the first places, between Ben Swift, Enzo Wouters and some other names who may have intentions in the end there could be some more surprises.

Prediction Time

Ackermann, Gaviria

Jakobsen, van Poppel, Walscheid

Mezgec, Sarreau, Mareczko, Modolo, Degenkolb, Venturini

I'm going with Fernando Gaviria for tomorrow, on stage 1 he was forced into going too early, today he made a brilliant move going early he just had a rider coming faster than him, tomorrow I think he can complete what he's been trying so far.

Make sure to let me in on your opinion, and of course follow me on twitter for the latest updates!