Tour de Suisse Stage 3 Preview
Luis Leon Sanchez profited the most out of what was a very exciting opening stage, he won the stage and Kasper Asgreen moved into the lead after some bonus seconds in an intermediate sprint. The stage wasn't hard in general with an easy to control break, but the couple of climbs were pushed hard, with Asgreen and Omar Fraile the most agressive. After the descent Sanchez powered away from the main group at speed, and the chasing group was caught by Sagan/Matthews' group but the chase wasn't strong enough to catch the Spaniard, with Sagan and Trentin completing the podium.
Positive: Another super day by Astana, after winning the Dauphiné Sanchez brought immediate following success, and a great result as the team came without a usual top GC expectation, Fraile, Sanchez and Kudus all attacked and it was a fully deserved win. Asgreen very smart and moved into the lead of the race with an unexpected move, Sagan didn't win but showed good form, a win later this week will give him the confidence he is in need of. Dennis also looked very strong on the climbs, composed which is good as he may come with good GC ambitions.
Negative: Rui Costa was a surprise when I checked the result list, lost over 8 minutes and I didn't see any specific reason for it. Surely a bad day, but the overall ambitions are over for him.
Stage 3 is one for the sprinters but it's quite a lumpy one. There's a good amount of sharp climbs on the way to Murten, they will be traps but mainly the GC teams will be focusing on entering well positioned but not push.
Not an easy day by any means, but in the end the sprinters should have the saying in who fights for the stage.
Around 23 degrees, clear sky and a slight breeze, nothing but the ideal weather for a bike ride, should be to the liking of the riders.
Despite some spikes in the profile it's a sprinter's stage, more confirmed as some of the main sprinters here can climb well.
Peter Sagan, Michael Matthews and Matteo Trentin were the strongest ones today, all looked good climbing so in theory they should be the more favoured by the rolling parcours of the stage. Sagan of these is the fastest and has an inequable record in the race, it's his classic step towards the Tour and is looking very strong.
Elia Viviani is the outright man to watch tomorrow though, he has had a tough Giro but there's a lot in his way aswell. Similar to California's squad, they are coming with a very strong leadout, with Max Richeze, Michael Morkov, Yves Lampaert, Dries Devenyns and maybe even a help from Kasper Asgreen it's hard to imagine the Belgian team not in front for Viviani tomorrow. I got to say though, Sagan will have a super strong leadout aswell, but his final man isn't as fast as what Deceuninck has to offer.
Alexander Kristoff is coming into the race with great results backing him, and a good season in general, Emirates is a team that's coming with less of a leadout but that isn't vital and Kristoff has been around long enough to know how to position himself in the train. John Degenkolb and Rick Zabel are the final riders we can consider with a chance of winning in a normal sprint.
After them there's some riders such as Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, Dan Mclay, Carlos Barbero and Thomas Boudat, second-tier sprinters who can bundle in contention, some like Jasper Stuyven, Ivan Cortina and Patrick Bevin could profit more from a late attack or a confusing situation.
⭐ Zabel, Degenkolb, Rensburg, Cortina, Bevin
I'm going with Viviani for the win tomorrow, there's pretty good reasons to believe so, and in a pure sprint he is the fastest in the peloton here in Switzerland, he's had an easier day today and the strongest leadout.
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