Tour of California Stage 1 Preview
The race starts off with a pan-flat stage as it is usual in California. There's no place to catch the peloton off guard and the sprinters will take the lead and the win in Sacramento, but in the following day the story should be totally different already.
There will be a southern wind, not too strong but 15Km/h at points with some much stronger gusts, desert ride pretty much for the opening of the stage which could be dangerous in some crosswind sections but ultimately the finale comes in a mostly headwind aproach to Sacramento so it should stick together.
Sagan the reference for Bora, brings a strong leadout and is the record stage winner of the race, he will be looking to enlargen his streak and also to recover from a slightly disapointing spring. Versus him, almost every World Tour team brings a sprinter.
Deceuninck have to be mentioned as the headliners, their leadout for Fabio Jakobsen is really strong with Max Richeze and Michael Morkov in the main duty, but also a set of very powerful riders rounding out the team, Kasper Asgreen, Sdenek Stybar, Remi Cavagna and TIm Declercq.
John Degenkolb of Trek, Phil Bauhaus of Bahrain, Rick Zabel of Katusha and Max Walscheid of Sunweb form a very strong German armada, they can be there in every sprint and also disccuss the hillier stages with Degenkolb mostly.
Halvorsen leads INEOS with a strong leadout, Owain Doull, Leonardo Basso and Luke Rowe as powerful riders to position him, there's Danny van Poppel of Jumbo-Visma, Magnus Cort Nielsen and Davide Ballerini will be looking to discuss mainly the hillier sprint stages, Jasper Phillipsen will be representing the Emirates in the faster finishes, Mark Cavendish still fighting for a rebound on his form with some opportunities this week, Cofidis with a strong duo in Nacer Bouhanni and Fillipo Fortin coming strong into the race, and finally also Travis McCabe for the USA National team.
⭐ Bouhanni, McCabe, Cavendish, Cort Nielsen, Zabel, Phillipsen
I'm going for Jakobsen to take the early lead of the race, he has a massive leadout which will be a great card but also the power to sprint above everyone else in the race, totally flat stage where Deceuninck should prosper.
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