• Rúben Silva

Tour of California Stage 4 Preview

Rémi Cavagna took the third stage in California after an epic 76Km long solo win in the mountains. Cavagna separated himself in the bottom of Mt.Hamilton of Alex Hoehn and kept pushing alone to build a massive gap over the peloton who, surprisingly, tapered throughout most of the day after catching a dangerous group very early on the stage. Ben King and Simon Geschke rounded out the stage podium after an attack over the final hill of the day, gaining some time on the peloton but nothing crucial, 36 seconds.

Positive: Cavagna was the only positive of the day pretty much, it was a dull day of racing in the back. Asgreen good to score points on points competition, Ben King won some time on GC but he's still far.

Negative: Riders like Porte, Bennett and Pogacar should've put van Garderen under pressure today. Sure there is still Mt.Baldy, but now there's ONLY Mt.Baldy. There's pretty much no other chance of getting back time, and with EF's strenght they may start to focus on just him, and if he feels good there's not much to do with lots of top domestiques ready to pace him.

Stage 4 will be completely by the Pacific Ocean, it's a flat stage but with several bumps in the profile but the sprinters will once again have their say. There will be a technical finish in Morro Bay, and with 212 kilometers in lenght it's one that will push the riders.

The Weather

Well, with around 15Km/h all day long by the sea, it will be a long and easy day for the peloton as a block headwind is the forecast for the day.

The Favourites

The same riders we saw on the opening stage pretty much, it will be a pure sprint stage so we're set to see the likings of the fastest in the bunch.

Fabio Jakobsen has a chance to make amens after his mistake in the opening day, he's still got clearly the strongest leadout, and part of his leadout has won the last two stages in the mountains so it is one motivated team. On the other is Sagan who won the stage, his sprint was enough to net the win although with the rest of the sprinters it would look like a sure thing.

Travis McCabe has looked very good so far, both in the sprints and climbs, he's very explosive, lacks the leadout but definetely has the legs. There's John Degenkolb, Phil Bauhaus and Jasper Phillipsen who were caught out the other day but looked good sprinting.

INEOS have a very strong leadout and that showed, in a pure sprint Halvorsen is their choice but they have better chances from a late attack. Danny van Poppel and Nacer Bouhanni are two other riders with a decent leadout but need to make it click to profit a stage win. There's Rick Zabel and Magnus Cort Nielsen as other outsider picks.

Finally Dimension Data have a good leadout, but Cavendish is still very far from able to discuss the races, didn't even take part in the sprint in the opening day, but van Rensburg may get his opportunity.

Prediction Time

Jakobsen, Sagan, Bauhaus

McCabe, Walcheid, Halvorsen, Phillipsen, Degenkolb

Doull, Bouhanni, Cavendish, Rensburg, Zabel, Richeze

His lack of experience is still there, but if he can trust and follow his teammates he has 50% of the win in the bag, the situation was the same in stage 1. Deceuninck have a brutal leadout, have been racing superbly and I think they can do 3 for 3.

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