• Rúben Silva

Tour of Romandie Stage 3 Preview

Stefan Kung made a mens for his lack of result in the prologue by netting an impressive win, getting in the breakaway and distancing his companions before soloing his way to victory with a sizeable gap over the peloton. The chase was on to him, all the other breakaway members were caught with a confortable distance but Kung powered away on the wet aproach to Morges. Sam Bennett won the sprint for second place followed by Colbrelli.

Positive: Kung. Overwhelming positive today his ride was brutal, since the moment he went solo with 18Km to go he barely lost any time to the peloton.

Negative: Deceuninck and Bora essentially, it was their only chance to be in a bunch sprint and all they needed was to control the break, Kung was an obvious danger so they should've pressed on earlier and not allow him to come to the closing stages with such gap.

Stage 4 has a different finish from the previous days, in general it's another very rolling stage with no real flat terrain. In the final portion of the stage alone there is a 4.2Km climb at 5.3% average gradient summitting with 13.5Km to the finish, a 5.9Km at 3.1% climb summitting with just a mere 4Km to the finish, which itself will be quite hard with the final 900 meters having a 8% gradient. It's a hard stage and gaps are definetely a possibility in the finale, the puncheurs should have their saying in the stage but the climbers will be to the fore aswell, although with the following stages coming the few seconds that may be lost.

The Weather

A northeastern breeze for tomorrow, there's a chance the rain marks presence again but even if so it won't be as much as today, but the possibility of wet roads is very likely. The wind won't be strong although gusts can get up to 30Km/h. Lots of changes in direction so the wind won't play a big part, it may be a headwind in the final ascent but the intensity won't mean it'll be an easy aproach to the line.

The Favourites

It's an interesting finale, it's too hard for the sprinters but not hard enough for most climbers. It's a puncheur's finale but there isn't any outright favourite.

Sonny Colbrelli is perhaps the most similar, he's been riding strongly and is targeting the points jersey, there's a chance of the final climb combination being too hard for him but if the race is under control he can have the legs to sprint in the end. Patrick Bevin and Michael Albasini are two fast riders who should also fancy their chances in case some faster riders make it to the end.

In the more punchy side there are some riders, Roglic, Gaudu and Rui Costa must be mentioned as yesterday's podium in a sprint, they all do have the explosiveness for the end and the gradients should suit them well. Geraint Thomas and Michael Woods are also fast riders that should favour a climb to the line as it will mean peak power isn't the most important, between all of these riders it looks very balanced and all should have a chance to fight for the win and the bonifications.

Other riders have an explosive edge such as Carlos Betancur and James Knox, Bora's duo Grossschartner and Buchmann are powerful riders, in a sprint they shouldn't be a threat but mainly the latter has shown to be quite an opportunist and such a tricky finale can suit him.

Prediction Time

Colbrelli, R.Costa, Roglic

Gaudu, Thomas, Woods, Bevin

Buchmann, Albasini, Betancur, Knox, Prades, van Baarle

I'm going with Rui Costa for the win tomorrow, he is the rider with most Top10's currently in the race but has never won a stage, he is a big contender and in a normal scenario should be in the fight for the win, he isn't as explosive as the sprinters but likes the long drags to the line, he looks in great form and so he fits the puzzle.

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