• Rúben Silva

Tour of Turkey Stage 3 Preview

@Getty Images

Back-to-back win for Sam Bennett in Turkey, the leader has gotten a easy win on the uphill finish to Eceabat. Caleb Ewan and Simone Consonni were affected by crashes early in the stage, but in the final climb there was no disturbance of Bora's dominance. An attack by Evenepoel saw Postleberger going solo in front where he led until the final meters, where he was overtaken by a speeding Bennett who easily won the sprint, tapering as his teammate Grosschartner finished second. There were some gaps in the final part, but the few seconds that opened between some favourites will likely not make much contrast with the differences that will be made in the queen stage.

Positive: Bora. Exact same situation as in Basque Country, the team seems in perfect sincronization, everyone is playing their strenghts perfectly and the results and time gaps are showing up, they are dominating the race so far. UAE, Conti and Polanc were the only pure climbers to stay in the group with Grosschartner.

Negative: Bonifications added, Kudus lost 10 and Evenepoel 15 seconds to Grosschartner. It may likely not be a definite gap, but they shouldn't be loosing such time in such a finish. Gidich was also far from the front, was a somewhat disapointing day for Astana.

The third stage is again a bumpy one, but the finale is much easier then the previous days. This stage is perhaps the easiest of the route and should definetely be one to be disputed between the fastest men.

And the finish is very simplistic, a pure straight line in the final kilometers, so as the first stage leadout isn't as important as long as one gets the right wheel.

The wind though may play a part in the stage. The last 35 kilometers will be mostly in a headwind by the seafront, but before that it will be a tremendous danger. 15Km/h winds all day long, gusts up to 35Km/h, the exposed roads in the begining and bulk of the stage will have long sections being striked by crosswinds, it's a very dangerous situation and in such a short stage it wouldn't be a surprise to see a team making a serious move in there.

Who can we expect to see?

Due to the wind conditions in the final it's meant to be another bunch sprint, but the bunch may be much smaller that the opening stage due to the wind, Turkey has a reputation of these windy stages, tomorrow might be one of those days.

With that said the contenders are well known, they're the same. With such a tight leash of the strongest teams we won't see any surprises surely. With that Bennett is the main favourite again, he just has it, he's on a streak and a clear brutal dominance, his leadout was enough to have him on the wheel of the Deceuninck train which seems to be all he needs.

Jakobsen and Hodeg may be the biggest rivals but only in case of a very tactical and destroyed stage, Jakobsen is strong but to beat Bennett he may need something more. Ewan has seemed off and his crash today won't make things any better, his leadout failed on the opening stage so life is hard for the Australian.

Out from those there are the same riders, Dimension Data have Gibbons and Cavendish who showed himself in the head of the peloton today, UAE have Consonni and Molano, there's Edward Grosu of Delko also looking very good so far, also Pacioni of Neri Sotolli. Outside of those there are some more possible shots but for the win it would take something magical.

Prediction Time

S.Bennett, Jakobsen


Hodeg, Gibbons, Cavendish, Consonni, Pacioni, Grosu, Malucelli, Molano

I'll go for it. What are the chances of making it 3 in a row? Not that many, but honestly I can't see why he shouldn't be considered the main favourite, it's not for winning 2 stages that he won't be the favourite to win another. He's flying, so I'll place my 5th bet on him this season, will it also be his 5th win?

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