*This preview will be short as I’m back to work tonight and have woken up later than expected! Plus, there’s not much to say anyway*
👑 The King of Willunga is still the King! 👑
Porte makes it 4 wins on the bounce with a truly impressive attack and sustained effort. Looking at the footage he seemed to actually go 100m earlier than he normally would, attacking at 1.3km rather than his usual 1.2km. No one could match him this time and the likes of Henao etc. were well and truly dropped before the “S-bend” at 700m to go. Are they not as good as previous years or is Richie just in much better condition? I think the latter!
Once Porte made that attack our stage picks had no chance but a special mention must go to Nathan Earle who got up for a credible 6th place. Also, Nathan Haas sprinted to 2nd which currently leaves him 3rd on GC with some bonus seconds up for grabs out on the road on stage 6; that battle for the podium between him and McCarthy certainly isn’t over yet!
Let’s have a look at what’s in store for the riders on the final day.
We have the same route that’s featured the past couple of years. I’ll just use the official profile of this stage as my Strava one is a bit messed up. Although saying that, completely ignore the scale on the official profile as it’s wrong! There’s only around 100m elevation gain per lap at most, not 300.
I can imagine Thomas De Gendt will feature in the break, attempting to wrestle that KOM jersey from Porte. We’ll also possibly see some action from Haas/McCarthy in the intermediate sprints as they look to battle for the podium. Haas could even potentially move up to second too so that should add some excitement to what will be a relatively boring day up until the final 10km.
The final few hundred metres of the circuit does drag ever so slightly up hill but only at around 1% so it shouldn’t be a big deal for any of these guys.
The guys looking to win the stage will want to be near the front at 2.5km to go as they enter the more technical section around the park. From there, the pace will be on and it will be hard to move up the bunch without expending a lot of energy. Saying that, the road does widen in the last km so a team can make a last-ditch run to the line.
Short and sweet section here.
On current form Ewan looks pretty much unbeatable. He’s exceptional at these time of kermesse races and with Dubrdige/Gerrans/Impey/Kluge to lead him out he has the best support team too. Justifiably, he is the odds on favourite. Can he take 4 wins out of 6 stages?
Bora will once again have the luxury choice of either Sagan or Bennett. This type of sprint would suit the Irishman better and after having done a lot of work for his team on the past few stages he will be returned the favour here I think. He looked fast on Stage 1 and is possibly the only guy who can seriously challenge Ewan.
Van Poppel will once again be up there for Sky and should expect another top 5 placing, with the same being said for Bonifazio.
I hope Theuns actually gets a clear run at the finish this time without being blocked off. A podium placing is certainly within his sights.
As for the rest, expect to see the usual names of Renshaw, Arndt and Planckaert populating the top 10.
Should I be boring but most likely correct and say Ewan? Or slightly more interesting and say Bennett? I’ll be boring for once, Caleb wins his 4th stage of the race!
I’ll go for Bennett and some PFCL bias here, Theuns, to round of the podium!
No value in Ewan at those odds, especially when anything can happen in bike racing. One badly timed puncture/crash and he’s out of it. However, I do think there is a bit of value in;
Bennett 1pt EW @ 14/1 with Betfair/PaddyPower (I’d take down to 10/1)
No H2H up yet, but I’ll update my Twitter later if I see something I like/get the chance.
Thanks to everyone who’s read and shared the blog over the past week. Not been the best of starts in terms of betting/prediction wise but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it nonetheless! I shall be doing previews of all the WT races this year plus anything we can watch on TV/stream online so expect more content from me this time round. Also, I fully intend on doing previews of all the Women’s World Tour races too. Maybe not daily stage previews but certainly a GC/over-arching race preview!
I’ll be back next weekend for the Cadel Evan’s Great Ocean Road Race. Anyway, thanks again,
Those were My Two Spokes Worth.