What a fast stage, it was over in a blur!
The Extreme Weather Protocol was put into action as freak, totally unpredicted winds were in the local area.😉
Stage cancelled and with it the GC is all but over. Nonetheless, let’s have a look at what’s in store for the riders tomorrow.
Pan flat stage in and around Dubai.
There’s not much else to say really about the bulk of the stage!
With the itinerary on the organiser’s website being a bit guff, I’m not entirely sure where the finish line is but I’ll trust those at Velorooms who have produced this;
The riders will make two 90-degree turns in the closing few kilometres, with the first coming at roughly 1.4km to go and one at 450m left.
The turn at 450m to go is very interesting and might end up rather messy. As streetview isn’t a thing for this part of town I struggled for a while to find out how sharp the turn is. However, I did manage to find the following on google maps as a photo sphere. Shout out to Shian Gao!
So not overly sharp, more sweeping. But at only one lane wide, riders will only manage two abreast at full speeds.
At first glance the finish straight itself looks quite dangerous with a mini-roundabout at 150m to go. Once again the local council putting in a sever lack of effort with their roundabouts. No roundabout here at all, just some crossroads.
Therefore, it looks like it will be full gas once through the turn at 450m to go and positioning will be key coming out of the turn. It will be very hard to make up 10 places with so little left and the bunch being strung out.
I’m sure you’re all fairly aware by now as to who is going to be mixing it up in the sprints.
Kittel is the guy to beat. Maybe people could ask Mr Grivko for some tips? 😏 Groenewegen isn’t far off the pace and can challenge, especially if his lead-out gets it right here. Cavendish has been unlucky but also gone missing at times. Can he be arsed? Degenkolb can spring a surprise. Mareczko can get low but he’s no Ewan. Viviani has been very cold so far but could turn on the heat here.
However, I’m going to go for none of the above just to be a bit different. Because hey, when has that ever stopped me before?!
That corner at 450m to go looks the perfect place for an Italian duo on a Middle-Eastern team to dive bomb the inside and be in the best position coming out. This rider has been there or thereabouts all week and with a bit of luck can certainly pull something out the bag. Modolo to take a surprise win!
Or we get a boring stage with a boring winner *cough* Kittel *cough*.
0.5pt EW Modolo @ 33/1 with Bet365. (Would take 25s)
And this 4-fold that pays 6.9/1 1.5pts on.
Thanks for reading this week! It’s a shame that today’s stage was cancelled as the racing has been quite boring otherwise and the GC battle is over. I’ll be back with the next preview for Oman I think, I’m sure that’s the next televised race?! Might do something for Laigueglia if I find the time. Anyway,
Those were My Two Spokes Worth.