Tirreno Adriatico 2018 Stage 6 Preview; Numana -> Fano

Today’s Recap

The bunch was slowly whittled down over the final circuit due to a solid pace on the climb and a few crashes thrown into the mix. On the last ascent of the Muro itself we saw Lutsenko, Thomas and Yates get a gap but it was the latter who made the most stinging attack on the steepest section; with the other two not able to respond. Bora tried to chase it down but they didn’t manage to and Yates held on for a great win.

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Behind Sagan took second place but more importantly Kwiatkowski sprinted to third and picked up some vital bonus seconds in the hunt for GC. It now puts him into the overall lead and considering his TT; he’s in the driving seat for the overall title.

Let’s have a look at what is in store for the riders tomorrow though.

The Route

A stage that starts off with a lot of rolling terrain in the opening two-thirds, the flat section at the end should ensure a bunch sprint.

stage-6-profile

Compared to the fairly straightforward sprint (that caused chaos due to road furniture) on stage 2, tomorrow’s will be a lot more technical. I’m sure the riders will be very pleased to know that it is a circuit finish so they’ll get a few chances to have a look at the closing kilometres.

stage-6-finish (1)

Look at all those corners!

The final 3kms starts off with some sweeping bends on a main road so no doubt we’ll see the lead riders swerving across the road for control of the bunch. Things could unfortunately get messy because of this.

Screen Shot 2018-03-11 at 17.32.10

At 2kms to go they’ll take a fairly sharp left hand turn through the roundabout above. It’s narrow enough for only a couple of teams to be near the head of the race at this point.

From there, the road continues to sweep before they go straight over a roundabout with roughly 1.5km left. This will again stretch things out.

Screen Shot 2018-03-11 at 17.36.10

With around 1.2km left, the road narrows into one lane as they enter another roundabout and make a right hand turn. Being near the front here will be important as it will be very difficult to make up positions in what is left of the stage.

Screen Shot 2018-03-11 at 17.46.16

A long straight does allow one final chance for people to move up but at 400m to go the road narrows again and the riders will take one final right turn before the straight run at the finish.

Weather Watch

There is a potential for a shower or two in the afternoon tomorrow according to some forecasts which will make the finale even more treacherous.

Screen Shot 2018-03-11 at 18.46.50

Furthermore, it is set to be a windy day out in the saddle for the riders. With strong gusts coming from the West then there is the potential for echelons in the crosswinds as the riders head North for the majority of the stage. Looking on Google Maps, most of the road is protected by foliage or houses etc but there are a few areas without any protection. Will any teams try to split it in an attempt for one last GC shake-up before the time trial?

Sprint Contenders

Marcel Kittel.

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The German will hope to double up after taking the win on stage 2 earlier in the week. His train is fairly short but it consists of some strong time trial riders who should be able to hold their own from around 5km out. However, they might lack some top end speed which could see Kittel out of position near the finish. This has happened a lot so far this season and I don’t think he’s fully clicked yet with Zabel. Tomorrow will be a big acid test for their partnership.

Peter Sagan.

Second on stage 2, second today, is this the old Sagan? He’s an excellent bike handler so the technical finish should suit him but will he be given the chance to get as much room as he did on stage 2. He was a bit of a bully then; throwing a few elbows to ward other riders off and it’s maybe something people would have raised more if he was Bouhanni. Without a lead out himself, he will have to go solo but that hasn’t stopped him. If it rains, his chances increase by a good 20%.

Fernando Gaviria.

The young Colombian lost his cool after the first sprint stage; stating how dangerous it was. It’s the first time we’ve really seen him like that and I think it was more out of frustration about being boxed in and not getting to go for it 100% than anything else. He also really missed Richeze who was held up in the crash with 7km to go. Gaviria was sitting on the right wheel (Sagan’s) but he just couldn’t follow through the same gaps as the World Champ. He’ll be fired up to go better tomorrow and I’m almost certain he will.

Those three are a class above compared to this field but considering the technical nature of the finale we might see a shock result.

Danny Van Poppel – An experimental short train that blows hot or cold he could well be the type of rider who profits from the technical finish and a well-timed dash into the final corner.

Luka Mezgec – With Ewan no longer here the Slovenian national champion will get the chance to sprint for Mitchelton. He’s a powerful rider who can handle difficult conditions I just think he lacks the top end speed at the moment.

Jasper Stuyven – The cat among the pigeons for tomorrow. A classics man who is in good form, he’ll get a chance at the bunch kick with Nizzolo out of the race. He won’t be concerned with bad conditions and in fact he’ll probably hope for echelons. He was third on the last road stage last year, can he manage another podium?

Modolo, Boasson Hagen, Mareczko, Colbrelli and Consonni will all be fighting for the top 10.

Prediction

Sticking to my Stage 2 prediction except QuickStep will get it right tomorrow because Richeze will be at the head of the race which means Gaviria will win.

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Watch out for Stuyven though, I definitely think he could surprise.

Betting

2pts WIN Gaviria @ 5/2

1pt EW Stuyven @ 50/1

Thanks as always for reading, who do you think will win tomorrow? Will it end in a sprint or will we see some teams try to split the race in the wind? Anyway,

Those were My Two Spokes Worth.

 

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