Tour de Romandie 2017 Stage 3 Preview; Payerne -> Payerne

Today’s Recap

All hail King Küng!


The young Swiss rider took a great win in grizzly conditions as he and his fellow breakee Grivko managed to beat the bunch on the run in to Bulle. Potentially helped by a questionably late gel, the BMC rider held off the Astana man in what seemed a slow motioned sprint.

Behind, Colbrelli crossed the line first to round out the days podium.

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

The Route

Another rolling day out in the saddle for the riders, with a reasonable amount of climbing. With a flat finish will it end in a sprint this time?

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You can view an interactive profile of the stage here.

The majority of the climbing comes in the middle part of the day but there is nothing too serious for the peloton to contend with. They crest the final GPM  at 28km to go and the rest of the stage is made up of shallow descents, false flat, and flat!

There is a roundabout at roughly 2km to go, but aside from that the finish is incredibly easy and not technical at all.

I’m sure the riders will be glad to here that the weather is looking better as well, with the majority of the rain coming in the morning, not the afternoon.



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Source: Wunderground

Although that was what was forecasted for today and yeah…it wasn’t exactly dry in the afternoon…

So don’t trust any forecast for around here!

How will the stage pan out?

Originally, I had thought that with today’s stage ending in a sprint that tomorrow might be a day for the break. But with the shock result from this afternoon, I’m unsure as to how it might go tomorrow.

We saw today that a lot of the teams were unwilling to commit 100% to the chase in grim weather. Will that change for tomorrow?

I’m not so sure.

So I’ll stick to my original guns and say that tomorrow is another breakaway day.

Nestle Breakaway Milk Chocolate Biscuit 8 Pack 152G

With the two tough GC days ahead, I’m sure a lot of riders will just want to get around safely and we’ll see a relatively large group with a fair few teams represented get up the road.

Break Candidates

Normally I would say that a rider would have to be over 2 minutes behind at this point for them to be allowed to stay away. However, Trek have been pretty poor this week at chasing down the break and they lost another domestique (Hernandez) in today’s stage so they’ll have even less firepower.

Therefore someone who is relatively close could escape if they are deemed to not stand a chance the following two days. Consequently, this makes selecting some breakaway riders even more of a lottery!

I’ll give it a go though…

Daniel Oss.

The guitar playing BMC man hasn’t featured at the front of the race yet which is a bit surprising as he loves a breakaway. A strong rouleur he should be able to power over the climbs tomorrow. The Swiss outfit don’t have a proper sprinter as such so they’ll look to get a rider up the road again and Oss fits that bill perfectly. Maybe he’ll want a hit out before going to the Giro?

Alex Dowsett.

British Cycling National Road Championships Stockton

A strong second place on the opening day highlights that Dowsett is in reasonable shape. He managed to hold on to the peloton much longer than I expected on Stage 1 but he eventually succumbed and lost almost 5 minutes. Like BMC, Movistar don’t have a proper sprinter with them so I imagine they’ll want to stretch their legs tomorrow. Dowsett could well be that man!

Alexander Edmondson.

After his fourth place finish today to follow up his third in the prologue, the young Aussie will be brimming with confidence. Down on GC after stage 1, he or Sam Bewley are Orica’s two cards to play for the break as they shouldn’t be chased. Getting a man up the road will be important for them because a lot of teams were looking at them today to do some work for Albasini. Of course, if they have a rider in the break, they don’t have to! We saw today he has a fast sprint, so might well fancy his chances at another podium finish.

I was going to think of another rider to name but I’ll just leave it at that. After today’s stage, tomorrow doesn’t really grip my attention that much and I’m looking forward to the opener in Yorkshire instead!


A break stays away with a few of the sprinters teams represented and Trek unwilling to chase all day.

Oss to *ahem* boss it and win!

Amgen Tour of California, 2015


Small stakes on the breakers. Not having a great time of it at the moment and my confidence is shook! Although Edmondson is awful odds, I mean Oss is borderline but the Aussie is too short after his sprint today so he’ll be replaced with someone else I like…

0.5pt WIN Oss @ 33/1 with Bet365

0.3pt WIN Dowsett @ 80/1 

0.2pt WIN Campenaerts @ 100/1


Anyway, thanks as always for reading and any feedback is greatly appreciated. Who do you think will win tomorrow? Will it be a sprint or will the break stay away?



Dubai Tour Stage 5 Preview; Dubai -> City Walk

Today’s Recap

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.

The Route

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!

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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.

Stage Contenders

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.