Yes, difficult race. Hill-flat- long hill part first before the real climbing starts, after that downhill and flat with a small climb in the end. Maybe mountain goats without the right hill fall back in first parts?
So a lot of good allround riders could surprise tomorrow. Schuller seems set for GC, just as Ximenes, so probably they end up top 10, but not top 3. Zeffiretti was saving himself - so might have a good chance. Istok of Dirk is having 99% fitness left as well. Maybe Papparelli. And Kirsch or Toto (last one also still at 99% fitness).
With longer tours the predictions are more easy. At the end of a week, you have few riders left at 95-97% and you can be sure they have plans. For this stage a good 90% can still beat a 99% (even if the last one has better stats in general, because the first one might have a better profile for the stage or a better mood.)
Thanks for the congrats,happy to start with a win. I note that naspa was pretty spot on with his predictions, 3rd (?) season racing each other so he knows my riders almost as well as I do, and as he'll probably predict I'm stronger at San Louis than down under.
Sure...And of course also congrats on my behalf :-) And yeah, you have some great riders and I am happy you started the hill training again. Having a first glance at Down Under I think we have to fear Thors Thunder.
And yes, tomorrow we go for something completely different. Old fashioned flat sprinting. Still no signs of Joan and Devils - might be on a holiday? Let's have a look at the riders we "know" and whom might be favorite for the first stage:
Slayer: I am not sure who will be the sprinter tommorow. Both Hurlus and Costa will show they are hot prospects. And they might be good enough to win! one of them sprinting tomorrow, the other we will see back with Heuts the other days.
Dustin: while Chisa might be set for GC, I guess Maury might be the dedicated sprinter. Wijsmuller maybe for YC?
Naspa: not sure what to think of his selection. The recently contracted Tallon is ageing, but might still have a chance on a top 5 tomorrow.
Chosen: 25 year old Van Schaik might be to much a specilist to do well for YC. Pacchiano is one of the best flat riders of the pack, but might have plans for GCV. Vassalo is trained by the Italian Sprint Academy of Vecchio Pedale and is one of the favorites for the final sprint if he will not be dropped before the final. The problem with those explosive guys can be the length of the race.
Thor: what a selection for flat races. We see back former Antwerp Rider Osmochescu. But he might be set for GC. Nassi has a good sprint as well, but can digest small climbs too. De Anda and De Schreye notorious flat riders as well. Not sure whom we will see in the final, but for sure one of them will be contesting Slayer for the win.
Low B: 33 year old saltman is probably more set for GC than sprint. So the two 25 year olds, Theodorescu or Thijs will compete for YC.
VdGG: Cappellazzo is another product from Italian Sprint Academy of Vecchio Pedale. And yes, he can be dangerous... If and only if he is still there at the end. Are the helpers good enough to keep him up front? The good old Bandilla or TT specialist Cartois might just do the job.
Rarau: Some grey haired stars. 40 year old Prevato will lead the almost retired Emond for GC? And The Canibal of Kabul, Jouy, in his wheelchair for the sprint? I guess the cutting edge is gone. Maybe better see what 25 year old Paesmans can do in YC?
Antwerp: Not the most impressive line-up. Maybe Fonseca, he is good for top 3. Or Finoulst competing for 5th place in sprint.
Dirk: Seil for GC. Van Menxcel maybe for the sprint. It is hard to tell. Both will have a tough job getting on podia.
team dustin for Down Under L. B. Bocken, only a leader 26 yrs 1. V. Chisca, 38 yrs, skills are going down 2. F. Rohart, 37 yrs, my old leader 3. J. Maury, 32 yrs, had to grow the coming years 4. R. Wijsmuller, 24 yrs, a good talent
stage 1: safe fitness, helper and a sprinter …… no attacker!!!