Devils: Sacha Lange seems to be the man to watch. Not sure if this really is a good stage for him. But if he can cope with the mountain parts, he might end up top 5.
Mothers: Will not compete for the win. Holding his aces back up on his sleeves. But Amanar or Troisfontaines? One of the two will take some points home. Could even surprise us by stealing a top 5 place.
Carapaz: Playing Vandebussche for the win. She has clear plans to intimidate all of us. No mercy. Want to win. A lot.
Levi: rolls out some big guns as well. Stracciati or Flinois? I bet the last one. Top 5 for at least one of them?
Dustin: he said he looked forward to the start of the new season. And for sure for a win. Maury as topfavorite. but Knopek can end up on podium as well.
Pollyjean: his riders are in a winning mood. This might give the edge. Three of them can contend. But one has to do it. I think Matejek and Scargzi will help Retort on the podium. If one of them is there, it is all due to the manager who optimized mental powers. We have seen it before in 2:2. Riders that lack raw skills beating better riders because they are in a good mood.
Joachim: shows off as well with an amazing team. We will see his climbers Donleavy, Cardinal, Stoneir and MAjusiak. It is guessing who will be leadsinger. I think it might me Majusiak or Stonier.
Tours Cycle Club: starts easy. Boshes might be the man to get some points.
Panteras N: brings out some youth. Watching the cat out off the tree, we say in Holland for a patient and cautious approach. But big black cats are expected soon.
VdGG: I would put my money on Vd Borgh. Did not win much untill now, but is growing and for sure can do well tomorrow.
Naspa: still thinking about it. But seems like I will "keep my black powder dry" for this moment - another Dutch expression. The always unhappy Kvoesschen - I'll keep him in the team because he resembles my wife- might give it a try. Place 7 to 9, I would say.
Final prediction for top 3? Well, difficult. I will have to see how some riders developped. And mood and form can change all. For now I say: VandenBussche, Maury and Vd Borgh. No liability taken.
Nice race with a lot changing positions. Donleavy was clearly the best on the mountain parts. Using this in the first part of the race to get back to the front and to get away (and stay away) in the final. Well deserved. Happy with 2nd spot for Retort. Difficult to predict and to plan tactics in these more or less overall races. But this gives me some confidence for the next weeks with many similar races. I will be travelling so I am putting all my tactics in allready. But I can imagine it might be difficult to guess who goes full in what race
Why yes. I thought this was for an allrounder, but a climber won. Amazing work of Donleavy. Congratz, joachim1107 . Retort very good as well, pollyjean . And Lange performed better than I expected. The mountain part did not bother him too much.
I was a bit off with my predictions. Let's see if we can improve this :-)
Tomorrow we start our first small tour with a flat ITT (followed by an intermediate-flat stage, ending with a great battle in between te mountain goats on Sunday).
Mothers: star of the team is Naudts. He can do very well in the ITT. Kohlhaase for the white jersey.
Carapaz: It will be interesting as what her newly acquired TT rider Gheerart can do. Barrea most likely has plans for race2.
Levi: Stracciati for race the ITT or rather race 2? Stas for YC?
Dustin: Tag for the ITT . Cagan of course is a strong hill-rider. Maybe too low on flat for stage 2? Fraylich or Simon for GC?
Pollyjean: strong team again. Two climbers Hoydonckx and Dereume. Mountain jersey and GC seems feasible. And two riders with more flat skills, Leers and Sgarzi. A man for every race. He will do well here.
Joachim: Can Leao make this season start perfectly for Joachim? Favorite for the ITT. Rieg for race 2. Naselli for race 3. Bricco for GC. For now Joachim is the team to watch in our division!
TourCC: Beachelm might have plans for stage 2. Amaro can try to end up on the podium of YC.
Devils: Auge for GC! One of the favorites. The upcoming stars Lebon and Schweitzer are expected to show some attacking style riding as well.
PanterasN: Batata for top 5 in the ITT. Ferreira for stage 3. That leaves stage 2 for Rio?
VdGG: Cartois will compete for podium at the ITT. Paparelli and Schlosser will either have an eye on race 3 or a jersey.
Naspa: DeVidts for white. Caso probably for GC. Franco will try for podium in race 2? Not sure yet. Might replace him.
TGV: line-up not yet known.
For tomorrow: Naudts and Leao will batlle for gold. Gheeraert, Tag, Batata and Cartois will complete the top 6. Differences wil be small.
naspa stage 1 is for Tag, stage 3 depends on the situation of that moment
Yes, sure. I do not have contender for stage 1. But stage 2 and 3 depends on the situation as well. Only the strongest can say: this stage is for me. I am considering to put Van Nes for stage 2 to battle Cagan.
For tomorrow: Naudts and Leao will batlle for gold.
I think that you are underestimating Batata, last season I only remember to see Nieberg better in some ITT that I watched.
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