La Vuelta – Stage 4 Preview

The riders head 189km from Lalin/A Estrada to Fisterra.This should be a nice finish,right on the seafront.The stage is named “The Race to the End of the World”.

Screen Shot 2013-08-15 at 19.49.15

Screen Shot 2013-08-15 at 19.50.20You can see that stage 4 could be described as lumpy!We have one categorised climb and another uphill finish!

Screen Shot 2013-08-15 at 19.51.59The run for home takes us out into a very windy area.We have the prospect of a 25mph North-Easternly wind.This should make the end very difficult and the sprint will be a mess,with teams struggling to form trains.

Screen Shot 2013-08-15 at 19.53.00The final 2.5km rises at around an average of 4%.This will make it difficult for the pure sprinters like Theo Bos but a great finish for Meersman and Hushovd.

The main issue with this stage is the cat 3 climb Mirador de Ezaro,it’s1.8km long but has an average gradient of 13%,with a 30% section.This is brutal and should result in a much reduced peloton.

The gentle uphill finish is made for Gianni Meersman and Michael Matthews but can they make it over the cat 3 climb?

Remember,this climb was the end of stage 12 in 2012.If you want to see what happened,watch this.

It takes Rodriguez 5 minutes to complete the final 1.8km.Looking at the difficulty of the climb I can’t see any of the sprinters staying in contact or being able to chase back on.I would expect a group of climbers to crest together and fight out the stage win.

With 36km to go,from the top,it will depend on who has teammates and wants to ride but I would expect some of the main GC riders to lose time,so I expect the front group to ride.

I think the sprinters have no chance of getting over the climb and my bets back it up!

2 points on Gilbert at 13/2.He did an okay ride today and the climb is straight out of the classics.He should get over and if he’s with climbers,the sprint will be his.

1 point e/w on Mollema at 66/1.Form is holding well and is fast at the finish.

1 point e/w on Kreuziger on 150/1.Form still good,but needs to take advantage before it fades.Can do well at steep climbs,won Amstel Gold this year,he is also fast at the finish.

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