Tour of Britain – Stage 7 Preview

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The riders travel 155km from Epsom to Guildford.

Screen Shot 2013-09-20 at 22.40.29The stage is front loaded with climbs.The 3 categorised climbs appear in the opening 50km of the race.

The opening climb is only 600 metres long at an average gradient of 15%

The 2nd cat 2 climb is 1.8km and not as steep as the 1st climb.

Then we have the cat 1 climb of Barhatch Lane.It’s 2.5km at around 8% but has ramps of 21%.Watch this clip from 2012 to get a handle on the steepness.

The final stage of 2012 was very similar to this stage.They had a number of short,sharp climbs(including Barhatch Lane) and ended on Guildford High Street.

Screen Shot 2013-09-20 at 23.00.34As you can see the finish is very interesting.The riders have to deal with the final 500 metres rising at an average of 5%,and it’s on cobbles.

Cavendish normally doesn’t like this type of finish but as the riders go downhill before they hit the final 500 metres,they carry in a lot of speed,so all the sprinters should be fine.

It does get very narrow on the approach,so you have to be in the top 5 to have a chance of winning.

Cavendish has been in very good form in the last few days.He’s been stuck to the end of the Sky train on the climbs and has coped well with almost all the hills.I would expect him to go very well in this stage.

Viviani and Ciolek have also won stages so should provide the main opposition for Cavendish but will IAMcycling try and set up Martin Elmiger to claim some bonus seconds?

MTN have been keen to put on a show as this race is being shown live in South Africa.

It looks like another sprint and Cavendish should take it but as he is odds-on,I don’t think I’ll be tempted.

One thing to consider is the statement Cavendish made before the race started,he said that both he and Petacchi were here to win stages.Cavendish has 1 and will win the final stage,will he step aside and let Petacchi have go at this finish?

The big Italian loves an uphill finish and you just never know what might happen!

The form of Sacha Modolo has been weird,so far.He had been flying of late,winning 6 stages in the Tour of Qinghai Lake and 2 Italian one-day races but he hasn’t performed well here.If he gets a bit of form back he could challenge on this finish as could Matteo Pelucchi.

So,Cavendish should win this but his odds are too short.I might just sit this one out and count my profits!



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