Berre l’Étang 7.2km Prologue
Get up to speed as fast as you can, hold top speed for as long as you can, try to only use your brakes in the U-turn. That’s me summed up the tactics for this stage.
The wind will strengthen throughout the day, but it will only reach a max of around 11km/h. The early starters will have a slight advantage, but not much.
Filippo Ganna – fresh from winning the TT in Bessèges, he’ll be confident of taking this stage too. The route is brilliant for Ganna, very few riders can hold the level of power he’s capable of churning out. For someone else to win, he’ll need to have a bad day and they’ll need to have a great one.
Ethan Hayter – the young Englishman can do everything, he’s a Swiss Army Knife of a cyclist. Someone with the track record he has is perfect in a prologue, but maybe he would like it a little shorter than 7.2km. He’s the British TT champion and was on track to post a good time in the Algarve TT in 2021 but crashed hard.
Tobias Ludvigsson – he’s capable of pulling out a good performance, you just never know when that will happen. I don’t think he knows either.
Pierre Latour – he started the season well in Bessèges, finishing 7th in the TT and 4th on GC. Latour is a consistent TT rider, he’ll expect to finish in the top 5, the podium if everything goes right.
Ilan Van Wilder – I’m excited to see what he can do now that he rides for QuickStep. His last two stage races TTs raised a few eyebrows, he was 4th in Romandie and 5th in the Dauphiné. That was an indicator of what is to come from the young Belgian, he is very impressive on his TT bike.
Julian Alaphilippe – he doesn’t usually challenge for the win in a flat TT, but it’s the start of the season, so you can never be sure. Alaphilippe will hope to gain time on the other climbers, but I don’t think he’ll be challenging for the win.
Mattias Skjelmose Jensen – the young Dane grew into the 2021 season, his performances in the second half the year impressed me. In terms of his TT ability, his 3rd place in Luxembourg is a clear indication that this discipline suits him. Trek-Segafredo had three riders in the top 10 in the Bessèges TT, it won’t be a surprise to see him challenging for the win.
Paddy Bevin – he’d prefer a little lump in the TT, but he’s still good enough to push for the win. The Kiwi struggled a bit in 2021, but he was still able to post a few good results. He’ll be hoping for a more consistent year, it would be perfect to start with a big win.
Should be a relatively easy win for Filippo Ganna.
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