2022 Paris-Nice Stage 4 Preview

Domérat > Montluçon 13.3km ITT

13.3km in length and 198m of climbing. It’s not a hard TT, but it’s still tricky. 

You can see that the road is rarely flat. The opening 4km is mainly uphill, the next 8km is the easy section, before a little wall at the finish. This wall is 500m at 9%, a nasty finish to any TT. Last year the TT ended with a rise, that was only 300m at 7.4%. To compare the two TTs, last year was 14.3km and had 154m of climbing, this year is considerably harder.

Weather

Nice and sunny, another beautiful day for a bike ride. The wind is coming from the SE which means a lot of headwind. Most will get around 10km/h, but the riders out in the first hour get a slightly weaker wind. Notable riders out early include De Gendt, Dennis and Hayter.

Contenders

Jumbo-Visma – could we see another 1-2-3. They have Dennis, Van Aert, Roglič and Laporte as their big options for this stage. There is every chance all four of them finish in the top 10, maybe even the top 5. Dennis would love to go well for his new team, and he’s back in the Aussie champ’s jersey. Roglič is looking incredibly strong, it seems so easy for him just now. He ended last season in brilliant TT form, this will be a good test for him. Laporte has always been a good TT rider, he’ll be much better now he’s at Jumbo, and then we have Van Aert. What a line up they have.

Stefan Bissegger – fresh from beating Ganna over in the UAE Tour, he’ll be hoping to take another win. We’ve already seen in this race that his current shape is good, but will the hills be the beating of him? In the UAE Tour he seemed to test himself on Jebel Jais, he lasted a fair way up considering the size of him. I think he’ll have the fastest time at the bottom of the final wall, will he still be fastest at the top?

Stefan Küng – I’ve been impressed by his form so far this season, he must have had a good winter. He was climbing very well in the Algarve, in fact, he was climbing bloody brilliantly. For a TT rider like him to finish 11thon Alto de Malhão was a jaw dropping result. He followed that up by being one of the best up the Muur in Omloop, before making the front group in Kuurne. Make no mistake, Küng is flying just now. His climbing form will help him in this TT, he should be challenging for the win.

Ethan Hayter – I have no idea what to make of his current form, he’s a hard one to read. Often found at the back of the bunch, but he’s still managed to pop up and get a couple of good results this season. TTs have been his best discipline this year, he was 2nd in Provence and 3rd in the Algarve. Can he benefit from better wind conditions?

Prediction Time

I’ll take a win for Primož Roglič, he looks in ominous form.

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