Puebla de Vícar > Roquetas de Mar 189.5km
Just about the same route as last year, only the opening 15km are different. It’s a race where the riders are always a little nervous about the strength of the wind, it’s the only thing that can stop a big sprint.
Quite a nice day, and there will be a lot of wind. It varies throughout the day, but it will reach over 30km/h at the end of the race.
Pretty straightforward, but I’m not a fan of the corner with just 600m to go. The winner should come from the first five riders through this point.
It’s strong enough for echelons and the wind is in a good direction for much of the opening 110km, the problem is the block headwind for the final 75km. Any splits, and there should be some, are more than likely to come back together as the bunch head back towards Roquetas de Mar.
Inside the final 15km there is a chance to split things in the wind, when the riders head south on a dual carriage way, but as this section is very short, we’re unlikely to see anything too drastic, but crashes can happen during this segment of the race.
Let’s cut to the chase, the race is almost certain to end in a relatively big sprint, that’s why we’ve got so many fast men here.
Arnaud De Lie – I think we’re all in love with this young man. He’s already got three wins this year, he’s a hugely impressive young man. His sprint train doesn’t look the strongest in the race, it’s going to be interesting to see how he copes with that in the closing 2km. Being the fastest doesn’t guarantee the win, but he is the big favourite. I am concerned at the lack of a Jasper De Buyst, we’ll see if one of the young guns can step into the big hole he leaves.
Alexander Kristoff – his sprint train is full of big monsters; I love the look of it. This is his first chance to open his account of Uno-X, but it does take time to gel with a new train.
Fernando Gaviria – started his season off with a win in Argentina, which will help him as we approach some big races in Europe. In terms of a lead out, it looks like García will be his last man, which will be the first time they’ve teamed up together.
Niccolò Bonifazio – no Girmay for Wanty, so the Italian will get a chance to sprint, on his debut. With Johansen and Teunissen to guide, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Italian fighting for the win.
Bryan Coquard – unlikely to win this type of sprint.
Juan Molano – not impressed in the opening races of the season, he could do with a better result in this race. Top 5 on a good day.
Jordi Meeus – took an excellent 3rd place today in Murcia, that will have buoyed his confidence. He’s got a decent sprint train, but it’s not the longest. They’ll look to time their burst to the front to perfection, don’t expect to see much of them until the final 2km. Meeus has the speed to win to win this race.
Cees Bol – he’s started the season in decent form, but Astana simply don’t have the riders to support him in the finale.
Dan McLay – you just never know with McLay, he’s certainly got the speed to challenge for the win.
Giacomo Nizzolo – good sprint train, but Nizzolo doesn’t have the speed to finish it off.
Despite my concerns about his inexperienced lead out, I’ll take a win for Arnaud De Lie.
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