Khalifa Port > Khalifa Port 17.3km TTT
We have a team time trial but are lacking the usual big engines. Yes, we have a few TT specialists here, but not that many.
The route is a standard out and back effort, but with the wind blowing it could be a tricky one. 17.3km is quite short for a TTT, expect to see most teams try to keep all their riders together until the end.
A bit cloudy and the wind could cause a few problems as the TT is basically in the sea.
Joining us for tonight’s preview is Dr CyclingMole. Not only is he a w/kg expert, being able to accurately estimate performance to the nearest 0.01 by eye, but he’s also a tech guru.
Ineos – looks a strong team to me with Plapp, Tarling and Tulett providing lots of horsepower. Plapp showed today that he’s nice and strong just now, expect to see the three mentioned taking long pulls. Ineos are well known for having the best TT equipment, this normally buys them big results in this discipline.
Tech guide – they wear helmets with enormous visors to resemble the human fly.
QuickStep – some might look at their line up and dismiss it, but that would be foolish. Černy and Schmid are both strong on their TT bike, and Merlier, Van Lerberghe, Vervaeke and Serry will all be able to contribute. Evenepoel is obviously going to take some long pulls, but he needs to be careful not to put the riders at the back of the line into difficulty. They’ll think long and hard about the best way to approach this, but I would imagine Evenepoel will be on the front for quite a lot of the 17km.
Tech guide – they wear those silly neck warmers. When you combine it with a dark visor it looks like you’re going to rob a bank.
UAE – had a disaster today, the GC looks a distant possibility. Technically speaking, all their riders should be able to hold their own in this discipline, even the climbers are good on their TT bikes. They’ll see this as a chance to take some time back, and after having a stinker, they should be motivated to strike back.
Tech guide – riding on home soil comes with an advantage. The locals have placed fans along the route, so they always have a tailwind. They cunningly reverse them for the other teams. That’s what I call marginal gains.
Bahrain – of the big teams chasing GC, they look the most vulnerable to me. They do have a couple of TT engines in their squad, but I still think they’ll lose some crucial time to the teams already mentioned.
Tech guide – no huge visors, neck warmers or big fans, the Bahrain boys are in trouble. At least they don’t look silly.
DSM – of all the other teams, I think they have the best chance of upsetting those already mentioned. They might lack a big-name TT rider, but they have several track riders who used to specialise in the team pursuit. Okay, this is a much longer effort, but having track smarts helps in a TTT. It wouldn’t surprise me to see them challenging for the podium.
I’ll take a win for Ineos, they seem to have a balanced squad, and looking like a human fly must be good in a TTT.
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