2023 Renewi Tour Stage 3 Preview

Aalter > Geraardsbergen 171km

Hello, Muur – Kapelmuur. This year it’s only twice up this iconic climb, last time it was three times up. I think the stage has been made a little easier, but the riders will decide that. 


A day with a threat of rain throughout. 


The circuit contains the Muur – Kapelmuur, Bosberg, Onkerzele Berg and Denderoordstraat, before the finish on the Muur. Despite looking a little easier, it’s still a brilliant stage. 


Ineos are in the race lead, but Tarling is unlikely to survive this stage, which presents an interesting tactical position. It means a long-range attack has a better than normal chance of sticking, but there’s still a few teams who would like this to end in a sprint. With De Lie and Philipsen present, both Lotto and Alpecin will want to try and hold things together, but that won’t be easy. 

The GC battle is going to be great to watch. Soudal – Quick Step have both Lampaert and Asgreen in the mix, something that will worry Wellens and Stuyven. The Muur is a very difficult climb, but the position of the final ascent gives hope to those who might lose a handful of seconds on the cobbles. It is possible for groups to come back together; we’ve seen it before in this stage.  

One more thing, the teams aren’t as strong as in previous years. If a strong group gets away on the final ascent of the Kapelmuur, it could go all the way. 


Arnaud De Lie – time for his first world tour win. I’m a huge fan of the kid, I’m sure most of you are too. He can do the lot, but crucially for this stage, he can also handle punchy climbs. He was good on the Muur in Omloop, it’s a climb he’d love to lead the bunch up. With Van Moer, De Buyst and Vermeersch in the team, he should have riders to chase and set him up for a big finale. 

Jasper Philipsen – does he have the legs to win? I don’t think so. 

Jasper Stuyven – after a brilliant TT, he’s right in the mix to win the race. Jappy is just 5 seconds behind Wellens, if he takes the stage win, I think he wins the whole thing. He won this stage back in 2017, he’ll come here full of confidence. 

Soudal – Quick Step – with both Lampaert and Asgreen close on GC, they’re in a great position. Neither are the very best on the Muur, but they won’t be far off. The sprint to the line doesn’t suit them, they’ll look to attack and take a solo win. 

Bahrain – Mohorič and Wright are their cards to play. Both did a decent TT, and each rider should have freedom in this stage. Mohorič will likely be a marked man, which could buy some freedom for Wright. Both have gone well here in the past. 

Michał Kwiatkowski – all day long he’ll be saying one thing, I can’t ride as Tarling is behind. If he can get through the stage doing the bare minimum, he’s got a good chance of going for the win. 

Prediction Time 

The first of many world tour wins for Arnaud De Lie, with Tim Wellens taking the overall.