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Grand Prix Cycliste la Marseillaise (1.1) – Preview

Edit: Last minute Andrea Vendrame was taken from the startlist, most prominently Stefan Bissegger and Diego Rosa have been added.

The first UCI – race on the European continent is coming up soon, 7 WorldTour teams, 8 ProTour teams and 2 Continental teams are battling it out on Sunday. Live on and most likely a YouTube stream as well.

Previous editions had a similar parcours and give us an indication what kind of rider might be able to take the win. Riders who won here:

2016Dries Devenyns
2017Arthur Vichot
2018Alexandre Geniez
2019Anthony Turgis
2020Benoit Cosnefroy
Source: FirstCycling

I think there are a few likely scenarios;

(10%) Sprint with a reduced peloton, this seems unlikely because many races are getting cancelled riders want to make the most of every race so probably ride a bit more aggressive than ‘normal’ and the final is quite hard. Looking at the start list this scenario gives us the following favourites:

Edvald Boasson Hagen, Andrea Pasqualon, Jake Stewart, Matteo Trentin, Bryan Coquard, Christophe Laporte, John Degenkolb/Gerben Thijssen and Eduard Michael Grosu.

(30%) Solo finish, in a race like this with a few hills in the final and no team that is strong enough to control the entire race for their sprinter I think we will see an entertaining final with lots of attacks. Actually Lotto – Soudal has a very strong team here but I think they will give their riders freedom to attack, can’t rely on a sprint win with Degenkolb/Thijssen in this field when you also have riders like Wellens/Gilbert on board.

(60%) Small group, puncheur type rider taking the win. An attack in the final with multiple riders seems most likely, also how this race has been decided in the past. Last 4 kilometres is downhill/flat so if the gaps are small riders can come together. A solo attacker would need 10-25 seconds on top of the last hill to have a chance.

These scenarios overlap a bit, some puncheurs also could go for a solo attack, for example Wellens has the qualities to win with both. I think the following riders have a good chance to play a role in the final:

Alexys Brunel, Tim Wellens, Philippe Gilbert, Anthony Turgis, Andreas Kron, Alessandro Fedeli, Simon Carr, Odd Christian Eiking, Pierre Latour, Alessandro Covi, Andrea Vendrame, Tony Gallopin, Jesus Herrada, Lilian Calmejane, Amaury Capiot and Jonathan Hivert.

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