Etoile de Bessèges (2.1) – Stage 4 preview

Hardest stage of the week coming up, lots of up and down but just small hills. Because many are in the final we will see many attacks and if it’s a sprint the peloton will be reduced in size a lot.

For GC everything seems kind of into place, Tim Wellens has a 48 second advantage on Michal Kwiatkowski who is in fourth. In between there is Theuns, but he will loose a lot in the time trial. Also Mads Wurth Schmidt, he can do a good time trial but because it’s not flat Kwiatkowski is probably ~15 seconds faster. Kwiatkowski can’t make up 48 seconds on Wellens in a 10k time trial normally. If Ineos want the GC win they have to go for it tomorrow. They have a strong team but so does Lotto – Soudal, probably the 2 strongest teams in the race.

The stage 4 finish is 1.1km uphill at 5.5% average, something for the puncheurs. They will do this climb 4 times because of local laps. It starts easy with 300m ~3% and becomes steeper later on up to 9 %. Last 100m it flattens out again.

On stage 1 we saw Laporte and Bouhanni do really well on a similar finish but the run-in on this stage is a lot harder, I believe we will see other riders at the front.

Most notably a few riders that have been really active in stage 3; Bettiol, van Avermaet, Kwiatkowski and Mollema. How the stage is going to pan out depends mostly on Ineos in my opinion, if they are really going to give GC a try we will see a great stage. Breakaways have a chance as well on the local laps with some smaller roads.

I came up with these riders:

*** Greg van Avermaet, Michal Kwiatkowski

** Alberto Bettiol, Bauke Mollema, Tim Wellens, Edward Theuns, Oliver Naesen, Odd Christian Eiking, Anthony Turgis

* Nacer Bouhanni, Christophe Laporte, Jake Stewart, Jordi Meeus, Nils Politt, Bryan Coquard, Mads Wurth Schmidt

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