Thursday, 29 August 2013

Vuelta a Espana 2013 : Stage 7 Preview

ONE thing we haven't seen a lot of in this Vuelta has been crashes.

Now don't get me wrong. Of course that's a good thing! But it is very rare for a grand tour to be without pile-ups and for pictures of various riders sporting 'road rash' to be seen.

This stage could change that.

The route itself is another one which should end up in a cavalry charge from the bunch and the sprinters taking the honours.

It is 205.9km long and heads to Andalusia, travelling from Almendralejo to Mairena del Aljarafe, a small town just outside of Seville.

Again there is no categorised climbs along the route and nothing that should prevent the peloton arriving into the last 5km together.

But it is that last 5km which will be crucial.

Just under the 5km to go banner there is a right hand bend followed by a full 360 around a roundabout. 

A number of roundabouts will follow before a 90 degree left hand turn with 2.5km to go.

Another 90 degree turn happens with 1.5km to go with a final sweeping bend with 800m to go.

Positioning will be vital, not just for the sprinters teams but also for the overall GC riders who will want to stay out of trouble.

This will create plenty of nerves and I think it will be very surprising if everyone gets through unscathed.

But if fate is kind then we will be in for another sprint and the last one for a week.

Maximiliano Richeze took second again for the second successive stage and has been impressive so far in this tour. Can he finally go one better tomorrow?

Michael Matthews has been the quickest sprinter this week but his chaotic lead-out could only bring him sixth today. Expect better tomorrow.

Tyler Farrar did well today and finished fourth. His lead-out looked a little bit more organised and he has the speed so he could end up top five again at least.

Gianni Meersman ended eighth today but considering team tactics that may not be a bad result. Another who should expect better tomorrow and at least a top 10 finish.

I did speculate that a break may make it all the way today, although I didn't expect such a move and such an effort by Tony Martin. With the mountains appearing again on Saturday the favourites will not want to over exert themselves so I don't imagine an escape succeeding today.

But then successes tomorrow may just be returning in one piece.

No comments:

Post a Comment