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Giro 2018 - Stage 4: Catania › Caltagirone
« on: May 07, 2018, 08:18 »
Stage 4: Catania › Caltagirone

After a couple of days in Israel the Corsa Rosa returns to Italy for the real start of the race, on the hilly and twisty roads of Sicily:


It's basically up and down all day, and the finish is no exception, with a little uphill kick of 900m at 8.5% average:


200m of those are flat though, so it's more like ~650m at 10%. But the undulating nature of the course also offers opportunities for early attacks, as you better can see on the interactive profile (via @raffilpt):


It's the first time Caltagirone hosts a stage finish of the Giro (or any other major race, as far as I can see), so there are few points of reference to rely on, but generally an uphill sprint finish without major gaps looks like the most likely outcome for this stage.

In the general classification still holds a one second lead over Tom Dumoulin:

Corridore Distacco
1      #pink DENNIS Rohan      
2      #sunweb DUMOULIN Tom      +0’ 01”
3      #katusha GONÇALVES José      +0’ 13”
4      #katusha DOWSETT Alex      +0’ 17”
5      #astana BILBAO Peio      +0’ 19”
6      #mitchelton YATES Simon      +0’ 21”
7      #quickstep SCHACHMANN Maximilian      +0’ 22”
8      #katusha MARTIN Tony      +0’ 28”
9      #bahrain POZZOVIVO Domenico      +0’ 28”
10      #movistar BETANCUR Carlos      +0’ 29”

Goncalves, Bilbao and Yates a bit further behind are possible contenders for tomorrow's stage, but additional to a win they'd need a little gap on Dennis and Dumoulin to take over the pink jersey, which looks like a difficult task.

Almost 50 riders are already 3 or more minutes down in GC though, so a strong breakaway may stand a chance to stay clear, and maybe even take the jersey. Potential candidates for example could be #quickstep Stybar (+2:01), #astana Lutsenko (+2:18), #academy Neilands (+2:23), #bardiani Senni (+3:00), #jumbo Lindeman (+4:03) or #academy Plaza (+4:36).

Also #blue Enrico Barbin will have an eye on joining the breakaway to defend his lead in the mountain classification over the two 4th category climbs underway

Corridore punti
1      #blue BARBIN Enrico      5
2      #androni FRAPPORTI Marco      3
3      #academy BOIVIN Guillaume      3
4      #androni BALLERINI Davide      1

As this is a category c) stage (with 25 points for the winner at the finish and 10 points each at the intermediate sprints), the points classification is unlikely to see major changes.

Corridore punti
1      #ciclamino VIVIANI Elia      130
2      #uae MODOLO Sacha      55
3      #wilier MARECZKO Jakub      53
4      #bora BENNETT Sam      50
5      #academy BOIVIN Guillaume      48
6      #bmc DENNIS Rohan      32
7      #androni FRAPPORTI Marco      24
8      #androni BALLERINI Davide      20
9      #androni BELLETTI Manuel      18
10      #bahrain BONIFAZIO Niccolò      18

#academy Guillaume leads both the intermediate sprint and the breakaway competition though (and still has a chance to take #blue), so we may see him in the break again, and thereby also moving up in the sprint rankings.

In the team classification Katusha has a healthy lead from the strong opening time trial, placing three riders into the Top 10

Team
1      #katusha TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN       Distacco
2      #lotto LOTTO SOUDAL       +0’ 39”
3      #bmc BMC RACING TEAM       +0’ 41”
4      #bora BORA - HANSGROHE       +0’ 50”
5      #astana ASTANA PRO TEAM       +0’ 50”
6      #movistar MOVISTAR TEAM       +0’ 51”
7      #quickstep QUICK-STEP FLOORS       +0’ 52”
8      #uae UAE TEAM EMIRATES       +0’ 56”
9      #sunweb TEAM SUNWEB       +01’ 04”
10      #mitchelton MITCHELTON - SCOTT       +01’ 06”

And thereby they seem to have found interest in that team ranking. Also on the two sprint stages they had plenty of riders finishing high up in the order (four in top 18 on day two, three in top 18 on day three), winning the daily classification on both days

https://twitter.com/katushacycling/status/993172652482289669

So I guess we can expect them to make a habit of it, and see more sputniks sprint for 10th place tomorrow :win :win
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  • « Last Edit: May 07, 2018, 11:12 by LukasCPH »
    "If this is cycling, I am a banana"

    LukasCPH

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    It's basically up and down all day, and the finish is no exception, with a little uphill kick of 900m at 8.5% average:


    200m of those are flat though, so it's more like ~650m at 10%.

    It's the first time Caltagirone hosts a stage finish of the Giro (or any other major race, as far as I can see), so there are few points of reference to rely on, but generally an uphill sprint finish without major gaps looks like the most likely outcome for this stage.
    I don't know. 650 metres at 10% are pretty tough. Yes, it'll be an uphill sprint, but more à la Flèche Wallonne or GP de Wallonie ... where gaps do open up.
    Of course the prize at stake is 'only' a Giro stage win and not a famous classic or semi-classic, but I still think that even if you're simply not well-positioned at the foot of the climb, you can easily lose 20-30 seconds or more. If you have a bad day on top of that, you can lose even more.

    I think that #katusha José Gonçalves, #astana Peio Bilbao, #mitchelton Simon Yates, #quickstep Maximilian Schachmann, #movistar Carlos Betancur, or #fixall Tim Wellens could all go for the stage win and, with a bit of luck, take #rosa as well.
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    yes, it can happen I think. Comparable finales that come to mind are for example the one on the Monte Berico





    or in Rodez







    so there can be little gaps indeed, yeah. In the 2015 Giro when Gilbert won Kangert was still up the road until 200m to go or so, so BMC had to go hard and Gilbert open his sprint early, which probably also played into Contador's hands, while Ulissi or Battaglin came short in the end. But if the pace isn't super high, those two could definitely still compete for the win tomorrow, I think. And also Wellens said that he has an eye on it indeed
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  • t-72

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    I try to summon the forces that be:

    #fixall
    GO!
    GO TIMMY GO GO GO!
    GO TIMMY GO GOGO
    TIMMY B GOOD!

    Seeing as it goes up and down all day, and oversight will be a challenge, and remembering the spectacular 2015 early stages, I want to see something different than the Israeli group travel stages.

    We need an out of control midway attack.  :D

    Please!

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  • Capt_Cavman

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    Looks tailor made for simon yates to me, and a good opportunity to put the steady climbers into difficulty. Hopefully will be a combative stage with GC implications, although they rarely are.
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  • Joelsim

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    There are a couple of riders who will hope to gain a few seconds today, could be interesting.

    Ulissi FTW.
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    There are a couple of riders who will hope to gain a few seconds today, could be interesting.

    Lopez on the other hand will be happy if he doesn't lose more than a handful of seconds, I guess...
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  • Joelsim

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    Probably, although he was ok against the likes of GVA in the Middle East.
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  • M Gee

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    I try to summon the forces that be:

    #fixall
    GO!
    GO TIMMY GO GO GO!
    GO TIMMY GO GOGO
    TIMMY B GOOD!

    Seeing as it goes up and down all day, and oversight will be a challenge, and remembering the spectacular 2015 early stages, I want to see something different than the Israeli group travel stages.

    We need an out of control midway attack.  :D

    Please!


    I think the cycling gods heard your prayer! Defo looks to be a stage for me to download and watch tonight.
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  • Eeyore sez . . .

    Mellow Velo

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    Lopez on the other hand will be happy if he doesn't lose more than a handful of seconds, I guess...

     Well, he finished one place ahead of Froome, so not that happy, then. ;)
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  • "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.

    t-72

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    OK, I recorded the stage and ... do you know what, they were riding so slow the finish wasn't included even if I have 20 minutes extra recording enabled by default.

    Kudos to the cycling gods for answering my little Chuck Berry mock-up in honor of #fixall Tim Wellens, but I am a bit disappointed they did not understand I wanted him to go on a Tour of Poland style breakaway and win with minutes' advantage. Then again that is probably not possible unless you get Tour of Poland weather. However with so many GC riders expected to ride "boring" this race should have a modern day Walkoviak or Voeckler.
    Not the best rider? Maybe, but the one that is most fun to watch and that is not so bad either is it?

    PS while fast forwarding most of my recording due to late incoming bike[1]  I made a few random stops and watched a couple of kilometers. There was some action mid-stage, when #uae split the field on a climb but he gaps were consolidated first at the feed zone and the last group a couple of km later. The camera caught the moment when the dude in front got a phone call from the boss telling him "easy!  it is not straight to Rome from here we need to loop by Northern Italy is well. Perhaps going 100 km full speed is a tad optimistic....when the next rest day is hardly visible on the calendar yet. There are some classics tricks which should be used sparingly in grand tours.




    As for the finish, I didn't see it - but reading the results, this is not #sky in prosecco mode. Something is wrong!
     1. (training ride in perfect weather after work <3 )
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  • « Last Edit: May 08, 2018, 23:53 by t-72 »

    M Gee

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    . . . this race should have a modern day Walkoviak or Voeckler.
    Not the best rider? Maybe, but the one that is most fun to watch and that is not so bad either is it?

     . . . There was some action mid-stage, when #uae split the field on a climb but he gaps were consolidated first at the feed zone and the last group a couple of km later. The camera caught the moment when the dude in front got a phone call from the boss telling him "easy!  it is not straight to Rome from here we need to loop by Northern Italy is well. Perhaps going 100 km full speed is a tad optimistic....when the next rest day is hardly visible on the calendar yet. There are some classics tricks which should be used sparingly in grand tours.

     . . .

    As for the finish, I didn't see it - but reading the results, this is not #sky in prosecco mode. Something is wrong!


    That gave me a couple of good laughs! Tommy Voeckler, I loved that dude. He never rode to the tune of his power meter! He was one brave dude.

    #uae, IDK what was up with that, but they absolutely DID animate the stage. Now if I could only figure out WHY. Maybe a remote possibility of Aru picking up a few seconds? Testing the peloton's legs? Maybe putting some fatigue in those legs to help Aru when they hit Etna? You know, Etna has been touted as a game changer for the past few years - and has consistently turned out to be a dud. Oh, a nice stage, to be sure, but no game changer.

    #sky. Hmmmmm.

    Overall, a more interesting stage than is typically expected this early.
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  • t-72

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    #uae, IDK what was up with that, but they absolutely DID animate the stage. Now if I could only figure out WHY. Maybe a remote possibility of Aru picking up a few seconds? Testing the peloton's legs? Maybe putting some fatigue in those legs to help Aru when they hit Etna?

    #uae knows the Sicilia roads better than most teams because they do most of their winter training there. It might have been a real plan for attack that was called off because the wrong riders were in the wrong group, someone didn’t quite have the legs to follow though with the plan or some more obskure reason. Vegard Stake Laengen, main windshield of #uae rode the breakaway from Milano to the Poggio in his pro debut, and I bet he had a longer effort on tap -  if the DS or Aru hadn’t called it off.

    Maybe they will try something  similar today?
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  • M Gee

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    #uae knows the Sicilia roads better than most teams because they do most of their winter training there. It might have been a real plan for attack that was called off because the wrong riders were in the wrong group, someone didn’t quite have the legs to follow though with the plan or some more obskure reason. Vegard Stake Laengen, main windshield of #uae rode the breakaway from Milano to the Poggio in his pro debut, and I bet he had a longer effort on tap -  if the DS or Aru hadn’t called it off.

    Maybe they will try something  similar today?

    That makes sense. Thinking about it overnight, I think it possible they wanted to know who has chops right now. Setting the stage for tomorrow - it might be nice to know who to attack.
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