Article submitted by twitter user @cyclingbolar
So here we have it the Queen Stage. A 20km ascent to Lake Mountain Resort. The first 4km of the climb have an average gradient of just over 8%. From there, it’s gradual for the rest of the climb. There’s a few slight downhill and flat sections but the rest of the climb averages at around 4%. After 200km of racing to get to the climb, it is going to burn. There is a chance that if a rider tries to get away on the first steep section that they may be brought back, but a strong climber could ride away.
So let’s look at the favourites for the stage starting with Mitchelton-Scott. They have 3 riders who could win today. Esteban Chaves, Damien Howson and Cameron Meyer. Chaves is a bit down on GC to compared to the other two so he might end up working for Howson or Meyer. Howson wants to defend his title so he could be the leader. But Meyer might launch an early attack as they have power in numbers.
Trek Segafredo have Ruben Guerreiro. He’s been in good form the last month with a great performance in the Tour Down Under finishing 9th. The Trek-Segafredo team have started the year off strongly with some strong performances with Mads Pedersen taking their 6th win of the year today. He could be in it for a long way but not sure he is quite strong enough to win.
Jeroen Meijers from Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij is another contender for the stage. He is riding well at the moment. Aqua Blue Sport will be hoping Larry Warbasse will be able to deliver them a stage win. He is a better climber than Guerreiro and Meijers on his day and could maybe match it with the Mitchelton-Scott boys. Genuine outsider.
Bennelong Swiss-Wellness have a two pronged attack with Cameron Bayly and Chris Harper. If a Mitchelton-Scott rider goes then one of them of them will go with him, but whether or not they have the power to stay away or stay with the rider is another story, but expect big things from this team tomorrow.
Riders that won’t win the stage but could possibly have a good result are Pat Lane (Australian Team), Daniel Whitehouse (Interpro Stradalli Cycling), Nathan Earle (Israel Cycling Academy), and Ian Bibby (JLT Condor)
At the end of the day it’s hard to look past the Mitchelton-Scott riders. I think Howson will end up winning the stage, securing yellow but I can’t ignore the form of Trek-Segafredo’s riders at the moment and I think Guerreiro will stick with him for a long way ultimately just falling short.
- Damien Howson
- Ruben Guerreiro
- Esteban Chaves
- Cameron Bayly
- Chris Harper
As mentioned, the winner of this stage should take the overall lead. That should be Howson.
The Overall hasn’t changed, and Crownbet have a market up for the overall.