Article submitted by twitter user @cyclingbolar
The Corkscrew and descent to Campbelltown is back. In 2013 Cadel Evans won the stage solo by 25 seconds ahead of Nathan Haas, Diego Ulissi, Adam Hansen, Simon Gerrans, Rory Sutherland, Brent Bookwalter, Ben Hermans, Daryl Impey, Robert Gesink, Richie Porte, Egor Silin, Geraint Thomas.
In 2016 it returned. In Michael Woods neo-pro year he lit up Corkscrew road with Geraint Thomas, getting a gap over the climb. They were brought back on the descent though. This time it was Simon Gerrans winning a sprint ahead of Rohan Dennis, Michael Woods, Jay McCarthy, Steve Morabito, Rafael Valls, Sergio Henao, Domenico Pozzovivo, Richie Porte and Ruben Fernandez.
Luis Leon Sanchez was 13 seconds down with Paddy Bevin 22 seconds behind in a large group with Diego Ulissi, George Bennett and Chris Hamilton.
Let’s look at the contenders.
Michael Woods $10 – Woods produced a fine attack on stage 3. It was powerful. When he attacks tomorrow it won’t be a surprise to see him get a gap and it’s a matter of who can go with him and if they stay away.
Luis Leon Sanchez $6 – Lulu has to be a threat. He is riding well at the moment but I doubt he can go with the attacks. He needs to follow wheels and hope it comes back where he can out-sprint everyone.
Paddy Bevin $6 – Riding well at the moment and is in the race lead by 15 seconds over the main contenders and 9 seconds over Luis Leon Sanchez. He can climb, descend and sprint. He is going to need to pick up more bonus seconds because I believe he needs over 20 seconds heading into Willunga. It is vital he picks up the bonus seconds tomorrow so he needs to come top 2. He can do it.
Jay McCarthy $9 – Speaking of out sprinting everyone, and someone that can go with attacks, it’s this bloke. McCarthy will be very motivated tomorrow. Morale will be high in the team after Sagan’s victory. He needs to hope Lulu isn’t there because I’m not sure he can outsprint him.
Richie Porte $17 – Porte is looking in good shape. He couldn’t go with the acceleration in 2016 and I don’t think he will this time. After his crash in the Tour de France two years ago, his descending skills may worry him. His only way of winning this stage is to solo it because he can’t sprint, and I can’t see that happening. Willunga is his chance. Tomorrow is all about finishing with the other favourites.
Wout Poels $17 – Poels has been targeting this race and in good shape. When Woods attacks, I think Poels will be able to go with him. If that’s the case, and they get away, then Poels will outsprint Woods on the line. I give Poels a good chance of winning the stage tomorrow. Even if it comes to a reduced sprint, he has a kick on him. Kenny Elissonde will be a key man.
Rohan Dennis & Domenico Pozzovivo – $21 & $34 – I am going to talk about these two together. Both finished in the small group in 2016 and both are riding well. Pozzovivo looked better today so he is getting over his crash from last week. Pozzovivo won’t win the stage but Dennis could put in a late attack in the last 2km if they are altogether.
Daryl Impey – $5 – Impey is riding well and we know he can finish in this group. If he is there, then he will be the fastest. Will his legs respond after the climb though?
Robert Gesink – $101 – Launched a brutal attack today. I think he is in good form. Can only win though if he gets away with one or two others.
Finally, I am going to mention a wildcard from UAE Team Emirates. They are not going for the overall but they are going for stage wins. Diego Ulissi may be there to sprint and will be told to hold on in case a group of 10 come to the line. He has trained for this. But it is not Ulissi I am taking about. It is neo-pro Tadej Pogacar $67. I wouldn’t rule out Jan Polanc $81 as well, but I think this is for Pogacar.
Pogacar is a rider everyone will be talking about for years to come. He is a talented junior. He may be young, and he may be a neo-pro but they have performed here before. Ruben Fernandez was 23 years of age in his neo pro year and he finished 5th overall. Michael Woods was a bit older, and was a neo-pro and in his first appearance, finished 5th overall again and was able to get away with Thomas as mentioned earlier. Pogacar has been producing some good numbers in training. He is flying at the moment.
He may be 20 years old, but he can climb, he can descend and he has a bit of a kick on him. He may not win the stage, but he will go close. Either way, I’m taking him.Odds found at Bet Easy
Taken the following at Bet365
Tadej Pogacar E/W $67 (1)
Wout Poels @ $19 (1)
Wout Poels over Michael Woods @ $2.62 (5)
Even if there is a group of 7-10 of them, Poels will be there and he can out-sprint Woods.
I think a group of 3 will come to the line together. When Woods goes I think Pogacar and Poels will be the ones to match him. They will hold off the chasers and win by a few seconds. I think Poels will outsprint everyone.
- Wout Poels
- Tadej Pogacar
- Michael Woods