Tour de Suisse Stage 4 Preview

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Looking at the stage profile and then looking at the start list, this preview could very well consist of just two words: Peter Sagan.

The Slovakian wonderboy won four stages in last year’s Tour de Suisse and despite a steep climb on Stage 3, he still managed to win. Sagan came to the race after two weeks in San Pellegrino where he had been training hard in the mountains. He wasn’t sure how his legs would respond but I’d say his legs are just fine.

Sagan has Lucas Sebastian Haedo as leadout and his faithful helper Moreno Moser to keep the pace high. Moser was an important factor in Sagan’s four stage wins last year and after Sagan ‘let’ him win Strade Bianche earlier this year, Moser won’t mind helping out his teammate.

With riders like Matt Goss, Arnaud Démare, John Degenkolb, Ben Swift, Alexander Kristoff & Tyler Farrar in the race, Sagan isn’t the only favorite for the stage. Still, I think he will be very tough to beat. Sagan is good on the hills and the 3.7 km category 2 climb with just 40 km to go will be in his favor. The climb has an average gradient of 6.2 % and even though the pure sprinters will have time to get back in the pack, they will have to burn extra energy to do so.

The last 20 km are flat and with so many sprinters in the race, I think it’s safe to say a breakaway will have very small chances of succeeding today. One of reasons why I’m picking Sagan and not a strong power-sprinter like Degenkolb is the final run-in towards the line. There is a 90° left turn with just 200 meters to go and I bet the first rider into that corner wins the stage. Nobody handles their bike better than Peter Sagan – just ask Ben Swift – and even though Sagan may not have the fastest top speed, he accelerates quickly out of the corners. Arnaud Démare will probably come close but I doubt he will be able to beat Sagan.

My joker for the stage win is Heinrich Haussler. IAM Cycling are riding on home soil and his is the most important race of the year for them. Haussler was lucky with the weather conditions in the time trial where he took 3rd place and I think he make podium again on Stage 4. Haussler is in great shape right now and his moral is high too after he won the final stage of Bayern-Rundfahrt two weeks ago.

Favorite: Peter Sagan

Joker: Heinrich Haussler

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Preview by C-Cycling. Thanks to Mikkel Condé for these informative previews, I’ve supplied him with Dauphiné previews all week and now I’m drafting his Swiss analysis in return. Remember you can follow Mikel on Twitter as @mrconde.

Razorback June 11, 2013 at 1:30 am

…And RST did a terrible show again…
It is not only Andy (although his performance seems to be getting worse than in California), but everyone…
Monfort lost +1’… Kloden +17’! Rast did better than Klodi and Andi (and also many of the other team gregarians)
Inrng any idea of what is going on?
They are not racing anything else before the tour

TheDude June 11, 2013 at 2:14 am


The Inner Ring June 11, 2013 at 10:14 am

I think Kloden’s coming up for retirement. If you look back over the years you’ll see he performs well when it’s contract negotiation time and less when it’s not. Perhaps this is just a correlation rather than causation but certainly he’s not in great shape for now.

TheDude June 11, 2013 at 2:10 am

A rash of crash rash. Very unfortunate for Ryder today. This brings up to me the many times reviewed deliberation of racer safety and preventive measures. In the Classics, particularly dodgy road furniture is randomly marked by a marshal waving a flag, or a safety device such as a hay bale. And, in many cases not, and the unadorned furniture snags riders with often cause notable injury. It continues to take place, and seems, well, ambivalent.

Now, wouldn’t light duty, highly vented PADDING in the collar bone and hip and thigh regions prove beneficial to reducing the severity of injuries? Taking a page from the MTB downhill world as well as Japan’s Keirin, it would seem so. Adoption rate hopefully would shorten from the numerous decades in road cycling before mandatory helmet requirements were put in place. Now, before the libertarian influenced venom spurts, “safety equipment will NOT eliminate all injuries!”.. I proffer that it is worthy to experiment with another “heavy hand” of governance if a moderate percentage of injuries were eliminated or reduced in severity. This seems like a win-win for riders, sponsors, and perhaps to a lesser extent the audience. Certainly the excitement for some spectators (arm chair, or otherwise) is the “watch a train wreck” appeal of the racing risks, and the carnage that ensues. However, what is the thoughtful argument against assisting the rider to have health intact after the wreckage? Oh, yes, these safety pads are much too heavy and uncomfortable. That was a nauseating chorus regarding helmets for eons. It seems beyond passé today.

Andrew June 11, 2013 at 10:11 am

Padding won’t stop collar bone injury, they come from generally arm/hand hitting the ground and a transfer of the energy up the bone structure until it hits the weak point designed to stop serious neck and shoulder damage

The Inner Ring June 11, 2013 at 10:16 am

You could think about some clothing to stop abrasions but the % chance of crashing is still low. MTB downhill riding is different as the weight of the clothing is less important and the effort is short. Try riding up a mountain with a layer too much and heat becomes a risk.

Wato June 11, 2013 at 11:42 am

And maybe instead of bikes they can ride scooters. And instead of professional cyclists they could be 8 year old kids.

All it would do is be uncomfortable, stop some road rash (not all or even the majority) and add weight. No major injuries would be prevented.

jimmy June 11, 2013 at 9:04 pm

Most of this is speculation based on intuition. I am looking for test/medical data that will hopefully inform the typical “speculators”

chapped June 11, 2013 at 9:39 pm

Free advice is worth what one pays for it.

chapped June 11, 2013 at 5:31 pm

I did not see Ryder’s crash. He’s a great bike-handler and descender from his Mtn Biking days.
Did you or anyone here see it? Was there contact with another rider? … with course furniture? or was it a misjudgement.

The Inner Ring June 11, 2013 at 8:23 pm

It wasn’t on TV but here you go:

chapped June 11, 2013 at 9:37 pm

Thanks. That’ll do it whatever your handling skills.

Jules4life June 11, 2013 at 6:17 am

First helmets, now pads? These guys are prima donnas as it is…..

noel June 11, 2013 at 8:56 am

I missed your Sagan/Swift link. Can you enlighten pls?

The Inner Ring June 11, 2013 at 12:48 pm

It’s Mikkel’s writing so I don’t know, maybe leave a comment on his site

Dieter June 11, 2013 at 2:38 pm
Darren June 11, 2013 at 8:54 pm

Was so hoping that Jens would make it all the way to the finish today!
I guess he was just getting in some training for the Tour!

Samuel (@LanterneVerte) June 11, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Perhaps the safety issue would be better handled if the riders had more influence on decision making, via an effective riders’ union. I don’t think extra padding would help much and as others have said above, padding would have downsides as well as upsides. I do find the lack of protection/warning of road furniture alarming at times, thinking back to Yoann Offredo’s crash in paris-roubaix this year, and some of the sharp-edged concrete blocks alongside mountain roads.

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