Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Predictions for Stage 3 of the Tour of California

Here's some tasty footage from VeloNews. I do think they are overestimating the chances of individual riders in Stage 3 though. The climb comes too early to be decisive, and is not nearly the test that last year's Mt Hamilton climb was. I'm betting the best teams will be able to recover on the long flat stretch that makes up the last 50 miles of this stage.

How flat? Some of these areas are flood irrigated, and for that to work there has to be less than 4" of rise in a mile! Winds will play a more important role, and they will be all headwinds tomorrow, although not very strong once over the hump and into the San Joaquin Valley. This stage should favor Astana, which is dominating with riders in 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th places.

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