C. PRUDHOMME'S COMMENT
The second Grand Départ held in Brussels after the one in 1958 will honour one of the country’s speciality: sprinting! Despite the fact that the day’s visit will take the riders on the roads of the flemish classics, the perspective of a bunched finish in front of the Royal Palace remains the most likely. But a solo exploit can’t be excluded.
The first attack will come from Aimé De Gendt. De Marchi, Bouet, Simon, Turgis and Van Melsen will join him in the early break. Viviani will be launched by his train and beat Groenewegen in the bunch sprint.
Gramont and Bosberg will establish the break of the day, and first over Gramont will get the polka dots...... it will probably not be one of the "big" riders, this early in the race, I'll look for a pro-conti rider going all out to take it on Gramont, as it is a 2 day trip to the podium, including a little prize money and notoriety.
Question is if the green jersey is important enough, that someone will reel the break in prior to the intermediate sprint at 125 k...... that could make the last 70 k interesting. But if there is no wind today (and it looks like a gentle breeze), chances are the peloton will keep them at 2-3 minutes until the last 50 k, and then drop the hammer.
The last 5 k, will be a very interesting fight between DQ, LV and LS, to see who has train dominance.
I think Viviani has the best train, Groenewegen has the best legs, and the sprint is best suited for Ewan (and you never know with Sagan)........ It's going to be a close one
The Deceuninck riders have watched the final part of the stage with virtual reality glasses, as there was too much traffic to do it yesterday. So, an employee of the team had gotten up early one day (not yesterday) and filmed the final 10 km.
Since the presentation I'm wondering if some teams would be crazy enough to try something on the Muur, a fast run in and a good pace on it usually are enough to stretch the peloton and then have splits on the descent.
That 2 km section of pave after Charleroi might catch a few out. It doesn't have difficult cobbles but it does get narrow in the second half and it would be surprising if someone didn't end up in the field
LoL, Mørkøv. He wasn't really supposed to be up there… :lol:
I did find the fact that - from the images - it's only the Eritrean and the Danish champion up there, I would… definitely have expected the French...