Presumably, the battle for the GC victory on the Tour of Britain will come down to the stages 4, 6 and 7.
To start with the first one, the fourth day of action will see the race run from Gatehead to Kendal. The route contains almost 3,000 vertical metres, while the last 500 metres rise at 11% on the Beast Banks climb. Which is a tailor-made finish for puncheurs.
In the 6th stage it will be up to the time trialists to fight for the day’s honours. Simultaneously, time gaps are sure to increase on GC.
Stage 7 travels on lumpy terrain to an even lumpier circuit in Burton Dassett Hills Country Park. The riders tackle a 1.4 kilometres climb at 4.9% three times. The last haul up clambers to the finish line.
Time bonuses are expected to become crucial in the Tour of Britain. Every stage (except the ITT) features three intermediate sprints (for 3, 2 and 1 seconds) and the first three riders on the line gain 10, 6 and 4 seconds. Van der Poel is a strong finisher, so we should expect him to pocket some bonuses this way.
Favourites 2019 Tour of Britain
*** Mathieu van der Poel, Gianni Moscon
** Dylan van Baarle, Simon Clarke, Matteo Trentin
* Tony Gallopin, Tiesj Benoot, Mike Teunissen, Mikel Landa