Poor day in the trenches. Farrar and Vallee both looked totally lost and were crushed by not only the opponents we set them up against, but also in the overall setting. Vallee burned out too much in trying to gain an early advantage and got left behind when the peloton upped the tempo once again. At least Stepniak could edge his opponent.
Now it is time for some other types of riders to shine. I am betting Rafa Majka is anxious to get going and prove his worth at home. He managed to snatch the polka dot in Tour de France after their captain Alberto Contador hit the dust. Not only that but he also managed to take 2 stage wins in the mountains. Incredible performance by him. This stage would be a perfect one for him to creep up on the leader at the moment in Vakoc who is not exactly a prominent climber.
Zakopane to Strbskie Plese – Stage 5 Preview
We now move away both from the flat stages and Poland and into the mountains and Slovakia. This is quite a tough one that features a somewhat easy first half of the stage with only one second category bump. We are likely to see someone trying to form a break here, but it will be hard to be able to sustain it into the second half. This part is to become a lot more gruesome as it has 3 category one climbs, the final one which ends at the top of Strbskie Pleso. Only the toughest of climbers will be able to make anything work here, and if a break should have any hope of being able to sustain itself they not only need to work together, but they need to be more than just a few in order to have the strength for it.
I would not like their chances though as the peloton has been fierce in keeping up with breaks and I bet Tinkoff-Saxo is quite anxious in getting their newborn star at the front of the race here.
It is gonna be really exciting seeing who is who when we finally get to the mountains here. As already mentioned we think that Rafa Majka is gonna be out to prove himself here and he has a good chance given his showing in France. Now there are opponents he needs to fend off here and one of those we think have a good chance of taking him is Julian Arredondo of Trek Factory. This young Colombian rode exceptionally well in Giro d’Italia and nabbed the polka dot there for his efforts. He also got a stage win there, and with this support team behind him he definitely will be able to give him competition to the door. Combine all of this with the fact that he has been able to rest for longer we like his chances not only to edge out Majka, but also to take a stage win here.
Stage Winner: Julian Arredondo, 5.50 @ BetVictor