Tour Down Under 2018: Stage 4 preview

January 19, Norwood - Uraidla, 128.2 km

Mitchelton-Scott DS Matt White says:

"This is definitely a GC day. A normal sprinter wouldn't get through the stage, guys like a Caleb [Ewan] and Andre [Greipel], and it will be quite selective depending on how hard they race up Norton Summit. We have gone over Norton Summit before but only at the start, nowhere near the final, so it will be a crucial day for the GC guys. We will get our first glimpse of who is climbing well and who is here challenging for the overall race lead and victory.

"I think a breakaway could get away in the finale. There is big danger from the top of the climb to the finish line. We are going to see a selection on Norton Summit and it will be quite hard for the teams to control the final kilometres. I do see an aggressive final and I think it is more of a dangerous day for the GC teams than Willunga. On Willunga, no one really goes away until the last two kilometres and the gaps aren't that big. If someone goes away with 10 km to go, it will be really hard to control. If there are, say only 30 guys left, not many teams will have more than two or three in there and there is the potential for a strong outsider to win. It will be a big day.

"The harder it is up Norton Summit the more selective it is, which means fewer guys and Richie [Porte] and BMC are going into the race as the favourites. If it is very selective, then it is probably only 10 guys at the top. For me, someone like a Peter Sagan is the clear favourite because he is good enough to get up Norton Summit and he is good enough to beat anybody in the sprint. It would have to be very selective for Peter Sagan to be dropped."

 

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