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09:54 GMT         Day 63 of 90, Season 47    

Cymru Taith Preview
by Finz, at 2/1-18 - 19:29 GMT

  Written by Frank Holwerda of Holwerda Cycling
  When you take a look at the starting list of this seasons edition of Cymru Taith you just can’t wait for the opening stage to start in Welshpool. We have got some serious GC contenders from the Time Trial point of view, but there will also be competition from the hiller specialists. But yes, every season the question is whether the hillers can defend their lead from the opening hill stage in the following TT stage. History tells us that it is mostly not the case. The last winner with a poor TT skill was Farruco Alonso ten seasons ago. But ten is a nice round number, so why can we not search for a successor for Farruco (just for this tour that is).
  In this preview we will first look at the hill specialists who will try win the stage or maximize their lead on the time trialers.
  At first we have Alexander Hetland who reached podium and won the YC in season 39. Hunting for the World number one spot, winning this

tour would come in very handy and he has some strong support for the hill stage. But it will be hard having no Top Form and not much TT skills compared to other riders in this field. Second is Labuto from a very strong team. Third: Pegasus brings Alain De Keijsere who is very strong in the hills. De Keijsere has the same problem as Hetland and Labuto. No Top Form and not much TT skill.
  Now we will look at the Time Trialists who will try to overtake the hillers in the ‘King’ stage, the Time Trial in Newport. We have over twenty riders with a TT skill in the 90’s. So it’s clear the hunt for the hillers will be opened. At first we have no one less than Johnny Struik. He is going for his third title while he is also the defending champion. He comes with Top Form and is the big favourite to win the tour. Jeremey Dooley might have a bigger gap to overcome, but he reached a third place before. Ric Expositi ended at second place last season after winning the TT. That might have been unexpected, but he seems

to be well prepared again. Finn Orre is also in and when we look at his palmares, he is a real GC contender and he is well suited for this tour. Boris Ommen is the oldest of the peloton in the tour and his birthday is exactly on the king TT stage. If I were his manager I would use his Top Form.
  So much strong TT’ers, I will mention some dark horses as well: Lucas Jahnke, Dahab Renzaho, Halsey Linard, Filip Ukleja, Gherman Cristache and Hermano Montenegro.
  Besides the jersey for best GC contender, we also have a jersey for best Youth rider. Last season Gherman Cristache won this jersey, but now he is too old so someone else can try to claim this jersey. The only rider mentioned above that qualifies for this category is Hermano Montenegro. Joachim Sanders who won the YC two seasons ago would have been the main challenger. He is on the participation list, but unfortunately he got injured. Montenegro will instead have to get rid of Jesse De Laat, Sam Washburne and Marc Pierre to win the YC.


Abelixe at 20:55 2/1-2018
  Nice preview Frank.
  Not much faith in Navarez.... hope he will surprise then :)

Team WonderDee at 21:24 2/1-2018
  Great preview. Good luck everyone, and lets hope a Hiller wins this year ;)

Holwerda Cycling at 21:25 2/1-2018
  Well, you gotta start spelling his name right to motivate him better ;)

Abelixe at 21:34 2/1-2018
  It’s the media that consistently writes his name wrong....
  He has stopped complaining about it, But I willoff course, still fight for Navarez identity ;)

Holwerda Cycling at 21:45 2/1-2018
  Haha ok got it.
  About his chances: he is well suited for the race and could do well in the TT with wind. But I left him out because I think that he will not be with the best s in the TT and will not get a podium in the first stage. But it would be a nice surprise when he does well

Abelixe at 22:22 2/1-2018
  Sounds like a strong point.. it’s a very strong peloton. Good luck everyone.

AnnoDomini at 23:22 2/1-2018
  Interesting preview! Not my type of race at all but good luck to all the competitors-have fun!

jmtoler at 03:25 3/1-2018
  You have angered taggy. He must now win the first stage in a breakaway and the second stage by pushing himself to the max. He'll be so tired he'll lose all his time in the parade and be removed from even the grouppetto due to poor pedaling.

logoloos at 09:49 3/1-2018
  Didn't pay much attention to this game lately, so Struik will not be in TF. But hopefully he is strong enough to win it without TF

Holwerda Cycling at 09:52 3/1-2018
  O boy. I make a lot of people angry...
  Anyone else happy to be mentioned?

Drollevangers at 10:38 3/1-2018
  Yep! Thanks for mentioning my very strong team without mentioning the name. Censorship?

Holwerda Cycling at 10:54 3/1-2018
  I hardly ever mention teams. It's all about the riders!

familytour at 13:34 3/1-2018
  Gherman Cristache is still 25,so a top contender for the youth jersey I guess.

Holwerda Cycling at 13:53 3/1-2018
  He turns 26 this season, so I think not.

logoloos at 09:10 4/1-2018
  Personally I also hope that a hiller wins, but it will be hard to beat all the TTers.