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21:09 GMT         Day 53 of 90, Season 53    

Haute-Normandie S48 - A preview
by Yuri, at 14/3-19 - 16:22 GMT

  Written by Frank Holwerda of Holwerda Cycling
  There is a strong line-up in France this season with lots of established riders who have proved themselves as good cobblers. On the other hand we also have a lot of new riders who are battling for the YC and at the same time battling for top-9 spots in the GC.
   1 2 Cycle
  Xavier Morayta is the best rider in this team. He will have cobble support from youngster Tycho Smit and good old Blazej Urbanek. Morayta managed to get a 8th spot in TvA last season for Alpine, but will be hoping for a better result in this tour.
  Niguel Verme is a former winner. He won the tour four seasons ago while also winning the YC. Three seasons ago, he only got 10th and last season he did not participate. Verme will be aiming for a new result here with Olmos as a good helper by his side.
  This team has a chance at winning the YC with Amiral Libumdi. Maybe more than a chance, because Libumdi has won the YC here two times before. There are no cobblers in the team, but the leadouts in the team will be trying to help Libumdi as much as possible. Top sprinter McCann will be back from injury just in time.
  This is a very strong cobble team. Cichocki is a former winner of this tour, but will he be the captain? He is 33 now. Lis could also try to do something for the YC, but Kozak is also an option for a stage win and possible result in the GC.
   Blues Racing
  This team has only one cobbler, but it is a good one. Gouziotis finished sixth in the GC last season and is a former winner of Volta da Lagoa dos Patos. Will he be able to improve on last season’s result?
   Cloud Atlas
  The defending champion is on this team. Venjamin Sala will want to repeat that victory and brings a very good cobble team to take that jersey home.
  Last season Columbiero had two riders in the top five of the GC and both riders are here again. Gambill and Garrau will be fighting for captaincy again. However, looking at the team there is another strong rider who seems good enough to join the battle. Moreover, when this Paraschiv does so, he is a dangerous candidate for the YC.
   Conero Cycling Team
  Another strong cobble team at the start. Grimstad was runner up in season 43 and Yunus was seventh in season 46. Grimstad looks to be the best option to be captain, but who knows what arrangements manager Gianluca has made
  Delon is in this team as experienced cobble captain. He was runner up in season 44, but he has a young talent by his side who might want to get some success for himself in the YC. Tovar is the name and the real fans will know him. He was last season’s runner up in the YC.
   De stamper
  This is a good cobble team! Every single rider apart from the youngest is good enough to captain a whole lot of other teams in this competition. I think Giannoni will be the captain with already a trophy won this season at Minsk. Shabunin seemed to be the captain last season, but Giannoni proved to be a very good cobble captain.

   Ekaitz team
  This all-Spanish team has three good cobblers. Meira is the one with lots of points and winning Volta da Lagoa dos Patos last season. He will be the best option to get a good result here.
   Hog Bay CT
  The first cobble team for this team and not for nothing with two strong cobblers. Banzragch and Dogsom are strong enough to get a top-9 in this tour and the YC is a real option here.
   Holwerda Cycling
  This all-Dutch team has only one cobbler. Hilberts managed to win the Tweedaagse van Antwerpen YC two seasons ago. Will he be strong enough to get this jersey here as well?
   KK Fajfa
  Jogan has a rich history in the Volta da Lagoa dos Patos winning it once in season 46. Will he start making history in Normandie as well?
   Navarone Cycling Team
  No cobblers on this so do not expect a GC result here. However, five big sprinters and a good TT’er good bring in some stage results.
  Myagmartseren is supported by lead outs. A cobble race that ends up in a sprint is definitely for this guy. Is he good enough to improve on the sixth place in GC last season?
  Another all-Dutch team (I like it) with Van Hummel in the team. Last two seasons Van Hummel was ninth in GC and I think he can do much better.
   Peloton Pushers
  Three riders that go well over cobbles, but I do not know whether this will be good enough for a GC result. Perhaps Thibault with some TT abilities could end up on the podium of the YC.
   Silver Giant
  Mutesa participated in Tweedaagse van Antwerpen this season and managed to get an eighth place in GC. Will he get a top-nine in this tour as well?
   Starlynk Bermuda
  Another team that is new to the cobble tours. Uridge is the captain for this team. Not young enough to be participating in the YC classification, but a GC Top-9 is certainly a possibility.
  Batto is the best cobbler on this team. He has some strong leadouts to help him in the cobble stage. This will not be enough to play a significant role here. However, a result in a stage is possible for this strong team.
   Team Boehringer
  No real cobblers, this team is only targeting the last stage so it seems. Almada is injured now, but he will be fit before the start of the tour.
   Team Wonderdee
  This almost all-Belgian team has Cretskens and Bormans in the line-up. Cretskens is the captain I think. He will want to improve on last season seventh place in GC.
   TJ Banik OKD
  Another GC contender from last season, Rosas, is participating again. He ended the tour at eighth place and has strong cobbler ?u?kovi? by his side.

A preview should have some kind of prediction, so here we go:
  Stage 1:
Dorian Petrosky
  **Jens Wijk
  * Hamad Gahimbaré, Boubakary Bitana, Prospero Quino Riquelme
  Stage 2:
Asashoryu Banzragch, Geronimo Alamino
  ** Noah Van Hummel
  * Xavier Morayta, Merkid Dogsom, Kuzhuk Myagmartseren
  Stage 3:
Merkid Dogsom
  ** Venjamin Sala, Asashoryu Banzragch, Andrea Giannoni
  * Noah Van Hummel, Xavier Morayta, Kuzhuk Myagmartseren
  Stage 4:
Alípio Almada, Björn Thorn
  ** Manuele Modicamore
  * Vitório Galiazzo, Max Orre, Mateo Dorantes
Merkid Dogsom, Asashoryu Banzragch (whoever is captain there at Hog Bay)
  ** Xavier Morayta, Noah Van Hummel
  * Kuzhuk Myagmartseren, Geronimo Alamino, Venjamin Sala, Andrea Giannoni
Merkid Dogsom, Asashoryu Banzragch (whoever is captain there at Hog Bay)
  ** Huberto Tovar, Benedict Paraschiv
  * Amiral Libumdi, Kajetan Lis, Collin Hilberts


Hog Bay CT at 18:45 14/3-2019
  I'm the favourite in my first cobble tour? Awesome! I'll try not to disappoint.
  Nice preview, good work!

Holwerda Cycling at 19:13 14/3-2019
  I have not taken equipment into account though. I do not know where you are at for that matter.

Hog Bay CT at 20:42 14/3-2019
  I have all the equipment, so at least you won't have to change the *** then. ;)

AnnoDomini at 22:22 14/3-2019
  The YC competition seems to be strong, so I will most likely skip it and focus on GC. Thanks for the preview Frank!

Team WonderDee at 19:01 15/3-2019
  Great preview. Not sure who will be the captain for my team yet. See after stage 1.

Holwerda Cycling at 12:44 17/3-2019
  Starlynk Bermuda had a good rehearsal winning Circuit Pays Noir - Charleroi in the sprint in front of Holwerda Cycling.
  Uridge might be more dangerous than I wrote in my preview.

Holwerda Cycling at 21:40 17/3-2019
  First one was right :) Up to the next stages.

Holwerda Cycling at 06:47 18/3-2019
  Second one was not right. It is hard to predict a BA though...

Holwerda Cycling at 21:24 18/3-2019
  And Dogsomwins stage three :)

1 2 Cycle at 16:50 19/3-2019
  Nice! :D

Holwerda Cycling at 21:30 19/3-2019
  That Sylvain Uzamukunda is ruining mu prediction!