Randwick - Colombian Terrain - Cat 1s
I'm going to be honest here; I don’t have a lot of information on last night's stage. A grand mountains stage (I'm assuming) and the Columbian, Egan Bernal, took home the chocolates with a solo victory over the chasing group. Five escapes formed the early break but failed to establish enough of a gap. Alas, they were scooped up by the Peloton as Winx did on Sunday, engulfing his competitors in the final of Warwick Stakes. Similar to the consistent nature of Winx's victories, a Colombian yielding success in the mountains stage of Tour de L'Avenir is also a common occurrence - Quintana, Chaves and Lopez - a few names you may know, have put their competitors to the sword in the steep French alpine regions. A rife of colossal talent is produced from the Colombian highlands and traditionally they are not exposed to their under 23 counterparts before late August - contributing to the race's prestige and reputation for producing future superstars.
The Australians had an admirable day by the look of the results sheet. Lucas Hamilton finished 4th at 1:09 down to put himself in the mixer for the overall lead with Jai Hindley and Michael Storer finishing 1:30 and 1:49 behind the Colombian. Realistically with two gigantic mountain stages left they are all in with a shot at the overall.
Stage 8 - bergs bergs bergs, two Cat 1s before a Cat 2 to finish the day off the 120km stage. There is not a genuine flat section of road and out of the blocks they head up the Cormet De Roseland that tops out at 38.1km. I imagine the Columbians will defend in a Team Sky-esque manner throwing the ownership onto the other teams if they want to animate the race. With no valleys throughout the stage for the chase to capitalise on, a breakaway containing a GC contender is a serious threat to the South Americans. From memory, I have raced this stage before and the last climb takes a back road with serious pinches en-route to the finish. Again it could be the conservative rider that is able to pounce on the last climb but it's a risk based on how good Bernal was last night.
We are privileged to have tonight's stage live on Eurosport from 9:30pm and hopefully the young riders of the future utilise their flair and show some enterprise to unhitch the Colombians.
I'll see you back at the social club,