Stage 4 is the longest in this year’s 12th edition of the Eneco Tour, with 202km of racing between Aalter and Saint-Pieters-Leeuw. Billed as a sprinters stage, the appearance of three uphill sections within the circuit, the last of which tops out within the final 13km – may decide otherwise. If the climbs aren’t enough to contend with – enter the Belgian cobbles!
The pavé sections here are not too long, although could be tricky depending on the weather conditions. The riders will also have to contend with three climbs included within the circuit section, which could see the bunch split. To make things interesting, the Golden Kilometre begins just after the final climb of Bruine Put – a climb of almost 1km at 8.2%, which, given the time gaps at the top of the GC, could make for a very entertaining few metres as BMC seek to hold off Sagan and keep Dennis in the leader’s jersey.
With its technical sections, uphills and sprint-type finish, this should be another perfect stage for Sagan. Only 3 seconds behind the race leader, day 4 could be the day for the Slovak to head GC for the first time in the race.
Freewheeling prediction – Fresh from our prediction success in Stage 3 thanks to Sagan and Boudhanni, Freewheeling is predicting that Sagan will take over the leader’s jersey by the end of Stage 4. There could be another stage win for the Tinkoff rider given the shape of the parcours, although Olympic champion Greg Van Avaermaet is also in good shape to finish the stage at the sharp end.