With the UCI finally coming to an agreement with riders regarding the team time trial at the World Championships next month, the atmosphere around Stage 5 will be much less anxious and fraught. As we reported last week, WorldTour teams were threatening to boycott the World Championship TTT due to a dispute over the financial implications. The UCI has now agreed that the World Championship team time trial is not compulsory, therefore also removing WorldTour points from the competition.
Back to Eneco, and Friday’s stage begins in Sittard in the Netherlands before crossing into Germany and then swinging back round towards Sittard. The course is 20.9km, and comes immediately before the two big GC stages this weekend.
Sagan has talked of his pre-TTT feelings, noting “it’s important to ride a good team time trial, BMC are the World champions, but I’m sure Tinkoff can deliver a good performance”. Team BMC are the favourites as reigning champs, and have a very strong line-up for this discipline, including Van Avermaet, Rohan Dennis, Taylor Phinney and Daniel Oss.
Freewheeling prediction – It’s hard to see who could break BMC here, as their line-up is so strong. Movistar and LottoNL-Jumbo should go well, and I’m sure Tinkoff won’t want Sagan to lose too much time to Rohan Dennis. At 7 seconds behind Sagan, we predict more jersey swapping between these two…