Big day for green jersey fighters.
Sprint festival. Pure Criterium day on a fast, punchy and short circuit course. With only 2km long Lap and an intermediate sprint in every single Lap, it is going to be super spicy and a real leg reaper.
This the most important stage for Green jersey hunters. There are almost 30% of all sprinting points available of all seven stages with sprint points to offer in the spring series. But beware, there are two banners on this course. On all sprints, during stage it is only sprint banner at the top of short cobbled leg snapper, that counts! Finish banner counts only at the very end of the stage. This means there will be 18 sprints on sprint banner + 1 last sprint at the finish banner.
Because there are so many sprints during the stage, only first three over the line score points, and if someone wants to perform really strong in terms of grabbing the maximum amount of points for green jersey fight, he will have to do a hell of a lot repeated sprints efforts. And here comes the fun part of criteriums. Nobody is able to do endless all-out sprints and simultaneously follow counter attacks! The more you sprint like a maniac, the more open is window of opportunity for counter-attacks and ambushes. If you want to grab the points, you have to sprint. No sprint, no points. But the harder you sprint, the more vulnerable you are for counter-attacks. If someone successfully counters and escapes for only a few laps, he can grab hell of a lot of points even if he isn’t the strongest and the fastest sprinter. In fact, smart time trialists, which usually sucks at sprinting, can easily steel most of the points to sprinters. All he needs is a bit of post-sprint-leg-paralyzes and a bit of hesitation in the pack, and here he can go. With a gap of only 50m, he might be incredibly hard for the pack to be shut down quickly. And with 5 solo laps, he can ruin sprinters fun, before you eat your cake.
One more trouble for Green jersey hunters might be the numerous presence of one day racers. Crit City is a popular course, especially for heavier riders with fast legs, since they can easily follow wheels the entire day and then sprint for glory at the end. The more one day passengers in the game, the harder will be to harvest a lot of intermediate sprint points, since they score points too. All that matters is the first three positions over the line at the Prime on Zwift power (see example here).
At the end of the day, for the most, this stage might be closest to over/under threshold training session. If they want to stay in the front group they will have to rise their ass’s and kick hard for some 30sec over the leg snapper, then settle down and try to recover for the next 3min in the blob, before they will have to do it again. Only 19 times so, and the stage will be over. Since different category groups will be visible on course, meaning there will be a lot of smaller groups of A’s, B’s, C’s, lapped riders, and so on, the real mess and fun is guaranteed.
& categories will do 18 laps or 35km distance and 144m of altitude.
& categories will do 12 laps or 24km distance and 96m of altitude.
The race happens on Sunday 16.2.2020 at 10.30 CET. Register here now.
Have you ridden the course “Crit City Downtown Dolphin” before? The easiest way is to check the segment in your Strava account.