Tour of Britain – Stage 8a

With only the time trial and a parade stage remaining at this year’s edition of The Tour of Britain, the overall win is still surprisingly wide open after a week’s worth of racing. Many riders are in with a chance of winning the Individual Time Trial, but everyone will be watching those who could take the overall win along with it.

Who To Watch:

Current leader Dylan van Baarle has every chance of defending his lead today in the competitive time trial. He has performed well this year at several prologue events similar to this and also finished 5th at the Dutch Time Trial Championships’ – he could be the shock winner.

Tour-of-Britain-Stage-8a-Preview

Michal Kwiatkowski is probably everyone’s favourite to put in a good showing and take the overall win all in one fell swoop. He won the Tour de Romandie prologue and a Volta ao Algarve ITT over similar distances this year, as well as being Polish Time Trial Champion.

Though often disregarded as a renowned time trialist, Ion Izagirre has every chance of putting in a great time today. Second at this year’s Spanish Nationals and third at the Vuelta a Andalucia prologue too – though he may have wanted a few bumps in the course.

He might be one of the most famous Time Trial specialists of all time, but it is hard to see Bradley Wiggins putting in much of a showing today. The man has looked relatively disinterested in the entire race thus far, though sprinting for intermediate time was a sign of willing, ‘Wiggo’ will have a hard time today. The course is too short for him to do great damage and those already ahead of him are confident of defending their leads because of this.

Tour-of-Britain-Stage-8a-Preview

It was devastating to watch Alex Dowsett come so close to defending the jersey heading into today, but sadly the Sussex terrain proved too much for him. However, the young Essex man is a pin-up for the British Time Trial scene and could fancy his chances today despite having dug so deeply the previously. For someone raised on Club 10s as a youth, he already knows an approximate pacing required to take the win, but whether he has enough left in the tank is another question.

Despite heading into The Tour of Britain with great form, Sylvain Chavanel has not quite done as much as people expected when it came to contesting the leader’s jersey. Regardless, the Frenchman is known for his abilities against the clock and has placed highly in such events throughout the season thus far – this includes winning the French Time Trial title.

A man who may upset focus upon the GC hopefuls is Jan Barta, the experience Czech has gained his best results this season from time trials, almost exclusively so. He has only failed to finish in the top 10 at one of his 7 time trials this year, winning or placing in the top 3 at five of them

Somebody who could place in the top 10 as a surprise is Marcel Kittel, a man who is no stranger to putting in impressive times over such short ‘prologue’ styled time trials. If it was not for the fact he is later required to take the win on Stage 8b, then it would almost be a guarantee that he would throw everything he has got at such a short TT.

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