The conclusion of Stage 3’s 158.5km circuit out of Al Mussanah Sports City and back should result in another big sprint finish for the fast men. Without a bump on its profile worth mentioning, the day’s profile hardly requires an elevation guide alongside it.
Worrying so little about what comes between the start and finish could cause a lapse in concentration for some of the peloton, but alertness will be required as ever from the riders. Barren desert landscapes which blend onwards to the coast mean exposure to crosswinds is likely; should they decide to stir on the day. Teams will have to work hard to keep GC contenders at the front of affairs if the bunch begins fraying rapidly in the winds. Running parallel to the seafront, the final kilometres into the finish are extremely flat, meaning a fast bunch kick should crown the victor on Stage 3.
It should be an incredibly quick sprint for the win, favouring Nacer Bouhanni, Sam Bennet, Andrea Guardini and Tom Boonen. All four have shown they are taking these early season races seriously and will certainly be eager to add to their hauls so far or open their 2015 account. No doubt ‘Mr.Consistent’ Peter Sagan will place in the top ten as expected; any chance of him winning reduced by such a drag race of a finish however.
1st Bennet 2nd Guardini 3rd Boonen