Energiewacht Tour Stages 4a and 4b - Tour of the Basque Country Stage 6
Energiewacht Tour 2012 Stages 4a and 4b
|Stage 4a - click to enlarge|
(image credit: Energiwacht Tour)
The parcours leaves Winsom to the north, travelling up to Baflo and then taking a long, fast loop west and south-west to Mensingeweer. Next, it heads east along a road called the Wildeveldseweg (which must sound fantastic in a Dutch accent). Just visible to the south-west from this point is Ezinge, the oldest continually-inhabited village in the country.
|The terp at Ezinge, the Netherland's oldest village|
(image credit: Ruben Binnendijk CC BY-SA 3.0)
Stage 4b, the team time trial, takes place on Saturday afternoon and covers 26.5km, beginning at Veendam some way off to the south-east from 4a. After beginning in the centre of the town on JG Pinksterstraat (53° 6'19.91"N 6°52'27.74"E), the teams pass through the streets and cross the canal, then the N33 motorway as they head into the flat fields. A route made up of fast straights punctuated with 25 bends and corners will make for a fast stage, but one in which a slower rider could very easily be dropped off the back of the squad and never find her way back. When they arrive at Oude Pekela, they follow Feiko Clockstraat into town, then turn left to arrive at the finish on Raadhuislaan (53° 6'17.39"N 7° 0'24.65"E).
|Stage 4b - click to enlarge|
(image credit: Energiwacht Tour)
Cyclopunk's prediction: GreenEDGE take the stage, but with an insufficient advantage to knock Marianne off the top spot in the GC
Weather: The riders face a chilly start to the day - it's currently only 4C at Baflo, and with a northerly wind of 25kph it feels more like -2C, possibly -4C in exposed places. At present, it's raining lightly - it should dry up later, but further showers are likely. Veendam looks set to be similar, though afternoon temperatures of 7C will at least feel above freezing though not by much, perhaps 3C.
As ever, the best way to get information during the race is by following the official Twitter @ewacttour, hashtag #EWT12 and @richiesteege. Local TV RTL7 is broadcasting a short highlights show daily: Stage 4a will be shown at 14:45 BST (+1 hour for local time/CEST), Stage 4b will be shown along with Stage 5 tomorrow at the same time.
Stage 1 (video) / 2 / 3 / 4a / 4b / 5 / Guide / Video Vault
Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco
|Stage 6 - click to enlarge|
(image credit: Diario Vasco)
By the looks of things, it's going to be a a very interesting stage, too: a look at the General Classification reveals numerous riders who could win overall simply by winning today - the top 17 riders are all within a minute of one another. Climbers Joaquin Rodriguez (currently 1st in GC, Katusha) and Samuel Sanchez (currently 2nd, Euskaltel-Euskadi) have got some serious work to do today, not just if either one of them would like to win this year but simply in order to finish in the top 10.
|So you're racing Tony Martin in an|
individual time trial? Good luck with
that one, chaps.
(image credit: Petit Brun CC BY-SA 2.0)
Weather: More rain. Worse still, it'll come as scattered showers, so some riders may have enjoy a dry course while others have to tackle it wet - which can make all the difference and lose the race. Currently, the temperature in Onati is a chilly 6C, which probably feels more like 0C with the 17kph westerly wind. It should warm up to around 12C this afternoon and, since the wind will change to south-west (coming over land rather than sea) it'll feel like 12C too.
Euskal Irrati Telebista provide a free and legal stream of the race each day from 14:15 (BST - add 1h for CEST).
Tour of the Basque Country: 1 (video) / 2 (video) / 3 (video) / 4 (video) / 5 / 6