The four-day Tour du Poitou Charentes gets underway in the French department of Charente, south western France, with five stages in total after double stages on the penultimate day of racing.
Getting underway with 189.6km to Puilboreau, the first race leader will be decided over a parcours featuring four classified climbs, but one that should conclude with a bunch sprint. The final climb of the day, 1km at 6% average gradient, crests with over 67km to race giving the peloton plenty of time to regroup and reel in the day’s escape.
The following days offer a mix of parcours, including an uphill drag to the line on stage 3, as well as a rolling 23km individual time trial on stage 4. The race then comes to a close over a difficult day with the fifth stage, over a succession of short sharp climbs in the final part of the race.
“We will go for the sprint opportunities with Max here in France, and then for the more difficult stages we have Simon who is capable of getting results and also moving up in the GC,” explained coach Adriaan Helmantel. “For Sam it’s still a learning experience and we’ll see how he tackles the difficult stages after competing well and taking the overall win at the Tour de l’Ain last weekend.
“For the fight for GC the time trial will be important, and Simon showed at the Olympics that his shape is very good so he can test himself well here. For Sam, the TT will be good for his development as he continues to grow and impress.”