The first road stage of the Exergy Tour will give a chance to suss out the contenders and could be the only chance for a sprinter to get a stage win.
“This one looks like it won’t be the hardest, but it could be very hard.” laughed USA National Road Champion Robin Farina (NOW and Novartis for MS). Farina shared her insights prior to the start of the five-day stage race after she and her team pre-rode all the stages.
Starting and finishing in downtown Nampa, the course follows scenic Lake Lowell before turning to tackle a loop with the first QOM of the race.
“We start out in Nampa but we quickly go out to the countryside and then you’re on this loop in the middle of nowhere, and the pavement is really rough, it’s a very heavy course and the wind is blowing. It’s completely wide-open.” commented Farina.
She added that the profile doesn’t do the climb justice. “It’s actually quite a bit longer and quite steep, it’s very exposed. So I think that this loop is actually harder than it seems. I think if it’s windy, it will be shattered. I think it’s a good hard course. Once you get over through the circuit, I think it’s not as bad.”
It’s not just the wind that can cause surprises. “The pavement is super-heavy. The course is completely rolling and it’s chip-and-seal pavement, so it will be a tough course. If the wind is blowing, then it will be shattered. The people used to racing in European peloton do it the way we think it going to be raced, it will be guttered, there will be some explosion in the peloton.”
Her prediction is for a group of between 30 to 40 riders to make it to the finish line for a diminished field sprint.
“There is a chance to regroup over the top, and then there is a downhill but I don’t know if the downhill is quite long enough to make it all come back together.” Farina said. “I think it is the one chance if you’re a sprinter to have your day. You have to be a sprinter that can climb.”
Stage 1 details:
- Length: 74.7 miles / 120.0 km
- Climbing: 1800 feet / 550 meters
- Start time: 11:00 am MDT
- Finish time (ETA): 2:30 pm MDT
- 2 QOMs
- 1 intermediate sprint
- According for forecast, early morning rain should lead to cloudy conditions by 11am. highs in the mid 50 F with winds NNW at 14 mph