Stage 4, the one that many have said will surprise, takes place in the downtown Boise neighborhoods today.
“This stage is pretty tough.” US National Road Champion Robin Farina said. “It’s going to be a hard race but I think it’s also going one that’s going to be decisive, you have to be fit for this course.”
The NOW and Novartis for MS rider shared her insights prior to the start of the five-day stage race after she and her team pre-rode all the stages.
The lollilop-shaped course has a lot more climbing than the only two categorized climbs. Lots of rollers between the first QOM at mile 4.7 and the last QOM with 5.3 miles to go. In between, the field will have to conquer 2 serious climbs each lap and then rocket back into town.
“The stick part of the lollipop is hard, it starts going up from the gun and it’s pretty relentless.” Farina said of the first 5 miles of the 46.6-mile stage.
Then the racers do three times around the 11-mile loop. “Once you get to the lollipop, it keeps kicking you when you’re down. These climbs are just leg breaking, and it doesn’t give up, you get a little downhill and it goes up again. I think it will be pretty broken up pretty quickly on this race. Once you’re done, you’re done.”
This is the final chance to try and get a stage win. “I think a lot of attacks will probably go, and if anybody has anything left, this will be the day. I think the riders who are strong and prepared for this stage race, this is where they’ll excel. There are going to be a lot of tired legs going into this stage but it’s a good place for the teams to take advantage if they have some riders left, use their numbers to their advantage.”
After three laps, the field returns to Boise. “You come into town by the Governor’s mansion, it’s a neat descent and you come into town at Hyde Park. It’s a neat place for a finish, it’s going to be a nice kick finish. If there’s a small group that comes in, it will be a great place to watch a sprint. You have coffee bars and restaurants. They’ve done a great job picking out a place for spectators to be able to watch and enjoy the race.”
And the sun should make a return after days of rain and cool temperatures. Forecast calls for sunny with temperatures warming into the mid to upper 60s. Winds light and variable.
Stage 4 details:
- Length: 46.6 miles (75.0 km)
- Total climbing: 3700 feet (1,125 meters)
- Start time: 11:am MDT
- Finish time (ETA): 12:47 pm – 1:20 pm MDT
- 2 QOMs at mile 4.7 & at mile 41.4
- points 7 deep (10, 9, 7, 6, 5, 4 & 2 points)
- 1 intermediate sprint for points (5, 3, 1) and time bonus (3, 2 & 1 sec)
- at mile 20.3