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Baltic Chain Tour Discussion
Baltic Chain Tour

Welcome to northern Europe for the 8th edition of the Baltic Chain Tour. A mainstay event of the continental circuit, it has become a bucket-list title to include on your sprinter resumé and in many ways is one of the races who defines if you really are a respectable sprinter at this level, as the list of past winners testifies:

2013 Ă“scar Avelino
2014 Maxime Vantomme
2015 Jonas Ahlstrand
2016 Ivano Lo Cicero
2017 Tom Van Asbroeck
2018 John Degenkolb
2019 Kris Boeckmans

Don’t let yourself get fooled by its name though. The race doesn’t actually take place in the Baltic Sea as it turns out cycling races don’t work particularly well on large bodies of water. Creativily, though, the organizers have set up the race on its shores, in multiple countries, neatly organized in circuit races in Saint Petersburg, Hanko, Stockholm and Vilnius. Before all that we have a unique 3km cobbled prologue in the streets of Tallin.


Ah, one other thing: it’s completely flat. There’s not even one single KoM prime throughout the whole route, which doesn’t come as much of a surprise when you realise there aren’t many climbs to be scaled on the Baltic Sea.

Let’s also have a look at who’s around to try and win this thing, shall we?

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/mol.png Lo Cicero728478pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gcn.png Itami758082
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/t3a.png Ewan758381pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/t3a.png Keukeleire728079
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bgc.png Swift738381pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/map.png Guardini728082
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/zal.png Guerao748376pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/anh.png Drapac718079
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/anh.png Kristoff748277pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/xr0.png Rowe787980
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/adp.png Avelino708277pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/anh.png Lander777977
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/lpu.png Gaviria768184pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gcn.png Matthews767979
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/sct.png Saber758179pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bak.png Perera717980
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bak.png Guarnieri758180pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bsb.png Selig717981
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/vvg.png Manninen748180pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/kmm.png Willwohl737978
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/min.png Vesely738180pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/anh.png Stauff737979
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/kmm.png Cavendish718178pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/lph.png Manarelli727979
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bgc.png Silvestre788081pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/and.png Awang647983

A bunch of sprinters as you’d have imagined are here. You can make a case for almost every one of them, but nominally the 2016 winner pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/mol.png Ivano Lo Cicero is the fastest. Is he robust enough to beat the likes of pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/t3a.png Caleb Ewan or pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bgc.png Ben Swift though? And what about the ones which might profit from the cobbles on the first day like pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/anh.png Alexander Kristoff, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/sct.png Lahcen Saber or pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/xr0.png Luke Rowe? About that stage, here’s another list for you:

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/t3a.png Altur82pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/lpu.png Van Aert79pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/xr0.png Debesay7774
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/map.png Trentin81pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/t3a.png Cataford79pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/anh.png Kristoff7772
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/min.png Zepuntke81pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/adp.png Robert79pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/sct.png Saber7670
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/vvg.png Daniel80pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/xr0.png Schomber79pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/xr0.png Rowe7574
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/lph.png Baugnies79pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/map.png Balloni78pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/t3a.png Matthews7574
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/and.png Machado79pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/mol.png Bille77pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bak.png Van der Haar7571
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/sva.png Van Avermaet78pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/anh.png Navardauskas77pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/t3a.png Edmondson7474
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bak.png Breen78pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bgc.png Silvestre77pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/mol.png Martinez7373
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gcn.png Moulingui78pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/mol.png Hussein77pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bgc.png Kortsidakis7273

I have absolutely no clue how stage 1 is going to come out, but I find some dread in the fact that some top cobbles specialists could spare five race days to ride just one kilometre of green cobblestones. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/xr0.png Debesay won here last year, with also pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/sct.png Saber having done well. Perhaps the list on the right is the one we should give more credit to. Really curious about that one.

Well, enough unnecessary words have been spent on this preview. Hopefully you guys get the gist of what’s in store for the next few days. Good luck everyone!
Manager of pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/duo.png Duolingo pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/duo.png
Between Altur, Cataford and Matthews/Edmo i expect to be outside the Top20 on Stage 1. Then Ewan to get a stage win, but not much else and a low Top10 GC. Basically, enough to continue our relegation push following all the other big races for us this year.

Side note, last time Altur, Ewan and Cataford all appeared together was MSR where Ewan did finish on the podium, a sign of things to come here?

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Luis Leon Sanchez
Could really do with a strong performance from Avelino here! Going to be tough though.
Perhaps the last chance for Saber to really score some big points in our fight against relegation. He kinda owes us a good performance by now Pfft

Thanks for preview Gustav Smile


"I am a cyclist, I may not be the best, but that is what I strive to be. I may never get there, but I will never quit trying." - Tadej PogaÄŤar
The cobblestones and sprint teams combined, leaving the time trialists at home because that didn't work last year. Hopefully Vesely and Zepuntke can co-lead and the German is less of a diva than Claeys.
Manager of Minions
In hindsight, I'm not sure why I thought sending Selig to C1 sprints was a good idea Grin
Still our only GC win ever, so Gaviria to make it 2?
Changed my sig, this was getting absurd.
Well, it's a thing - I don't see a light at the end of the tunnel TBH Pfft

PS: Where are the starting lineups?
Definitely brought the weakest sprinter here, so can't expect much (or anything at all). Baugnies also shouldn't be good enough a prologue rider to score points, and as there are no KoM-points available it is very very likely for us to finish with zero points. Thanks for the preview and good luck to everyone Smile
I think this is our win goal? Guerao hasn't been terrible, but hard to expect a victory here. Unless the Gods drop us a bone
Manager of the greatest team in the world
DK Žalgiris
Well, I saw the cobbles symbol on stage one, so I decided to skip this race. In hindsight, it might have been a good opportunity for Reinhardt once again, but well...
Good luck to all those who participate Smile
Saw this just now, but I think Prolobblers is instantly a Top 5 most favorite word for me Grin
Attaboy Altur! Shock
A shame Debesay couldn't double up here, but a decent placing from him and for Rowe, hopefully each can finish in the GC points.
30/12/14 - matt17br said "Sutty's birthday is more important than [Jesus' Birthday]"
24/2/21 - kandesbunzler said “I don’t drink famous people.”

[ICL] Santos-Euskadi | The Life And Times | [Doomed] i.imgur.com/c85NSl6.png Xero Racing
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I can't really argue with Saber losing just 5 seconds, good ride Smile Now let's attack those GC spots!!

Having 2nd and 3rd in the U25 ranking right now, it would be nice if we score a few points there as well.

Looks like you thought wrong TMM, congrats Grin


"I am a cyclist, I may not be the best, but that is what I strive to be. I may never get there, but I will never quit trying." - Tadej PogaÄŤar
Definitely not a good start, but was to be expected. Nice to see Hayter being fifth in the U25, could very well be the only one/two points we score if he manages to hold on Pfft
Vesely will have a difficult time making up ground with bonus seconds as he finished second ... from the bottom Sad
Manager of Minions
Nice stage result by Van Aert (although last of the +2 guys is always annoying). Gaviria at +9 is ok, we can work with that. I hope.
Changed my sig, this was getting absurd.
Good start for Cav with +3 seconds.
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I'm as shocked as the rest of you!

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