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La Tropicale Amissa Bongo Discussion
Preview by Vien

La Tropicale Amissa Bongo

Welcome back to Africa for La Tropicale Amissa Bongo, also known as the Tour of Gabon. For the past few days, a lot of sprinters with the ability to survive rough terrain have been seen with smiles on their face. And for a good reason, too - for the next five days, the spotlight will be on them! (does anyone get the reference?)


The race has been downgraded from a C1 status this year, but the concept will remain the same: Five stages in which there are some serious climbs, but not enough to be rated a race for the puncheurs. There are some slight differences in the stages though, especially the first three are quite painful for the true sprinters with long climbs and an uphill finish of some sort. Compared to those stages the last two are a bit tame, especially because the stages are shorter and most of the hills are in the first part of the stages. However it's hard to believe that the hills in those stages won't at least have a slight influence on the outcome of a final sprint.


pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_rot.png Van Heerden827368pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_ada.png Vanderaerden797561
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_del.png Guarnieri828166pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_epc.png Modolo788173
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_esc.png Thorsen828554pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_spr.png Aregger787771
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_gcn.png Keukeleire807970pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_del.png Kreder788070
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_vad.png Manninen808066pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_xwa.png Haussler787368
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_teb.png Nizzolo807964pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_rot.png Wippert788267
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_emo.png Vanoverschelde807562pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_ccr.png Teuns667278
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_spr.png Salleh808059pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_ccr.png Hoelgaard687477
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_bnz.png Carsi808255pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_del.png Vichot668076
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_cpl.png Matthews797964pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_spr.png Weiss737476

Fun fact: Last year, when this race was part of the C1 calendar, not a single CT team declared interest in joining this race. Was that because there were no suitable riders here? Well not this season for sure! The first rider who seems to be very suited for this race is Keukeleire. With just a good set of skills overall, he may not win every stage, but a poor GC result will almost be unthinkable.

Then there's always the possibility that the hill stat will be very important, in case of a very hard stage in which most sprinters will get dropped. In that case, Modolo is your golden tip to bet on. Modolo combines all necessary stats beautifully, and has the highest potential in being fresh after the hills. However, as we all know, Equinox' riders aren't specialists at winning. So let's not jinx it, shall we?

However, with the MGUCI regarding every stage as flat, it's not as sure if the HIL stat will be as important as the terrain may show. Therefore, there's always a possibility that some of the better pure sprinters will take this one. Then Guarnieri will get another shot at dominating the CT sprints as he's supposed to, even though he hasn't really shown it so far this season. Other top spinters who should be at least alright on the hills are Van Heerden, Manninen, Matthews, Aregger and Kreder.

Also, if you're feeling like making bold predictions, there is of course still the possibility of the race being even harder than expected and a puncheur creating enough of a gap to win the GC. Some managers have chosen for this strategy, judging by the appearance of riders like Theuns and Hoelgaard. We will see if any of them will show some agression.

And finally, there are a few sprinters with poor palmares when it comes to hard sprinter stages: Thorsen, Salleh and Carsi . They might be able to survive some of the slower stages and fight for a stage win. However, with so many teams having an interest in making these stages as hard as possible, it's hard to believe they won't get dropped in any of these stages. Therefore, their chances of a good GC result are quite slim.
Manager of [MG] Repsol - Netflix

Manager of [ICL] Wilier Triestina

Everybody was fear of the KUMP. I'll always have a soft spot for this race after Isostar showing up big time for the first time in our PCT haul here, taking the GC with Marko Kump. I'd love to pass the crown to Jens Keukeleire, I hope his awesome team could get some revenue here. Sascha Modolo could well be his closest enemy though, but even with those 2 I can't look past Jacopo Guarnieri as the winner of the race.
Its been a long time since the Eddie Stobart boys were in action so lets hope the rest has done them good and we can challenge for honours Wink
Excited for this race. GC win is always the target when Guarnieri is present at a C2/C2HC race, but as pointed out in the preview, earlier results doesn't fill me with confidence Pfft We have yet to win a race this season though, so would be very nice to start here.

Looking forward to the reports!
Matthews our only point hope here. We think he could reach a top-10 GC and we'll be happy with that. Top 5 is our goal though. Looking forward getting in to the action again! Smile
Guarnieri obviously the one to beat but he has shown to fail at times.

Van Heerden hopefully the one to perform here.

Keukeleire, Manninen? and Modolo, Kreder those that I expect to perform the best.

And weird to find Teuns here on the list. Not the kind of race for him. Think I said the same before Tachira, where he was pretty decent in the end. So we`ll see.
Well thank you for not jinxing us then...
Aquarius97 wrote:
Then there's always the possibility that the hill stat will be very important, in case of a very hard stage in which most sprinters will get dropped. In that case, Modolo is your golden tip to bet on. Modolo combines all necessary stats beautifully, and has the highest potential in being fresh after the hills. However, as we all know, Equinox' riders aren't specialists at winning. So let's not jinx it, shall we?

There has to be some sort of conspiracy against us. It has to be at this point.
Awesome 1-2 to start the race with!!
We are aiming for at least a top 5 GC so to see Salleh survive the first stage in the bunch gives us hope, just a shame the train got derailed abit there, hopefully it can be a little stronger to give him a shot at a stage win in the future stages.
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May I ask what happened to Romandie?
RIP Exxon Duke, David Veilleux, Double Feature, and Monster Energy



Still have great memories of La Tropicale from the KAYAK days. Carving out a Top 10 is a decent start. Well done to GCN.
Disclaimer- Most of my posts are me thinking aloud. And most of what I think is rubbish.
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"... Because he(me)has a sound tactical mind in general..." jandal7, at 9:30 am GMT on 12th May 2016
Wish there were more HC/C1 races for Guarnieri to race, cause being the favorite clearly doesn't suit him Pfft Pretty decent sprint though, but doesn't help much when the positioning is so poor.
Thanks for the report!

Good result for Manninen considering his poor positioning into the sprint.


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Great to have a race again Grin Go Aquarius!
Wippert! I like Smile
Guarnieri needs to recover from this sooner than later. Another great stage for Modolo and Keukeleire, only crowned by a flying Matthews who certainly doesn't fail to both surprise and amaze her!
Have no idea how Matthews suddenly are able to fight for the GC-win, but I like it Smile

Thank you for the well written reports so far, really exciting sprint on stage 2!
A train for Guarnieri? I can't believe my eyes Pfft

Awesome way to bounce back after that terrible 2nd stage! Didn't expect a win this stage with what looked like a tough finish on the profile, so that's a very nice surprise. Well done by Kreder who really set him up perfectly.

The last two stages look like they suit Guarnieri, so hope we can line up a train for him again. Keukeleire looks hard to beat for the GC, though.
I need a moment of silent celebration for Katrasnik leading the U25. Also Guarnieri back in business, but Keukeleire very consistent.
Surprised to see us sitting with 2 in the top 10. But it would be nice to get one of the two of them to push higher up the GC.
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