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After Saturday's thrills, Sunday's race could be a classic

Road Race
Sunday's men's road race looks set to be every bit as exciting as the women's. Getty Images
A strong field and unpredictable course fuels anticipation of men's race

Ukrainian cyclist Andriy Grivko has already compared the Baku 2015 road race to a classic ahead of Sunday's men's final, after the top three women finished within a second of each other on Saturday.

"I haven't seen the course yet but I've heard about it from guys who rode the Tour d' Azerbaijan. It's going to be hard. It's long at 220 kilometres - comparable to a classic," he said.

Grivko named Belgian Tom Boonen as a strong contender. The 34-year-old three-time Tour of Flanders and four-time Paris-Roubaix winner missed out on this year's spring classics due to a crash in the Paris-Nice stage race in March.

Boonen came back strongly, however - winning a stage and the points jersey in the Tour of Belgium and Germany’s one-day race Rund um Koln in June.

Boonen's Etixx-Quick Step team-mate, Dutchman Niki Terpstra, is another force to be reckoned with, and is part of a strong Netherlands team. 

They start with five riders while Belgium, France, Italy, Poland, Russia and Ukraine all start with the maximum of six. This should be an advantage but Gatis Smukulis, who will start in the three-man Latvian team, thinks the race will be difficult to control.

"It's different than a World Tour race or the world championships because there are less riders in one team. It's more exciting, more action, more breakaways and it will be harder to hunt a breakaway down," he said.


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