Stage 2 of the race around Valencia is most likely going to be a sprint. With 2479 climbing meters, some might think it could be a day for the breakaway, but we will have plenty of teams wanting to control the stage.
The last 5 km of the stage seem quite straightforward, but your chance of success already be gone, if you are not in a good position with 1.5 km to go at the roundabout.
1.5 km left, roundabout, road narrows.
At this point, the peloton will be stretched out completely.
1.1 km left, another narrowing.
Very tight around that roundabout.
Last 800 meters, final straight.
Slightly uphill, but nothing the sprinters can not handle.
Nothing special. Barely any wind and 23 degrees Celcius.
Jakobsen with a long train tomorrow. My guess is Cerny-Honore-Lampaert-Mørkøv-Jakobsen. That is very strong and beyond anything else, the other teams can present. He is the man to beat.
Viviani now riding for INEOS. One could hope Castroveijo-Swift-Viviani may be able to keep in touch with the front of the group but Viviani has been a shadow of himself the past two years.
Groves is the man for BikeExchange-Jayco. Not the best train, but with Howson, Juul-Jensen, Dion Smith and Groves himself, they stand a good chance for a podium.
Nizzolo is the other big sprinter name here. He opened his sprint too soon in Trofeo Alcúdia – Port d’Alcúdia, and in Trofeo Playa de Palma – Palma his positioning was poor, forcing him to take a long line in the sprint. He does not have a strong lead-out tomorrow, he has to fight for Jakobsen’s wheel.
Walls got one big win last year, Gran Piemonte. I do hope the Brit can bring that morale into this year. He had a strong track year too. I hope he can continue his progression but a top-5 should be satisfying for him.
Who will UAE go for? With Trentin, Gibbons and Molano at their disposal, they have three very good lead-out men. Gibbons and Molano both have a second-place this season. They could be the team to challenge QuickStep. I think Molano is the quickest, a solid top three-conteder.
David Dekker is my last man to mention. With Affini and Eenkhoorn, he has a diesel and some speed to get into a good position. He was strong in February last season. With a bit of luck, a top-3 placement is within reach.
Who will win?
There is no doubt about it. QuickStep bring the strongest team and the fastest rider.