It will end with a double ascend of Malhao.
Malhao – the lap.
This is the last 26.5 km of the stage today. We start with Malhao, on the left, before taking a descend down to a short climb. It is 900 meters at 10.8% the short kick at the bottom right. They head back to Malhao for the last ascend.
A steep and short climb. It’s a seven-minute effort for the very best. It comes right after a big right turn. It will be important to be in front here to use as little energy as possible.
The wind will blow from the east. It gives a mix of wind directions for the riders throughout the day. It will be a cross-headwind going up Malhao.
How will the race unfold?
QuickStep will ride for the GC which is almost secured. They will look to use as little energy as possible for the circuit. Vervaeke has looked incredible, he will be the last man for Remco.
INEOS bring a strong team. It was all in for Martinez I assume on the second stage up Foia. I hope they spend their riders better. They have Van Baarle and Castroviejo who both have looked very strong. As for Hayter, he reported heavy legs after the TT. He is feeling a bit tired. They also have Pidcock. I hope they race aggressively but I think their main goal is to get Martinez on the podium too.
Overall, there will be plenty of teams who want to keep this intact.
Evenepoel will just have to pace himself on the climb and not go into red and the GC is won. He got his stage win, will he want another? I do not think the steep gradients are most optimal for him. He always has a low cadence, which is not optimal on steep percentages.
Gaudu is looking very good. The stage win and ninth in the TT prove he has good legs. It will be very hard for him to get on the podium in the GC so he will look for another stagewin. I think the finish suits him very well.
Hayter reported heavy legs after yesterday but still finished third. He also finished third on Foia. Now, this is a climb (in numbers) that is fairly similar to Great Orme that was part of Tour of Britain last season and he did well there.
Higuita is a good conteder too. He was quite certain he would have won on Foia had it not been for the accident. He packs a good sprint too as Malhao flattens towards the end.
McNulty will look to defend his podium spot. That means he has to respond to a fair deal of potential attacks from Martinez, Foss and Gaudu. I doubt he will win.
Barguil tried a long race attack on the Foia stage. I’m not sure why, and he ended up losing time to the favorites. He is far gone in the GC which means he could see a bit of freedom. He is in good form and he is a very fast puncheur.
Martinez to try and get on the podium instead of McNulty. I think INEOS will try and isolate him on the first ascend and have Martinez finish the job. It will be interesting to see if he will prevail.
Figueiredo attacked on Foia and almost fooled the rest. I’ve looked at his past results, he is not to be underestimated.
Who will win?
I will take a win for David Gaudu.