It is time for Col de Turini. It was last used in the Tour de France in 2020 but not as a mountain top finish. The last time it was used in Paris – Nice was back in 2019. Martinez took the win ahead of Lopez and we only had four riders managing to stay inside two minutes of the winner.
Starting in Nice, they tomorrow ride towards the North.
Col du Turini.
14.1 km at 7.8%. It is a proper climb.
Comparisson with Col de la Colmiane.
Last year, the mountain top finish was at Col de la Colmiane. We did not see a lot of time gaps there. We saw quite a big group towards the end before Roglic caught Mäder just before the line. Col de Turini is harder.
The wind will be harder towards the start and slowly ease towards Col de Turini. It will be quite cold at the top, just around 0 degrees C. There is snow at the top. Different forecasts say it is likely to be a headwind on the climb, between 3-6 m/s. That will feel quite cold to the riders. A fair bit of the climb is covered by trees or the mountain itself, but we might see quite a strong headwind at some points. However, it should not snow in the next 24 hours which means the stage should go through.
How will the stage unfold?
It is a GC day. With quite a few time gaps already, we might see a strong breakaway get up the road. They will need some margin at the bottom, as it will take 40 minutes to get up there from the bottom.
We have a few riders, who potentially can put Roglic under pressure. It is the same riders as I mentioned on stage 5. Yates-brothers, Quintana and we might as well throw Lopez up there due to the length of the climb.
There is a scenario where a big breakaway goes. If they are not a threat, I doubt a lot of teams care to reel them in. There have been a lot of drop-outs, the GC will focus on the GC. On the other hand, it is a prestigious climb and riders will want to win this stage.
Roglic will be well protected. I think Wout van Aert and Dennis are both looking great, while we have to see if Kruijswijk is in bad shape or has been saving himself for this stage. I do not think he is looking good, but he also had a crash. He races to win. Every time. The question is, when will he be isolated and can he win on his own?
Quintana should be one of the first on the move tomorrow. He knows he must attack early. My best guess is after Dennis has done his turn. 1’45 behind Roglic is quite a margin, he is not the most dangerous rider in the GC. I can see a scenario with Roglic and Quintana at the top, and Roglic gifts the stage – he can afford the generosity.
Adam Yates will be up there too. He is looking very good and almost on Pogacar-climbing level in UAE Tour. I think Cyclingmole made a fair point in his preview for stage 5, the Yates brothers will not chase each other which gives them an advantage.
Simon Yates is good at these efforts. Remember Prato di Tivo from Tirreno-Adriatico last year? Approximately an equal climb and he finished second. Currently in 2nd place, which means he might have to respond to attacks threatening his podium spot.
Martinez won here back in 2019. He is likely to be with Adam Yates quite far, which leaves them with two options. I doubt he will win, but he could play a major role in the stage.
Vlasov has been climbing well this spring. We saw in UAE Tour that he is still half a level behind the best which makes it difficult in my book for him to win.
Haig – currently has the Strava Kom. He took a big step last year with a podium finish in La Vuelta. Normally very good on these 40-minute efforts.
Latour – I would be impressed if he keeps his current podium spot.
McNulty – Breakaway option. He might want to consider taking another rest day and go for stage 8.
Who will win?
I will take a win for Adam Yates. A man who made Pogacar looked human in UAE.