I see one option, and that option is a sprint. The question is, will a few of them be dropped?
Starting in Sant Feliu de Guixols and ending there too. Up north and back south.
It starts with 30 km left and ends with roughly 25 km left. We have seen this year that some teams if they want to, will look forwards to dropping the heavy sprinters. It is
The last five km
Coming from the bottom left and ending at the right. We have some climbing here and the last 700 meters around 5%.
We will have winds blowing from the sea, around 5-6 m/s. The closer to the cost, the stronger it is. Most of the rain falling tomorrow should be in the morning which is good news. However, Yr.no reports up to 7-8 m/s between 13:00 – 16:00. The northern part of the stage is quite exposed. We could be in for more than a simple bunch sprint.
Open terrain, quite a lot of wind? It has to happen.
How will the stage unfold?
As mentioned briefly, I think we will see echelons. It rarely happens in Spain but with 7-8 m/s and open terrain, cold weather and a chance of rain, it could turn into a really good day for classic riders.
The big question is, who will do it? INEOS are always up there. Castroviejo and Kwiatkowski can put the hammer down for one of their leaders. I think Israel Premier-Tech has a good team with Wurtz, De Marchi, Impey and Clarke but they probably need Woods to be up there too, which might pose a problem. Quintana is bodyguarded by Hofstetter and BikeExchange-Jayco has a very, very good team for echelons.
Other than that, I am not actually sure how many teams want it. Bahrain has a few good riders, with Colbrelli, Teuns and Bauhaus too.
We have a lot of climbers here at this race and a lot of echelons specialists.
Someone will attack in the crosswinds and the peloton will split. It is most likely going to be INEOS.
Matthews has a very good team here to support him. A great performance in Milano – Sanremo too. Is the legs a little sore tomorrow? They might be. I can see the opt for Kaden Groves too. Two podium finishes in Tirreno – Adriatico are some strong results from the young sprinter.
Bauhaus or Colbrelli? Bahrain-Victorious has two options. Colbrelli back after illness at Paris – Nice. I would opt for the German, bloody amazing sprint in Tirenno – Adriatico. Do not forget he won an even harder uphill sprint in Tour de Pologne last year.
Hofstetter will most likely look after Nairoman in the crosswinds. Given his current level, he should be able to fight for another podium spot for his collection.
Molano should be a hard man to beat in the finale. In the crosswinds, I do not have a lot of data on him. He was in the front group at Paris – Nice which is a good sign.
Laas with a carte blanche. He always pops up out of nowhere. Tomorrow will be another one of those days I pressume.
Velasco is quite fast on the line and the uphill kick is certainly good for him. I think some of the others are quicker.
Who will win?
I will take a win for Bauhaus, I think he is the quickest here.