We head into the Pyrenees. A finish that has been used a lot in recent years. We have 3356 meters of climbing.
From the east towards the mountains.
A look at the three climbs.
Mont Louis is the first of them. A long climb, but not very steep. Used back in 2017 in La Vuelta a Espana and last year in Tour de France 2021 on the Andorra Stage.
Port de la Collada de Toses is more reguraly used in Catalunya. A long climb, but of little significance.
La Molina (Alp) has been used from 2014 – 2019 in modern times but has not been included in the last two editions. Firstly, we have 8.5 km at 6.5%, a short descend, and 1.5 km at 6.1% or 700 meters at 7.8% is where it is hardest. Lopez
The wind will come from the SE, which means a little headwind on La Molina and Port de la Collada de Toses. The area is quite forested, which means it will not play a big role. It should not rain either, but it will be very cold, around 4° – 5° C. There should fall some snow over the night.
It will be a day for the GC contenders. In 2015, we saw a duo almost get to the line together. In 2016, quite a big group came to the last kicker together and saw Dan Martin winning. The same scenario in 2017, just with Valverde winning ahead of Dan Martin. In 2018, Valverde won again – this time ahead of a young Bernal. Last time, in 2019, the race had exploded earlier and we saw an elite group come to the last kicker together. Lopez won very comfortably that day.
Of course, having some data of the wind on the climb would be vital, but it is often a climber winning – and it is good to have a punch too.
Woods is in good shape. He lost some time today in the echelons, which was a bit easy to predict. Tomorrow, he is one of the favorites.
Simon Yates crashed today. He sat to far back in the bunch, and that is what happens. The form is good, but I think we have others here with a better punch.
Carapaz is looking very good after a poor early start to the season. He has a good sprint uphill, but not likely he will win anyway. INEOS should play the numbers game and hope Carapaz gets a few meters.
Rodriguez had a mechanical today, which is a shame. Quite fast uphill and is possibly not the most marked rider due to timeloss.
Almeida is another rider in fine form. Good performance from him on Col du Turini. UAE have a strong team, I think they want to control the climb and hope Almeida can finish it off.
Higuita is fast too. We saw it on Malhao this year, he is difficult to beat in these uphill finishes.
Valverde – has won here twice. I think the veteran has lost some of his punch but he already has a lot of experience on this climb.
Quintana – too much of a pure climber.
Johannesen – let’s see what he can do. I think he can finish with the best.
Who will win?
I will take a win for Woods.