Going down South.
Hard enough for a strong breakaway to get up the road.
The finale, in case of a sprint.
Not that difficult. Corner with 500 meters left says the rider will take the left side around the roundabout, most likely it is not the case.
Blowing from the east means crosswinds for most of the day. 6 m/s is enough for splits but it depends on the terrain. It has to be right around the bend where they head south, otherwise, it is likely too far from the finish.
I’ve been on Google Maps. It is fairly covered and they turn into a headwind afterward.
How will the stage unfold?
The morning climb will make sure we see some strong riders up the road. The lack of climbs in the last 65 km makes it very difficult for the breakaway to survive and for a solo win due to a headwind.
How many teams will ride for their sprinter all day? BikeExchange for Groves. Bahrain for Bauhaus. Both teams are left with five riders. Arkea has Hofstetter but Nairoman is the objective. I simply find it unlikely we will see a bunch sprint.
The GC teams will control the stage and make sure the jersey is not lost, but it should be a breakaway taking the win. We have 2500 climbing meters and more than 200 km of racing. Who wants to take control?
Godon is a strong rider. He is versatile and has yet to take a win outside of France. He had a major breakthrough last Autumn and has worked for O’Connor this race. If he has something to shot with, I think he can do well.
Impey has mainly worked as a lead-out man this season. A shame if you ask me! Given that, his results are hard to analyze anything from. He is still a class rider with 29 WT-wins and he has a good sprint from a small group.
Velasco was a part of the breakaway victory in Tirreno – Adriatico. His form is good but he rarely wins. I think the finish is too flat for him.
Howson is in good shape. I think BikeExchange wants to be in the breakaway. Pulling all day with four riders is just mere suicide. Given his form, he should be one of the favorites. He is good against the clock, good for a long-range attack.
Pacher is a rider without a win. He has performed well this spring. I think the finish is too easy for him, but he is not slow on the line!
Armirail went deep today. If he has slept well, he should be up there tomorrow.
Dennis with some strong performances for Jumbo-Visma. Kruijswijk suffered in the cold today, which I had my worries about. He does not have a lot of wins outside time trials which is a big problem.
Wurtz is the second rider for Israel Premier Tech. They also have Clarke. That means they have three options, potentially. That leaves them in a very good spot.
Groves – #1 favorite in case of a sprint.
Bauhaus – #2 favorite in case of a sprint.
Molano – #3 favorite in case of a sprint.
Hofstetter – #4 favorite in case of sprint.
Who will win?
I will take a win for a Dane. Mads Wurtz Schmidt. He can climb, he can TT and he can sprint. Israel should have a lot of options tomorrow and I see the Dane coming out on top.