Stage 5 had the potential of crosswinds. More importantly, I overlooked the intermediate sprints that UAE of course would ride for. The big question is, will they do the same tomorrow? We have 2800 climbing meters.
Doing a ride around Cambrils.
Two scenarios. One, UAE wants to pace here to get the bonus seconds 31 km later. Otherwise, the breakaway will first go there. Nonetheless, in both scenarios the pace is high. I will go for the second scenario, it must be a day for the breakaway.
Corner with 1.4 km left.
Not a lot of wind, but more and more towards the sea. It will rain. Quite a lot all day.
How will the stage unfold?
It is too hard for the sprinters. It is too easy for the GC men. When will the breakaway form? Likely on the morning climb. Potentially later, if UAE wants bonus seconds. I doubt it since Sunday is the last GC day.
That means you must be a good climber and be fairly good in the rain. I will also say, it is a good idea to be a good descender. The last descend can be seen below, it is quite tricky. Add in the rain.
Howson has been climbing very, very well. He lost time on the second stage, when the team had to bring Simon Yates back after his crash. I do hope BikeExchange send some strong riders up the road ie Juul-Jensen. He was at the front today deep into the finale.
Israel – Premier Tech with a few riders. Both Impey and Clarke should be able to make the morning break. I’m wondering if Wurtz can. He won’t mind a bit of rain. With three options, they should be in a good position tomorrow.
Quick-Step often takes these wins. A bit sad Van Wilder is so close in the GC, he would have been my favorite if he had lost time and did not crash today. Bagioli should make the morning move, the same should Vervaeke and Devenyns. The lack of climbing will make it hard for them to make the difference, so the numbers should count more. I think Devenyns is a good shot.
FDJ with Armirail and Pacher. Armirail looked very good on stage 4. I’m not sure how he will cope with the rain, but the cold weather is not a problem. Pacher is in good shape, it is a bit surprising he has not taken a win this season. It is two riders without a pro-win. Will it happen tomorrow?
Soler? The best defense is an attack. Very strong in rain and has the capabilities to attack on the last descend and do a solo win. They have the jersey, and he would love to win in Catalunya.
Who will win?
I will take a win for Marc Soler.