A hilly day should be a day for the GC or a late attack. It is some steep climbs. The first time up is to do damage. The second time is to determine the stage.
Kostera / Opellora is the first climb. First time with 67 km left. The second time with 30.8 km left.
The main climb of the day. Ozeka is also ascended twice. The first time with 62.5 km left, the second time with 26 km left. A hard hitter.
The last climb before the line below. Anyone who does not fancy a sprint will try here! I’m looking at you, Woods. It comes just 5.5 km from the line.
Very, very narrow roads. Almost impossible to gain any seconds on anyone with a gap.
The second time, it is worth remembering the small roads proceed all the way until 17 km left.
Last 13 km.
Big roads. I think it is likely we see an attack on the false-descent.
The wind will be irrelevant, but it will still be rather cold for April in Spain. We should see no rain either – similar weather as we had on stage 1.
How will the race unfold?
It will a day for the GC. That much is simple. However, here is my scenario.
We have two teams with two favorites. You guessed right, Jumbo-Visma and Quick-Step. Now, I think Alaphilippe and Roglic will be fairly satisfied with a sprint from a small group in the end. Evenepoel will not. If Evenepoels attacks, Roglic will follow. Alaphilippe should be marked by Vingegaard, making sure Roglic does not spend too much energy and making sure Vingegaard moves higher in the GC.
We have a few riders, who do not fancy a flat sprint. Woods and Gaudu. That means they will attack. That means it will be a hard race.
What about INEOS? Not a mountain top finish, but they do have some riders having the correct attributes. Hills and TT. Thomas, Martinez, Tulett and Yates are all within ’21 seconds of Roglic. That will not be easy to control.
I think Jumbo-Visma will have a hard time tomorrow. They will have to cover a lot of moves and they are not easy to drop. In the end, a low-threat GC rider will take the day.
Jumbo-Visma are on a defensive mission. I doubt they will win the stage, it is very hard to control.
INEOS with four riders as mentioned. It does not suit Yates. It is better for the others. Martinez is likely going to be marked. That leaves it up to G and Tullett. Today, it looked like G is on teammate duty.
Quick-Step with Evenepoel. He is marked and does not beat any in a sprint. Loulou is not too dangerous due to the mechanical in the TT. A stage win today is a big boost for him, but I think he will be marked. They do not want to let him back in. Vansevenant? When will you time your attacks better?
UAE with plenty of riders. It will likely be chaotic for them tomorrow as they all think they should be the leader. I think it suits a lot of their riders, Formolo and Covi most.
Higuita is very fast in a flat sprint. I think he wants the race to explode early to enhance his chances. If they bring him to the line, the others have messed up.
Gaudu & Woods – the finale is too easy for them.
Who will win?
INEOS are UAE have the numbers. I will take a win for Tulett. I think it is likely he will be the least marked man from INEOS and he is in fantastic form.