A time trial in Budapest.
It is not very technical. We have a long straight, to begin with, then they have two more corners in the next 2 km. It means three corners in the first three km. Then a sharp turn to follow the river, and a technical section until they are on to the other straight on the other side of the river bank. At the end, a hill with switchbacks.
It is quite steep for the first 300 meters – averaging 8.9% after a corner.
The 100 meters of cobblestones on the steep section.
Surely, they will have an impact, but seriously doubt it will be the street that determines the stage alone. After this, it flattens out.
Clouds, yet warm. The riders will have tailwind/crosswind on the stage, but I assume the infrastructure of Budapest will give the wind even less significance
Affini – decided to lose a bit of time today, likely to go for tomorrow’s stage. He was close to taking a big win here last year and the length of the route is optimal for him, if you ask me. Starting early mean he will not have a lot of times to measure his effort against, but it also means a stronger tailwind.
Almeida – it is time to get seconds against your rivals. 14th today was disappointing for me, I assume he will need a few days to get his rhythm back.
Cort – was fourth today. He does prefer longer time trials but with a small chance of the Maglia Rosa, I can only imagine he will go all out.
Tratnik – has not had the best year on the TT bike. We all saw him make a good result for himself in La Vuelta last year, in the prologue. He certainly showed in the spring of 2022 he has become better at steep gradients. The big question is his form, it is unknown after a break. He is starting very early too.
Van der Poel – it should be a good route for him. He is not as bad against the clock as people make him.
Sobrero – had a good TT in Romandie. I think he is still flying under the radar for quite a few, but don’t be surprised to see him in the top-5 tomorrow.
Foss – I think the route is too short and too technical for him to get his power out.
Dumoulin – see above.
Mauro Schmid – is in very good shape. He had a good prologue in Switzerland, tomorrow is another good chance for a top-10.
Who will win?
It is going to sound crazy, but I simply don’t know. I think we will see a win for MvdP. Late starter, a tailwind is good for power and not technique and the hill is an advantage for him too.