The last flat stage of this Giro d’Italia. Will the sprinters get one last battle or is it a day for the breakaway? It is a short stage with just 156 climbing meters. There is one steep climb finishing 50 km from the finish – it would be a long solo.
Finish quite far from the finish, but it could see a selection in the breakaway.
A few twists and turns, but the last 3 km are rather easy, should it be a sprint.
Another day with almost no wind and it gets warmer throughout the day, up to 27 degrees C in Treviso. Even though it will get warm, it will rain a bit throughout the afternoon.
How will the stage unfold?
Well, it is down to a few teams to decide. It is a short and flat stage, that is always good for the sprinters. After two hard days in the mountains, and 15 stages before that, so they are fatigued. If you’ve seen the clip of Cavendish before stage 17, you know how they feel. The reason he is still here is because of tomorrow. That means Quick-Step is likely to ride for him, I see no other reason.
What about FDJ? In 2020 they had a similar situation, though it was hellish with rain and the distance much longer. They let the breakaway go. With three stage wins and a very secure points jersey, they could decide not to be bothered at all. But the safety allows them to go for another stage win. Even if he does not get any points, he should be secured. On the other hand, if he crashes out in the sprint, the team will not be happy. I’m unsure what they will do.
We have the likes of DSM and UAE with a fast sprinter too. I doubt they will pull all day for their sprinter. DSM might as Bardet is no longer in the race, but that leaves us with Quick-Step, possibly FDJ and DSM against the breakaway. It is worth a note, that the last flat stage in the Giro d’Italia is often for the break.
Dries de Bondt – I think the man has looked great. He has the right attributes, engine and sprint. I can imagine Alpecin will sent a few men up the road – this means they will have a numerical advantage, something very important.
Magnus Cort – it is the last chance for the Dane. He has climbed well the last few days – that means he is in shape. It is a typical Cort stage, a sprint from a breakaway. He is hard to beat in those situations.
De Marchi – it is time for him to hit the breakaway. I can see him getting up the road with Dowsett. A very good man to have up the road with him. He will need to win alone, he is not the fastest man in the world but not the slowest either.
Eenkhoorn – the form is clearly there, but how many will they be able to have up the road tomorrow? He was the strongest from the breakaway the other day, he will hope to take the right chances tomorrow.
De Gendt – I think the finale is too flat for him. He has not joined any breaks of late, just sitting at the back of the peloton. One last, big effort is waiting to unleash. Is it tomorrow? I hope.
Affini – TT riders excel at these stages. You just want a rider, who can push power and go solo. He is that rider.
Demare – sprint option #1
Cavendish – sprint option #2
Gaviria – sprint option #3
Who will win?
It has got to be Magnus Cort from the breakaway.