Oooh, it is a big one tomorrow. Col du Galibier and Col de la Croix de Fer on the same day? Stunning we have a mountain stage with 3900 climbing meters in under 135 km. They start by going 2700 meters above sea level before descending for 35 km. A short valley of 12 km, then on to the next long and irregular climb. Another descent and a shorter climbing to find a stage winner.
Galibier. 26.5 km at 4.7%. This will take close to an hour to complete – what a tough start to the day.
The following descend (km’s left of the stage). It is tricky at the start and at the bottom but with a long section in the middle that is straight on.
Col de la Croix de Fer. It is harder than Galibier, both longer and steeper. Another 1h15m climb if they go full gas.
The following descent. It is easier than the first and just a very few hairpins. They will fly down.
The finish is no easy task either. High gradients at the first five km before the last 1.1 km is more or less flat.
A headwind for the first half of the stage of 6-8 km/h. On Col de la Croix de Fer, they turn into a tailwind with the same wind speed, so not really a day where the wind plays a big role. There should be no rain either to make it exciting and quite good temperatures too. In theory, it should make it chances worse for the breakaway they have a headwind on Galibier.
Roglic – starts as the man to beat tomorrow. It will be about controlling the stage and taking the yellow jersey, then a breakaway stands a better chance on stage 8. If you look at the team they brought, they are solely here to win.
Vingegaard – how will they play him? Mark attacks or just push for Roglic. The things they’ve said is that he is 100% a helper, but there could be a scenario where he gets into a group and gets a free ride.
Gaudu – he should be one of the favorites too. The win on stage 3 was very surprising and I imagine he has only gotten better since Mercan’Tour where he finished fourth.
Caruso + Haig – let’s see what the duo got. Both seem to be going well but it is hard to tell how well. I expect at least one of them to finish well.
Tao G Hart – let’s see if got the old Giro-form back. I think he is some way away from the form which was shown in Tour of Norway.
O’Connor – he only gets better the more they climb. He wants to show the world it was not luck that made him finish 4th in the TdF last season. When the others look at each other, he will strike.
Mas – crashed so we will have to see how he recovers. He normally needs to be two weeks into a grand tour to be a major threat for a stage win.
McNulty – breakaway hope #1. The form is good, lost some time due to the TT which should give him some freedom.
Cras – breakaway hope #2. 5th in Mercan’Tour was very impressive.
Padun – breakaway hope #3. He stunned everyone here last year. Is he completely off form or is he saving himself?
Who will win?
I think I must go for Primoz Roglic.