The change of the Picon Blanco stage was not something I was a fan of watching. Nonetheless, hats off to Sivakov – he proved it could be done, almost without work from any of the others.
Stage 4 is flat but with an uphill finish. It will be too hard for the pure sprinters.
The final climb
It is not the toughest climb in the first half, it is under the flamme rouge it really starts to pick up. Right before the corner. The last km average is 6.2% – almost the same as on the first stage, Alto del Castillo. There is importance in having a strong team, as they go on to narrower roads with 950 meters left.
A bit harder than Alto del Castillo which should mean a bigger selection.
Warm and no wind.
Guerreiro – he looked very good today and he looked very good on stage 1. Second behind Valverde today in the battle for 3rd was impressive, there were some quick riders in the main group coming in.
Valverde – he showed today he still got it. I’m uncertain what happened on stage 1, no report of a crash or puncture. Tomorrow, he has Norsgaard and Jorgensen to lead him into the climb, he should be a top contender.
Buitrago – will he wait for the sprint or try attacking? The team did a good job today – Sivakov was simply too strong. We have seen how quick he is, he will be fighting for the podium.
Tao G Hart – as we don’t have bonus seconds, I don’t see why Tao will not sprint for INEOS tomorrow. He has had two good sprints already. I will be surprised if he won but it is not impossible. It would perhaps be smart of him to attack when the gradients max and hope no one will chase.
Hindley – looked good today after the crash on stage two. He or Kelderman will finish in the top-5.
Almeida – I’m unsure what is going on with him, but he doesn’t look his best. Last year, he was very competitive in uphill sprints in Tour de Luxembourg, we will see if he is better tomorrow.
Who will win?
The same man I pointed at on stage 1 – Valverde. He has a good team to guide him and today he showed he still has the speed.