The race is back for the second edition in Galicia.
Just over 3200 meters of climbing but most of it is not too difficult. We should see a reduced bunch sprint.
Even though the stage only has 2500 climbing meters, it is the first GC stage as they finish the stage on A Guarda (Monte Trega) – 3.9 km at 7.1%.
The Queen stage. 3700 climbing meters and twice they have to ascent Alto de Santa Marina (5.5 km at 10.3%). The fact I can not get a Google Street View on the climb tells be the roads must be narrow and probably not very high quality. The stage finish in Rubia on Alto de Castelo (6.7 km at 6.3%)
A very hilly time trial.
In the northwest part of Spain the weather is not going to be very warm throughout the race. Saturday on the Queen stage should be fun to watch, cold to be a part of as of now.
Guerreiro – form was good in Oman but he couldn’t deliver much in Ruta del Sol. I expect him to be one of the better climbers, but the time trial is not ideal for his GC ambitions. Furthermore, a strong rider in poor weather conditions.
Sosa – didn’t really kick the season off with a bang in Oman. Just like Guerreiro, he will be one of the better climbers struggling against the clock.
Vingegaard – season debut for the Dane. Rumours are he is in quite the shape already, which makes him very hard to beat. They have quite a good squad around him too. He also has the best time trial of all the GC contenders, giving him a big advantage.
Jesus Herrada – he was better in Oman than his season debut on Mallorca. I think he will be a contender for top-3 overall. He is good on these medium mountain stages. From time to time, like in O Gran Camino in 2022, he did a very strong time trial. If he can do so again, he will be a solid podium contender.
Ion Izagirre – it will be raining, something I think suits him a lot. He was 6th here last season, a result he will like end on this year too. If he is in good shape, the podium is not too far away.
Cepeda – climbing well, form was quite good in Ruta del Sol. He will lose a lot of time against the clock.
Brambilla – A top-10. The time trial is the issue.
Igor Arrieta – had a small breakthrough in this race last season. Still just 20 years of age and he was 7th here last season. I think we will see him fighting for a top-10 overall.
Fortunato – not that long ago, he was the new Italian climber superstar after the win on Monte Zoncolan. He crashed out of Ruta del Sol but he looked fairly good the four stages he started. He will, like many, lose a lot of time against the clock.
Who will win?
A win for Jonas Vingegaard. Cofidis and Movistar to fight it out for 2nd and 3rd.