Another very long stage ahead of the riders tomorrow. 216 km and 2600 climbing meters often sound as the perfect combo for a breakaway stage. Most of the climbing is done early in the stage, meaning the teams with sprinters has one last chance for a sprint before the climbing stages begin.
Skipping straight to the fun stuff. It should be a sprint. This is something completely different. This is very technical. It is difficult to stay together in this finale – I think the peloton will be almost single file with the last bend 250 meters from the line. Very important to mention it is a bend, not a corner.
Having a strong lead-out is important. They want to take the front early not to lose positions.
5-6 m/s wind from the south. Temperatures all the way up to 17 degrees C. Now, I would like to point out once more, we rarely have echelons in Italy. The last 60 km do have some excellent spots for splitting the bunch but it rarely happens here.
Jakobsen – the most organized team on stage 2 despite Casper Pedersen getting to the front quite late. In the end, Pedersen passed his first exam and proved why he was a great signing for the team. He was the fastest today but not by much.
Phillipsen – they did well, sitting just behind Quick-Step in the finale. They stayed near the front but they messed up when Sinkeldam lost MvdP’s wheel 800m from the line. However, he did sit on Jakobsen’s wheel so Sinkeldam did do a terrific job. If they can stay together tomorrow, just the three of them, they stand a good chance. Phillipsen is also better after a tougher day.
Gaviria – I see him starting his sprint when the bend starts 400 meters out tomorrow. It seems to be his new thing.
Groenewegen – the team took the front too early. In the end, he just didn’t have the legs to finish it off. Mezgec once again did a fantastic lead-out but his sprinter was on Molano’s wheel.
Girmay – the team did a fantastic job today. If it becomes a tough day with echelons, he could be a strong contender. Personally, he doesn’t pack the speed to beat the best sprinters participating here. Plus, he should have followed Teunissen today. He would have been in the prime spot to take the win with 300 meters left.
Who will win?
A long day, with 2600 meters of climbing and strong winds. To me, it sounds like something Phillipsen himself could have organized. He is my pick for tomorrow.