Tomorrow is another day of climbing. This is the longest stage of the race yet merely 165.2 km in length.
It tricks you a bit – the climbs appear much harder than they are. I would say this is the easiest of the stages.
This is the last three climbs including the finale. Crest is 33.5 km from the line.
Moving on, these are the last two climbs intertwined with the finish. The descends make it easier to take catch your breath. The Barbain is 4.5 km at 7.8% while the Mittelberg is 3.9 km at 8.3%. They are difficult but I still think we will see smaller gaps than today.
The tricky thing is timing your sprint. Left turn with 300 meters to go and a right hand turn with 100m left. You want to be in the first three positions, otherwise the win is gone.
No wind throughout the day with a small chance of rain in the afternoon.
How will the stage unfold?
The start is easy, INEOS will make sure the right breakaway goes. Then, keep them within a gap before the final two climbs. Here, we may see attacks but INEOS showed today they have the numbers to respond. It is the sort of finish where an attack can stick – the one we saw from Haig and Cepeda but most of the contenders sits within 50 seconds of Tao.
That means the attack will have to come from the ones further down but the names there should not be strong enough or allowed to take a win. I think we will see 15 riders more or less sprint for the win.
Tao G. Hart – he looked very good today, clearly he was the strongest despite leaving it late. He has to start tomorrow as the favorite.
Vlasov – still not at 100%. Tomorrow’s climbs are easier which should enhance his chances of winning a GC sprint.
Kämna – I assume he will attack tomorrow, it is climbs that suit him!
Uijtdebroeks – sitting more than 2 mins down. An attack is likely.
Buitrago – had cramps today going uphill, if he manage to avoid that, few beat him in a sprint to the line.
Gall – what a spring he is having. He has a fine sprint to him, with a bit of luck and making sure to take the front before the last two corners, a podium is not unlikely again.
Paret-Peintre – I think the medium mountains suits him more tomorrow. He is not slow in a sprint after a few climbs.
Carthy – unfortunately, it does not go uphill to the line.
⭐⭐ Tao G. Hart, Vlasov
⭐ Gall, Paret-Peintre, Kämna
Who will win?
Buitrago from a GC sprint.