We have a very difficult stage to predict, let’s break it down.
We have more climbing tomorrow. It is a battle between the versatile sprinters (Cort + Hayter) and the GC men who fancy bonus seconds.
The beginning of the finale starts here. It is a tough one that will make sure most of the sprinters will be out the back.
Closer to the line, we have another short climb. The top is just 11 km from the line and the first part is mighty steep.
And the last one. Rougly 5 km from the line after the top – flat to the line.
You can see the last climb just finishing before the final straight.
No wind, no rain and mild temperatures.
How will the stage unfold?
It is a tricky one. Three things can happen.
1) Breakaway. I just do not think so. EF and INEOS will control with the hope they see a reduced sprint for Cort and Hayter.
2) A reduced sprint. Well, that means the GC teams do not fancy trying to drop Cort and Hayter for a reduced GC sprint as we saw it in 2019. It is very difficult for even the versatile sprinters to hang on.
3) A GC day. I think this is most likely the scenario. A few riders will fancy the finish – namely Bora-Hangrohe for Higuita. The finale is not easy to control. You need a few riders to control the flat section after the climb.
Higuita – the fastest of the GC men. Looking at his team, he will hope Jungles and Uijtdebroeks has a good day on the bike. I doubt he can win if he does not have the proper support after the climbs. He is not the best at fighting the right position for a sprint, despite how quick he is.
Herrada – his type of stage. He will likely have I. Izagirre and Perez after the climbs. It makes it easier for the team to control who goes in the moves and also allows them to follow attacks. All three are fast on the line.
Cort – dropped on the first climb today but EF set a fierce pace on the last climb. The team is packed with good climbers, it is all about if Cort still need a few race days to fight for a stage like this. I think it is a coinflip.
Hayter – He and INEOS will control the day. He was one of the few riders not dropped at all today. They bottled the sprint, his positioning is not his strong side. If he survives, he is the man to beat.
C. Pedersen – I will throw his name in for Quick-Step, solely because of his performance at Figueira Champions Classic and Trofeo Calvia. If he has the right legs, he will survive tomorrow and surprise a few people. Now, there is also the chance he will be working for Cerny, if the think he can defend the jersey.
Cavagna – working for Cerny or are the team being realistic? A prime candidate for a late attack.
Jorgensen – his type of terrain. He will need to attack, I do not think he can win a GC sprint.
Sobrero – not poor in a flat sprint. A top-10 is very likely.
Hermans – he will be in the mix if we see an edition similar to 2019. Yet, I doubt it will be much more than a top-10.
Kamp – 6th in De Brabantse Pijl and 9th in Amstel. Form is where it needs to be. After a tough day, he is quick on the line.
⭐⭐ Hayter, Cort, Higuita
⭐ Hermans, Sobrero, Cavagna, C. Pedersen
Who will win?
I will take a win for Herrada. Cofidis have a very strong team for the finale tomorrow.