Three riders sitting within 30 seconds of eachother, fighting for the Maglia Rosa? I wouldn’t say the last week looks bad. Tomorrow shouldn’t see any meaningful GC changes.
Downhill into a long flat. 500 climbing meters.
Going south west towards the sea.
Looks simple from 5 km -> 3.75 km. Then, the next section from 3.75 -> 2.1 km look a bit tricky. Speedbumps, pedestrian crossings and not a very wide road. Then, two left corners to stretch everything out. Then, still on a narrow road, the move out to a wider one in the last 1.1 km or so. A proper boulevard sprint with the last corner 650 meters out.
Well, lets roll the dice. Wind from the east, well that is something different. 22 degrees C seems just like today. Loads of rain in the first part of the stage? With a chance of thunderstorms? Yes. Well, another rainy day in Italy. With a 2-3 m/s headwind throughout the day.
How will the stage unfold?
These stages are often meant to fool the sprinters. Third week. After a day with5800m of climbing. So, who wants to control?
Bahrain – I wouldn’t. He has the stage win, he has the points jersey in the back. No need to risk anything.
Astana – It is time to launch it for the Manx Missile. He is their best shot at a stage win.
Movistar – Still without a stage win. He is here for one reason, to take a win. Hopefully he stays upright tomorrow.
DSM – Fast sprinters, none to pull.
Jayco – Not a Matthews stage.
UAE – no way. Big GC days coming up.
Conclusion: Astana and Movistar vs the rest.
Ackerman – with Gibbons at his side, he should be in contention for the podium. He is getting better and better as we progress in this race.
Milan – fastest man left. He will be the biggest favorite in a bunch sprint. If we see one.
Gaviria – he has really been unfortunate this race with multiple crashes. I hope to see him sprint, he still has the speed to win. I am just unsure how much I like his new trait.
Cavendish – would be a fairly tale story. We have seen he has the speed but without much help it will be difficult. Luckily for him, the best sprinters have left the race, enhancing his chances a lot.
Dainese – quick enough to win, believe me. With Mayrhofer as lead-out, they may just take a stage win.
Denz – breakaway hope #1. You don’t need the explanation.
Cort – breakaway hope #2. Said he is feeling better again.
Bettiol – breakaway hope #3. Form is going the correct way. Last stage where he can challenge for a win.
Rex – the big Belgian should excel at a long flat stage.
Postlberger – I have had him written down for some time for this stage. I hope he is allowed up the road.
⭐⭐⭐ Milan, Denz
⭐⭐ Gaviria, Bettiol, Ackermann
⭐ Cavendish, Rex, Dainese, Cort
Who will win?
I feel like this will be a day for the breakaway. I will take a proper underdog and go for a stage win for Postlberger.