Will Jaizkibel prove to difficult for the sprinters?
The Jaizkibel is the toughest climb of the day. Beforehand, they already have 2400 climbing meters in the leg.
1st part: 2.3 km at 5.7%. Small dip. 2nd part: 3.7 km at 7.3%. From the top, 16.7 km left of the stage.
The descent will make it difficult to get back on. They will push it over the top the teams, who do not fancy a dance with Jakobson in San Sebastian. The last part of the descent is a more technical than the first part. This means GC teams likely also want to get involved on the climb, just to play it safe.
The finale is not that complicated. With 3500m left, there is a narrowing and a roundabout (they must take the right way around). Another one follows 3 km from the line. Otherwise, it is the last bend with 600m left. The roadbook calls it a sharp bend, it is not.
Should be the same as today. The tough part of Jaizkibel will have a tailwind.
How will the stage unfold?
This is a stage where Phillipsen, Pedersen and Wout van Aert want to put pressure on Jakobsen and Groenewegen. The climb is difficult enough to do so, so do not expect a sprint where all the sprinters participate. Jaizkibel is not the only climb of the day – it is tougher than it looks.
We have 3.7 km at 7.1% – that is almost the same as Alto del Vivero today. I expect teams will try and drop Pedersen and Phillipsen too. Movistar and EF lost their leaders today and they have a decent sprinter for the stage tomorrow. I expect it to be very tough.
As I mentioned, the GC teams will likely pace on the front too – they want to be in a good position for the descent. That just drives the tempo up even further.
Still, it is a sprint where you want a strong lead-out rider. That last corner is 600m from the line but it is a double-laned road and it does not look too wide – see for yourself.
So, you must be quick on the line, a good climber and hopefully have a lead-out man who can do the same.
This stage is harder than it looks. Therefore, Jakobsen, Groenewegen, Welsford, Meeus, Cavendish or Bauhaus. It is too difficult for them.
Wout van Aert – impressive today but for me a tactical blunder. He should have pulled for Jonas, but I guess it was a tactical choice and they thought Kelderman and Kuss could catch them. Tomorrow, he starts as the favorite. It is not for certain Laporte makes it to the line but in a reduced bunch sprint, he stands a good chance on his own too.
Phillipsen – is it too difficult? I think it is right on the edge if Movistar and EF pull the trigger. Or Jumbo-Visma for that matter. There is still time to get back on afterwards but it will be a tough task even for him.
Pedersen – Same goes for Mads really. Jaizkebel is tougher than it looks. He will hope to get back on if dropped.
Aranburu – He climbed well today. They lost their leader, which means they can turn to stage wins. Aranburu is a local, he will be very pleased getting a top result.
Trentin – he is capable to survive the climb, there is no doubt about it. He will be looking for the podium.
Cort – Carapaz badly injured, it is time the team look for stage wins. In a reduced bunch sprint, he will be very happy to participate.
Wright – Bilbao was not at the expected level, which means they should opt to use the team to get stage wins. I think they can be one of the teams that will look to put on a fierce pace on the climb. It would be a very good for him to get a top-5.
Strong – impressive result today. Tomorrow is a excellent chance for him to get an even better result.
Girmay – I think he falls into the same category as Pedersen and Phillipsen. He will hope to make it but there is no guarentee.
Gils – he is another sprinter who can climb well. I think he will get a top-10 tomorrow.
Dark Horse – Pidcock.
⭐⭐⭐⭐ Wout van Aert
⭐⭐⭐ Trentin, Pedersen
⭐⭐ Aranburu, Phillipsen, Girmay
⭐ Gils, Strong, Wright, Cort
Who will win?
We will see a tough selection on Jaizkibel as they have a tailwind. Therefore, I think sprinters such as Girmay, Pedersen and Phillipsen may struggle. It is a stage made for Wout van Aert, he will take the stage win.