That is the most entertaining first week I can remember. Tomorrow, the sprinters get another chance.
A flat stage.
Moving north throughout this stage. We are still in the southwest part of France.
We have quite a simple finale really. There is a technical section from 3.7 km – 1.75 km left.
Here you see the u-turn with 3.1 km left. Everything will get strung out but there is time to get back to the front.
And a small cobblestone section for roughly 100m inside the last km. If it stays dry, it really should not cause problems.
A warm day, above 30 C. Wind from the SE will please the riders, mostly a cross tailwind after a tough few days.
How will the stage unfolds?
Break goes up the road, gets caught and we have a bunch sprint.
Phillipsen – he is clearly the best here and currently it is his sprint-train that by far has had the most success. He is the man to beat tomorrow, so far, few have been able to match his speed.
Ewan – for some reason, he is positioning himself very well. I remember back to UAE Tour where he could not find any good wheels. So far, sticking to Phillipsen is bearing fruit. Another top-3 seems likely.
Bauhaus – two podium spots. This is by far the biggest surprise of the sprinters. The big German knows his way in a sprint despite being fairly isolated. Still, I would be surprised to see him get another top-3.
Pedersen – they have not been getting it right. Move up before, use Jasper as a sweeper. I could see him open up a very long sprint tomorrow, he is tired of being boxed in.
Groenewegen – another sprinter where things have not been optimal. Hopefully, he and Mezgec soon find the synergy from earlier this year. This is likely the stage best suited for him.
Jakobsen – it would be some story, but I don’t see it happening.
Cavendish – two top-10s. He will be knocking on the podium.
Welsford – he will hope to turn things around tomorrow. He has the speed to challenge for a stage win.
Wout van Aert – take a rest day. I think they go for Laporte.
Meeus – he and Van Poppel does not have the synergy right now. He is very fast and he must never let go of Van Poppel’s wheel if he wish to get better results.
⭐⭐⭐ Phillipsen, Ewan
⭐⭐ Meeus, Cavendish, Pedersen
⭐ Wout van Aert, Bauhaus, Jakobsen, Welsford
Who will win?
I do not hope Phillipsen does a hattrick – therefore I’m going for Groenewegen.