The organizers have come up with something brilliant here.
With stage 10 and stage 12 being difficult to predict when and where the breakaway will form, tomorrow, it should be on Col de Saxel, Col de Cou or Col du Feu and it will be filled with climbers!
Col de la Ramaz is not the most difficult climb in the world, but 14 km at 7% is not an easy task. It is more or less just a shorter version of Grand Colombier.
Not the most difficult descent down to the valley, taking them to Col de Joux Plane. This is a very tough climb. It was used back in 2021 at Critérium du Duaphiné, where Mark Padun beat Konrad and Vingegaard from the breakaway.
The descent is not the most difficult but it has a few technical sections.
Wind from the southwest, meaning a nice tailwind on the first three categorized climbs. That also means a tailwind on Col de la Ramaz and Col de Joux Plane plus the valley in between. Warm in the valleys, colder on the peaks.
How will the stage unfold?
In 2016, we had a very similar stage to this, also with Col de la Ramaz and Col de Joux Plane. That day was won by the breakaway and there wasn’t any big gaps in the GC really. It was when Froome was at his best and Sky had a extremely strong team. It is difficult enough, Col de Joux Plane to create gaps.
We have seen the opening of stages being fast but it is not everyone who can get in the breakaway tomorrow. These are not 5-6%, where rouleurs can join. It is for the climbers which making the chance of the breakaway staying away more likely.
Once on the last two climbs, the pace will go up. I doubt it will be very intense until the last climb. If JV are afraid of Pogacar attacking on Col de la Ramaz, they could put a satellite rider up there. The thing is, A. Yates is marking Wout van Aert. That is a smart move by UAE.
I think the breakaway will win. UAE does not have the team to control the stage and Jumbo-Visma does not need to pull. Vingegaard to keep the jersey, but he should look to lose it ahead of the TT.
Pogacar – he is closing the gap. The stage tomorrow is way tougher than today, and I’m not sure that is to his liking. It is the first time we have two demanding climbs, I think it will be difficult for him to get the jersey. The team is also not strong enough to control the breakaway.
Vingegaard – it should be a stage that suits him more. The team looked very poorly today, so either it is not strong enough or they are saving energy for something. They should try getting a satellite rider up the road.
Pidcock – I’m impressed. With his descending skills, he could to well.
Hindley – he is better on a tough day such as this.
Gall – breakaway hope #1.
Meintjes – breakaway hope #2.
Haig – breakaway hope #3.
Pinot – breakaway hope #4.
O’Connor – breakaway hope #5.
Martin – breakaway hope #6.
Dark horse 🐴 – Ciccone
⭐⭐⭐ Pogacar, Vingegaard
⭐⭐ Meintjes, Pinot, Haig
⭐ Martin, Pidcock, Hindley, O’Connor
Who will win?
Despite his poor descending, I will take a breakaway win for Gall.