Tomorrow is another chance for the sprinters. Today, we saw how well the sprint trains possibly go again tomorrow.
The 2400 climbing meters are very hidden.
Another stage moving south.
The climb is said to be 11.2 km, I think that is misleading. 4000m at 5.8% is more accurate. So, that is the same as the one we saw on stage 4, and that did not put any sprinters in trouble.
That makes me believe we will see another sprint. A more regular bunch sprint. It is filled with roundabouts (4500m, 3500m, 3000m, 2750, 2250m, 1200m) before the last corner 750m out. The road to the line is wide, there will be time to move up despite the roundabouts making it difficult before the last second.
If I’ve learned anything from watching cycling, with the wind from the SE, I think the front team will look to move to the right side of the rode. That means if you want to move past, you will have to battle the wind too. That will ultimately open up a gap on the left side on the rode, this is your chance for a late surge.
Not a lot of win, and mostly a headwind on the climb. What I notice the long headwind up until the finish, that means moving up in the last 750m may prove to be the smartest move, if you dare being risky. It also means taking the front to early is a dangerous game.
Groves – I was not surprised by his sprint, I was surprised positively by his team. They were still four men more or less together in the last 1000m which is something you love to see. He starts as the man to beat tomorrow.
Molano – The speed was there as long as the legs could carry him. Rui Oliviera, he completely slipped my mind. He is a former track rider, meaning he knows his way in sprints. I think Molano is a contender for the podium tomorrow.
M. Van den Berg – crashed today, in the last corner. It looked like a crash that caries superficial wounds. No news from the team means he likely will start tomorrow, but winning the day after you’ve crashed is a tough thing to do.
Dainese – lost his wheel of his teammate in the chaotic finale. Tomorrow should suit him better. He loves a boulevard sprint the most.
Page – the team looked good, he will hope to improve today’s result.
Menten – 4th was a good sign, I think we will see him contest for many top-5 results.
⭐⭐ Molano, Dainese
⭐ M. van den Berg, Page, Menten
Who will win?
Groves just showed the world he has another level than the rest here. A back to back win.