It is time for the time trial.
It is not the easiest stage to show in 3D.
There are a lot of corners in the city, but they are easier than they look. Hopefully, as I do not know how they set the barriers up, the have almost two lanes for themselves, meaning they can utilize the road much better than on a narrow road. It is only the first 8 km that are a bit tricky.
Once they leave the city and head south, the road surface gets worse. Seeing it on Veloviewer, it feels like going back in time. Hopefully, that is fixed and the images just have not been updated on Maps.
But the last 18 km or so are mostly with your head down. Just a few big roundabouts and a few times on the break. To me, that also means the gaps will be larger from T1 – finish compared to Start – T1.
First rider down the ramp 14:01 – last at 17:02 local time.
Reports show almost no wind, no rain or thunder and 27 degrees. A bit warmer for the late starters. That means a headwind out and a tailwind home.
Evenepoel – he starts as one of the big favorites tomorrow. He would likely have prefered a longer time trial or a few more. The way he has handled the race is impressive, one could argue a bit cocky. So far, it is working out for him. Tomorrow will be a stage where he takes a lot of time on his opponents and he will need every second he can get.
Ganna – there is one man to challenge him. The Italian is finding some good form here late in the season. As it is a very flat time trial, his chance of finally beating Evenepoel against the clock will not be higher.
Almeida – he should finish inside the top-10 but he would have preferred a few climbing meters to hope for more.
Ayuso – he is good against the clock. Likely better than I allow myself to rate him. He beat Evenepoel earlier this year. That was post-covid Evenepoel in Suisse, this is a very different Evenepoel. I think he will be the best of the UAE riders tomorrow.
Cattaneo – is he allowed to go for glory? I wouldn’t let him but I’m not DS.
Roglic – he must come prepared for this time trial, and if he is anywhere near as prepared as his teammate was in the Tour de France, we may be in for a surprise. I think he is looking the strongest of the GC riders, I see him challenging for the podium tomorrow.
Vingegaard – if you would have asked me two weeks ago, if I would be happy seeing Vingegaard just 11 seconds behind Evenepoel on the first rest day, I would say yes. After stomach issues, he likely is a bit more set back than anticipated. Still, he seems very confident and that makes me believe he will do a very good time trial.
Bissegger – the only specialists here, as Ganna is a more well-rounded rider. He is a bit inconsistent against the clock, but he will hope for top-10.
Sobrero – form is looking good. He would have wanted a few climbing meters more too but a top-10 is reasonable.
Vlasov – seems like his shape is going the right direction. He has also gotten better against the clock but a top-10 is where his attributes can take him.
⭐⭐⭐ Ganna, Vingegaard
⭐⭐ Almeida, Ayuso, Roglic
⭐ Vlasov, Sobrero, Cattaneo, Bissegger
Who will win?
Two will fight for the win and three (Ayuso, Roglic, Vingegaard) will fight for the last spot on the podium. I think we will see Evenepoel take the stage win. My best guess is he takes 30-40 seconds on his closest competitors.