The Queen stage is different this year. With the removal of Le Mont Bouquet, the deciding climbing stage is easier. With bonus seconds up for graps at the line, we will have to see if any of the French teams finally decide to make a move.
It is a day for climbing. However, just 1700m in total. None of the climbs are difficult, if you ask me. Atleast, not compared to Le Mont Bouquet.
This is the finale run-in.
At the top, we have 1000m of flat.
No wind. No rain.
How will the stage unfold?
We have a downgrade when it comes to climbing. I don’t think the last climb will make a big difference. Can the difference be made before the climb? Not if you ask me.
So that means it is down to the last climb. Or the breakaway? Trek-Segafredo reserved their team today, using it at the right time. That is difficult tomorrow. But 4.5 km at 4.2%, that is nothing to hype up. The tempo will be high, they must try to distance the Dane.
If they don’t he simply wins the race, as he will be tough to beat against the clock. So we will see AG2R, EF and FDJ do their best. Will they succeed?
Pedersen – he is looking sharp. Distancing him will be tough.
Bettiol – I expect the team to make it very difficult tomorrow. Just grind it and see what happens. If they succeed, he is tough to beat on the line.
Cosnefroy – he is not in his best shape but he could challenge for the podium.
B. Thomas – usually he is flying in this race. I haven’t got that impression yet. A late attack or hope for bonus seconds is his chance.
Vauquelin – the team needs to try and put him in a position where he can attack. Maybe we will see something inside the last kilometer. I really do hope, the legs were fine in GP Marseille.
Menten – He is walking the line here. He may be able to hold on.
Laurence – it should be possible for him to contest for another great result.
Van Moer – Breakaway hope #1.
Carr – Breakaway hope #2.
Healy – Breakaway hope #3.
Who will win?
I think Pedersen will make it. The climb is not hard enough to drop him.