By David Hunter
Rome – Rome 115 km
The race ends with a lap circuit in Rome.
We have a 11.5 km circuit which is covered 10 times. The lap circuit features a couple of little bumps, but nothing to get excited about. With QuickStep and Bora happy to chase, we should get one last sprint.
The finish is relatively easy. It is important to be well positioned for the turn with 3km to go and when the road narrows with 2km to go. We then have a short section of pavé, but this is city centre cobbles and not those we see in Paris-Roubaix.
A sunny day to end the race.
Elia Viviani – with four wins to his name, it’s been a wonderful race for Viviani. He started the season in fine form, taking a string of impressive victories, but winning so many stages of a grand tour has secured his place at the top table of sprinting. For so long he was a rider who struggled to match the consistency of his rivals, but he’s now found a team that fully believes in him. QuickStep have been brilliant for him and he now has a real chance to take five wins in the Giro. His lead-out train will be keen to dominate the closing kilometres, expect to see Stybar, Sénéchal, Mørkøv and Sabatini at the front of the race. The trouble for the other teams is that no one can match their speed and Viviani will be put into a good position.
Sam Bennett – with two wins, the Irishman can be very happy with his Giro. He arrived at the race without his usual sprint train, as Bora had GC hopes. He then had to deal with losing his lead-out man, when Selig had to quit the race. Despite this, Bennett has taken his first wins at this level. In the last couple of sprints he’s struggled with positioning, Bora need to think carefully about how they’ll approach the closing kilometres. Bennett has impressed, even when losing to Viviani, he does seem to have the speed required to get past him.
Danny Van Poppel – Jumbo seem to be the only other team capable of controlling the end of the race. Van Poppel has been consistent in the sprints finishing 5th, 5th, 2nd, 3rd and 4th. This is impressive, but he would dearly love to take a win. The Jumbo train will look to come to the front with 3km remaining and they can call upon the power of Jos Van Emden and Gijs Van Hoecke. These two have enormous engines and help to line out the bunch and leave Van Poppel in a great spot. After that, we shall see if the Dutch quickman can take his first grand tour win.
Elia Viviani to take number 5.
Well, that’s another grand tour in the bag. It’s been an incredible race and one that will live long in the memory. A massive thank you to all who have read my previews, it really is rather humbling to have thousands of people doing so each day. Also a massive thank you to Pablo Palermo for all his work editing and translating. Vamos!
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