By David Hunter
Ollon – Geneve 177.4km
The final day. Get ready for plenty of stunning shots of the lake.
It’s a bit strange, that the week ends with the easiest stage.
The stage contains two cat three climbs, the second one is 6.2km at 4.2%. It crests with 77km remaining, so won’t be a problem for the peloton. We do have a couple of small kicks around the 140km mark, but nothing that should put the sprinters into trouble.
Sprinters v Breakaway
With the GC settled, this stage depends on the attitude of the sprinters and their teams. Marcel Kittel and Niccolo Bonifazio are clearly the fastest, so all the pressure will be on Etixx and Trek to control the race. Trek will have an excuse, they only have three riders left to help Bonifazio, they will not do any of the chasing. It’s Etixx versus the rest of the field.
That should hand the breakaway with a great opportunity, plus making it very hard to join the morning move. The opening climb is steep, so we could see riders making a move there. That will make it a little harder to join the leak, good news for some riders.
With lots of illness passing through the peloton, it’s hard to predict who will be fit enough for the move. I would expect Michael Albasini to at least try. He loves this race and isn’t afraid to join the early move, he won from the break in 2014. Without Gerrans, he is the clear leader and Orica don’t like controlling races. The steep opening climb will allow him the chance of pushing the pace and forcing the break.
Sander Armee will have to be there, if he wants to win the KOM jersey. He has been in impressive form this week, his goal will be first over the opening climb, he’ll then be due for a trip to the podium at the end of the race.
Enrico Gasparotto has impressed this week and sits 23rd on GC. At 6 minutes down, he’s far enough away to be allowed a little freedom. He would certainly be a good option for Wanty to have.
Bob Jungels continues to impress. He lasted a long way today and was up there on the TT. This sort of stage suits him down to the ground, as long as he isn’t too tired from his effort today. Etixx will want representation in the morning move.
Jan Bakelants can give AG2R something to cheer. The French team have not have a good week and Bakelants has the right skill set to succeed in this stage.
Cold and a little rainy. The wind comes from the north, meaning a tailwind for most of the way home. Perfect news for the break.
With only Etixx able to control the bunch, I think the break will make it, but it will need to have an Etixx man present. Looking at his form, Michael Albasini, will be my pick for the stage.
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