By David Hunter
Chianti 40.5km ITT
A typically Italian TT.
With the rest day following, some of the riders might reward themselves with a glass of the local wine. They’ll have earned it!
No flat kilometres means this is a tricky test against the clock. The climbs are not horribly steep, but they will be very demanding. The longest climb is leading up to the final time check, it’s 4.9km at 3.7%. Despite not sounding hard, after 28km of a TT, the climb will see some suffer.
Tom Dumoulin – the overwhelming favourite for the win. This has been a big focus for him, as well as the Olympics TT. To be honest, I can’t see anyone getting close to him. Dumoulin should win by around 1 minute. He did go pop today, but the TT is his domain. Looking at the time gaps, he should be able to move back into the pink jersey.
Vincenzo Nibali – will hope to be the best of the GC riders. Not always renowned as a great TT rider, but he saves his best performances for the Giro. He will want to put minutes between himself and Landa, but also stay within 1 minute of Dumoulin.
Fabian Cancellara – still not 100%, so going to be very hard to compete in a long TT.
Tanel Kangert – you might be surprised I have included him, but his record in grand tour ITTs is good. He was 3rd in the 2013 Giro, over 55km, and 6th over 59km in the 2015 Giro. Kangert saves his best TTs for the Giro. His time will also be used to give Nibali something to aim for.
Bob Jungels – a TT specialist, but this might be a little long for him. Looking back through his results, he was 13th in the 2014 Vuelta over 38km. In 2015 he was 6th in the Tour de Suisse, over 38km. As Jungels gets older, he will improve in longer TTs. He seems in fine form just now, he’ll be hoping to make the podium.
Matthias Brandle – too long and hard for him.
Alejandro Valverde – not a renowned TT rider, but after a week of a grand tour, his performance always improves. He won’t win, but will try to limit his losses. He’s not in Spain, so there won’t be any nice moto drivers!
Ilnur Zakarin – the one they all should fear. No one really knows what he can do over this distance, but when he has to, he can TT extremely well. The gap between him and Nibali is going to be hugely important for the coming stages.
Steven Kruijswijk – the Bianchi TT bike is good, really good! Kruijswijk is riding as good as I’ve ever seen him. He has an outside chance of finishing on the podium and making himself a big candidate for the pink jersey.
50% chance of rain between 1pm and 3pm. The wind is relatively light and coming from the north-east. Usually when it says a 50% chance of rain, it stays dry!
Moreno Moser – finished a brilliant 10th in the ITT World Championships. Clearly on good form and capable of surprising a few people.
Brambilla can TT well, it helps having all the best equipment! Despite this, his position looks vulnerable and I think his stay in pink will be short. Dumoulin will smash the TT and take back the pink jersey.
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