By David Hunter
Monza – Milano 29.3km
A brilliant race ends with a test against the clock.
The downhill TT has some technical sections, but there are enough straights for the power men to shine. The GC picture is incredibly tight:-
- Nibali 39s
- Pinot 43s
- Dumoulin 53s
- Zakarin 1:15
The route is wonderful for Tom Dumoulin, but it isn’t a foregone conclusion that he finishes in the pink jersey. Time trials at the end of a grand tour are never straightforward.
Tom Dumoulin – starts as the enormous favourite, but he has a huge amount of pressure on his shoulders. He won the last TT by an enormous distance, but this is going to be harder. After such a demanding race, will he be able to pull out another massive performance?
Bob Jungels – if he beats Adam Yates by 28 seconds, he will not only move into 7th place on GC, but he’ll defend his white jersey. That would be a huge achievement for Jungels, a rider that seems to be developing at a rapid rate. I think he’ll be closer to Dumoulin than he was in the last TT.
LL Sanchez – the legs still seem very good, he has an outside chance of surprising the big names. He’s had a very good race, but hasn’t come away with the win he so dearly wants.
Vasil Kiryienka – doesn’t look hard enough for Kiri. Coming at the end of a tough race is good news for him, he hasn’t had to work as hard as the other contenders.
Jos Van Emden – this route looks great for him. If he has managed to save enough energy, he should be able to push Dumoulin all the way.
A beautiful day with very little wind.
You would imagine that Dumoulin will overhaul both Pinot and Nibali, they are just too close to him. To take the pink jersey, he needs around 2 seconds per kilometre on Nairo. Both riders have seemed on their knees, whoever recovers better will take the pink jersey.
Given that he took 2:53 out of Quintana, over 40km, means that Dumoulin will start this with confidence. In any normal race, he would easily beat Quintana by the gap required, but this isn’t an ordinary race.
If Quintana has a poor day, Pinot and Nibali, will be eyeing his spot. The battle for pink is fierce, but so is the battle for the podium. I think we’re in for a very close finish.
Dumoulin to take the stage and the pink jersey. I think Quintana will do enough to finish 2nd, with Nibali hanging on to his 3rd place.
Another grand tour comes to a close, a massive thanks to all who read the previews. Vamos!
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