By David Hunter
The climb is 13.9km at 6.9%. As you can see, it’s a fairly steady climb, the most difficult sections can be found after 4km. It’s certainly not the hardest climb the peloton will tackle this week.
Cloudy, but it should stay dry. The wind is light and shouldn’t cause any problems.
It should be a day where the break is easily controlled, but this is the Giro! In previous races, we’ve seen stages like this going to the break, so I wouldn’t discount them totally. A stage like this can certainly throw up a surprise winner. Due to the flat start, it will be difficult for a climber to make the move, this is a break for the rolleurs. The success of the move will depend on the chasing teams, but given the way the race has gone, it should come back together.
Simon Yates – his performance in the last 17 stages is the most dominant I’ve seen in the modern era. Both Yates, and his team, seem unbeatable, something that must be a huge blow to his rivals. He leads Tom Dumoulin by 56 seconds, which means he can ride a defensive race, but why would he do that with these legs? Yates will again go on the offensive and try to win a jaw dropping 4th stage of the Giro. With no sign of his form dipping, he starts as the favourite.
Chris Froome – I’m finding it very hard to read Chris Froome. He started the race with a crash, which impacted on his early performances. In those opening 13 stages, he looked like the old Chris Froome. He then surprised everyone by winning on the Zoncolan, before returning to his early form in the next few stages. Then, on Tuesday, he turned things around by finishing the TT in 5th place. Before the race started, I had predicted that Froome would peak in the final week, we’ll have to see if I was right.
Tom Dumoulin – on paper, this climb should suit Dumoulin. The stage is similar to the Oropa stage that he won last year, beating all the mountain climbers. Going against Dumoulin is that he doesn’t look as good as he was in 2017. For the sake of the race, it would be good to see him turning things around and putting time into Yates.
Domenico Pozzovivo – the only one of the top 4 to not have a stage to his name. As I have mentioned in previous previews, this is the story of his career. Pozzovivo is too good to get any freedom and too slow to win any sprints. It’s a hard life for the wee man. Looking at the stage, he will certainly finish in the top 5, but can he finally climb onto the top step of the podium?.
Fabio Aru – not sure what to say here. A rider who could hardly ride his bike on Sunday, delivers one of his best ever TT performances on Tuesday. Tony Martin’s reaction said it all. Given his upturn in form, he has to be considered one of the favourites for this stage.
Miguel Angel Lopez – would prefer a tougher stage and a more challenging final climb. Sitting a little down on GC, he could get a little freedom, that would be huge mistake by his rivals.
Alessandro De Marchi – breakaway hopeful number 1.
Hugh Carthy – breakaway hopeful number 2.
Jan Polanc – breakaway hopeful number 3.
Ben Hermans – breakaway hopeful number 4.
Time for the real Chris Froome to stand up. Behind him, Yates will all but seal the pink jersey.
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