Giro d´Italia 2020 – Stage 2 preview

By David Hunter

Alcamo > Agrigento 149km

For some reason, the Giro organisers love to include the map across two pages in the road book!

The first of many Sagan days. When the organisers asked him to come here, you can be sure they promised him many stages that suit his characteristics.

Weather

Nice and sunny, with the wind coming from the west. It will be around 18km/h, and will be a tailwind for much of the day. It will be a cross/tail at points, we’ll see if any team wants to try and create echelons, I doubt it.

Tactics

A straightforward day. Ineos are in control of the pink jersey, so they’ll ride. Sunweb, FDJ and Bora will be more than happy to help out as they look to setup an uphill sprint. There should be no surprises so early in the race, but beware the late attack.

Finale

The final 4.1km rises at an average of 5.2%, which is too hard for the pure sprinters. The climb isn’t hard enough for the climbers, they’ll be happy to sit in the bunch and try to avoid any gaps. Teams will have to manage their domestiques carefully, they won’t want to run out of men in the final kilometre.

The turn inside the final 250m is obviously a keen point in the race. The winner will go through here in the top 5, but having a lead out man left will also be helpful.

Contenders

Peter Sagan – what a great stage for him. He looked to be getting better throughout the Tour, and was certainly climbing well in today’s TT. Bora will go all in for their top man, expect to see lots of them controlling the peloton during the stage. Once we get to the sprint, Sagan might not be able to win against Ewan and Bennett, but this is the perfect sprint for him. Other fast men will find their legs burning, but Sagan will only get stronger. He starts as the big favourite.

Michael Matthews – he would actually like the final climb to be harder. He’ll want his team to set a fast pace on the climb, in the hope of slowing down the sprint of the fast men. Once the sprint opens, I’m not sure Matthews will have the speed to beat Sagan.

Arnaud Démare – in recent months we’ve seen him climbing better than ever before. The Frenchman will look at this stage as one he should be winning, and FDJ bring a whole team to support him. He’s usually good in an uphill sprint, it will be interesting to see if he can beat Sagan.

Simone Consonni – usually the final man for Viviani, but he’ll get a chance in this stage. The Italian doesn’t get many opportunities to ride for personal glory, but remember he was 3rd in Lyon, the day SKA won.

Davide Ballerini – another rider who’ll like the look of this finish. The Italian has long been touted as a classic’s specialist, so this finish should be easy for him. He packs a very fast sprint; this is a big chance for him to win his first grand tour stage.

Enrico Battaglin – would have been challenging for a stage like this two years ago, but those days seem long gone.

Jhonatan Narváez – Ineos domestiques rarely get freedom, but as this is the Giro, I hope the team have a change of heart. The Ecuadorian has enjoyed a great run of recent form, but winning this stage will be hard. He packs a fast sprint, but not compared to some of the riders already mentioned, hopefully he attacks in the closing kilometres.

Diego Ulissi – it doesn’t look hard enough for him.

Prediction Time

He’s not won a race since 10th July 2019, it’s time for Peter Sagan to strike.

David Hunter

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