By David Hunter
Magenta – Superga 179km
Nice to see the organisers continue with the, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, approach to the 100th edition of this race.
Flat as a pancake, then two ascents to Superga.
The Big Climb
It’s an absolute beauty, isn’t it? Pinot, Urán and López are the last three winners of this race, it is one for the pure climbers in the peloton. Carrying form late into the season is never easy and it makes it very hard to predict, but that’s the beauty of races in Autumn. Forget about tactics, this should all be about the final ascent of the climb, and the strongest rider will win.
Another nice day for the bunch.
Jakob Fuglsang – I’ve been very impressed by him in the recent races, he seems to be in good form. 2019 has been his best season on a bike and he’ll be hopeful of securing at least one more win before he heads on holiday. Recent form has been good, but not great, I think he’ll be hoping for better legs for this race and Lombardia. Astana arrive with a very strong team and they’ll look to animate the race in the closing stages, but their Dane looks like their best chance of success.
David Gaudu – made the break in Beghelli and Tre Valli, it looks like he’s starting to pick up some momentum. The young French climber is an incredible talent, and he played a huge part in last year’s win for Pinot. If the legs respond well, he has to be one of the big favourites for the win.
Adam Yates – won the Queen stage and GC in the recent Tour of Croatia, which is a good indication of form. Yates was 2nd here in 2017, and like quite a few riders, this is a climb that suits him. After gaining some confidence in Croatia, he should be one of the men to watch. If the race gets tactical, Mitchelton-Scott also have Jack Haig as another option.
Egan Bernal – tried to go with Roglič on the steep slopes of San Luca, but blew up and dropped the anchor. That would have been a bit of a shock for the Colombian, as he had looked good in recent Italian races. With that race in his legs, will he be better in this one? The climb looks very good for him, but it’s all about the legs at this point in the season. Winning the Tour de France took a huge amount of effort, does he have anything left for the final races of the season? If not Bernal, keep an eye out for Diego Rosa. The Italian seems to have suddenly found the legs he lost after leaving Astana.
Enric Mas – a season that promised much, but failed to deliver. After finishing 2nd in the 2018 Vuelta, I had high hopes for the Spaniard in 2019, but it’s just not happened. He’s decided to join Movistar for 2020, but I wonder if he’s got one final result left in his legs for QuickStep. If you forget about this season, he would be one of the big favourites on a climb like this, but I don’t think I can forget 2019. Hopefully he can spring a surprise and remind everyone just what a talent Movistar have signed.
Alejandro Valverde – didn’t have the legs in Emilia, but looked better today. Valverde was one of the unlucky riders who was sent the wrong way by the motorbike, I’m not sure what the driver was doing. This is a climb that should suit him, but he’ll have to think carefully about how much energy he wants to burn ahead of Lombardia.
Michael Woods – 2nd here in 2016, he’ll be hoping to go one better this year. The Canadian is another who’s looked sharp in recent races, finishing 2nd in Emilia and was part of today’s wronged riders. He’ll be delighted to see that Roglič is skipping this race, giving him a big chance.
Given his recent form, I think this should be a rare win for Michael Woods.
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