By David Hunter
Lido di Camaiore 22.7km TTT
The race begins with a flat TTT beside the sea. This length of TTT means that only a few teams will be able to win and it should be the usual suspects!
BMC – the world champions are here with quite the squad: Van Garderen, Phinney, GVA, Quinziato and Oss. That means we have 3 of the squad that won gold in America: Phinney, Quinziato and Oss. In fact, the Italian pair also won gold in 2014. This is a hugely talented squad and they will start the stage as the overwhelming favourites. Van Garderen will be keen to take as much time as possible on his rivals.
Orica – they arrive with some big engines, but are also carrying a few riders. Will Durbridge, Juul Jensen, Mezgec and Tuft be able to carry their GC riders? That is debatable but Orica have a great record in Italy.
Tinkoff – do have a good record in TTTs. With Bennati, Kreuziger, Sagan, Boaro and Bodnar, they will certainly be challenging for the top 5.
Etixx – for so long, the top team in the world. Their crown has certainly slipped over the last couple of seasons but with Tony Martin and Bob Jungels, they have what it takes to challenge for this stage.
IAM – certainly the most improved TTT squad over the last year. They always seem to do well, frequently beating some of the “bigger” teams. They have some proper horsepower with them and will expect a top 5 result.
Sky – Kwiatkowski, Kiryienka, Poels, Konig and Puccio. That is plenty of power. They certainly have a chance of challenging for the stage, but a lot will depend on the fitness of Kwiatkowski. He was off the pace in Strade, but that race will have been good for him.
Trek – arrive with the in-form rider. You cannot underestimate how good Fabian Cancellara is just now. He’ll put in some huge pulls, but they do lack strength in depth. It’s hard to see them winning, even though Fabain is flying
Has to be a win for BMC. Not only do they have 3 of the squad that won the worlds, but they also have Van Garderen. This is the strongest squad by a distance and they will hope to put Van Garderen into a strong overall position.
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