By David Hunter
Stage 1 Recap
Team Sky made the climb too difficult for the sprinters and they exited the back door of the peloton, 1 by 1. My pick, Nizzolo, was caught behind a crash and didn’t get the opportunity to chase back on. In the sprint it was Swiss rider, Michael Albasini, that pulled off a slightly surprising victory. Vincenzo Nibali succeeded in getting a large gap on the peloton, on the descent, but was reeled in by OPQS. Kwiatkowski was not involved in the sprint and with bonus seconds available it is the first sign he is tired.
Stage 2 Sion – Montreux 166.5km
The riders face a relatively gentle day in the saddle.
Don’t be fooled by the sharp rises, the vertical scale makes it look more impressive than it really is! The first climb is 12km at 3.4% and the 2nd climb is 7.1km at 4.3%. We then have 2 uncategorised climbs, the first at 130km is 5.4km at 2.8%, before the final rise, which is 1.5km at 3%.
The stage finishes beside a lake, which will make for some good TV shots.
This should be a day for the sprinters, but will they all make it to the end of the stage. The climbs are not difficult but they are quite long, I’m not sure how Kittel, Mezgec and Hofland will react to this.
With the Queen stage coming after this stage, the GC riders will be wanting an easy day in the saddle and I don’t see any serious action.
I will make a prediction that Kittel will not make it to the end. I wasn’t impressed by him today and I don’t think there will be an improvement in this stage. Hofland and Mezgec are still learning at this level and I’m unsure if they’ll be in the bus with Kittel.
He was unlucky in stage 1, so I’m sticking with Nizzolo. He will be there at the end of the stage and will win, as long as Kittel isn’t there!
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