By David Hunter
Bellinzona – Bellinzona 34km ITT
With only a few little lumps, this is a TT for the specialists.
Warm and sunny. The wind is light and the same for all of the riders.
Richie Porte – the Aussie looks in brilliant form and it will be easy for him to win the overall. Given his TT ability, he should also be challenging for the stage win. Taking this stage would send out a big message to his Tour de France rivals, but he would have preferred a route with a few hills.
Stefan Küng – he’s had his spell in yellow, won the TTT, now he’d love a stage win. Once thought of as a short TT specialist, he has been developing over longer distances. He is almost certain to finish on the podium, but he’ll be hoping for the top step.
Tejay Van Garderen – won in California, can he do it in Switzerland? No.
Michael Matthews – the route is too long and flat for Matthews to win, but he should be challenging for the top 5.
Ion Izagirre – the Basque climber should be expecting to challenge for the podium. Given the lack of specialist TT riders, he should seize his chance for a big result. The problem is that since his move to Bahrain, his TT performances haven’t been of the highest order. I think his equipment is nowhere near as good as when he was at Movistar.
Simon Spilak – always has the ability to surprise in this country. Not usually one for the flat TTs, I still think we’ll see him challenge for the top 10. He won’t win, but he should do enough to move up the GC.
Yves Lampaert – the dark horse for the stage. The Belgian TT champion doesn’t always get many chances to go full gas in TTs, but this is one of them. The distance is perfect for him, the route is perfect for him, I sense a big ride.
Should be a battle between the BMC riders. Due to the flat course, I think we’ll see Stefan Küng take a very popular win.
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