By David Hunter
Münchenstein – Einsiedeln 175km
A stage with a few possibilities.
The profile looks like a classic breakaway day to me. It starts with lots of unclassified climbing, most of which are actually quite hard. The long category 2 climb crests with over 30km remaining, which will make a lot of teams reluctant to chase down the morning move, as sprinter teams won’t have many domestiques left to control the finale.
Bora have the yellow jersey, but they won’t be keen on doing all the work. The climbs aren’t overly difficult, which could lead to Sunweb helping chase the break, to try and set up Michael Matthews, he would love a stage before the race heads to the high mountains. Once the peloton get through the opening 30km, the next 100km is quite easy, I wonder what the break will look like?
The composition of the morning move will determine its success, especially if Mitchelton and Sunweb look to get a man up the road. To chase down this break will require a few teams to help with the chase, Bora won’t be forced into doing it all. It does look like a good day for the break, but there is no guarantee they stay away.
14.6km at 3.6%, but that does include a lot of flat sections. The climb isn’t particularly difficult and doesn’t really deserve to be a cat 2.
The final categorised climb is 1.4km at 5.1%, which is actually easier than the unclassificied climbs at the beginning of the stage.
It looks relatively easy for the bunch, with positioning for the final kilometre very important. Expect a big battle as we approach the flamme rouge, especially if the win is up for grabs.
As you can see, the final 500m rises at 4.9%, with a maximum of 8%, and we have cobbles! This is a tricky finish, one that will be fun to watch. It seems to finish in a car park of an old building.
Sunny and very warm.
Stefan Küng – he’s certainly going to try for the morning break, as he won’t win any of the big mountain days. The local hero loves winning on home soil, and he looks to have good legs. He’ll be a marked man in the opening stages, everyone knows he’ll be keen on the break, which could make things hard for him. The lumpy start isn’t ideal for him, but if his legs are good, he’ll be in the break.
Peter Sagan – the stage is well within his capabilities, but will we get a sprint? He’s the nailed-on favourite if it comes back together, but that will take cooperation between a few teams.
Michael Matthews – beat Sagan today, he finished with a lot of speed. Will Sunweb work with Bora to bring back the break? It’s a risky strategy, but as Matthews is still chasing a stage win, it could happen.
Yves Lampaert – 2:51 down on Sagan, but I’m not sure if Bora will be looking to keep the jersey. The Belgian champion would also get a free pass from the GC riders, as he’s not going to survive the mountains. As Viviani won’t be around for the finish, the Belgians will look to join the morning break and take their chances. Can Lampaert take his first, and potentially last win in the Belgian national jersey?
Matej Mohorič – another rider who looked frisky today. The Slovenian is a magnificent rider and he’ll like the look of the stage. The uphill sprint is also good news for him, he has a kick that would beat most rivals.
Matteo Trentin – it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Italian going in the break. He might be a fine sprinter, but he’s also a good racer. If Trentin sniffs a chance to test his legs, he won’t be afraid to spend the day in the break.
A day for the break, I just don’t see enough teams willing to pull together. I think the battle to join the morning move will be fierce and winning from a small sprint will be Yves Lampaert.
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