By David Hunter
Xabia – Calp 37km ITT
It’s TT day.
With just 330m of climbing, this would normally be one for the TT specialists, but coming at the end of the Vuelta, it’s also one for the GC boys.
The route is very easy, with lots of long straight sections. That favours the big powerful riders, who can maintain a high speed for a long period of time.
A nice sunny day, with a slight headwind that slightly strengthens as the day goes on. Not ideal for the late starters, but I’m sure they’ll be fine.
Chris Froome – bronze in Rio, Froome needs a big ride if he is to put some pressure on Quintana. No stranger to winning TTs in grand tours, Froome will start the stage as one of the favourites.
Nairo Quintana – not renowned as a great TT rider, but he did win the Route du Sud TT, in a very fast time. Riding on a terrific Canyon TT bike, the Colombian will be looking to limit his losses to Froome. He’ll be happy with anything under a minute.
Jonathan Castroviejo – the nearly man of TT racing. He was 4th in Rio and in the 2015 World Championships. He has a big chance of taking his first grand tour stage, he is that good.
Victor Campenaerts – has been putting in some impressive work for Robert Gesink. The Belgian is a fine TT rider, he’s currently Belgian champion. Riding on his Bianchi, he’ll be hoping for a top 5 result.
Tobias Ludvigsson – can go well deep into a grand tour. He was 9th in the Giro TT back in 2015. Has failed to live up to his early TT promise.
Fabio Felline – the man who can do everything. He’s a talented TT rider and will hope for a top 10 result. Although, if he’s targeting the stage on Saturday, he’ll take it easy. The beauty of a grand tour!
Vegard Stake Laengen – 3rd in the Giro TT this year, the Norwegian has a huge engine. Can he continue the IAM run of great results?
Moreno Moser – you might be surprised to see him make my list, but the Italian was 10th in the 2015 World Championships. If motivated, he should make the top 10.
LL Sanchez – 2nd in the long 2015 Giro TT and winner of the bronze medal in the European Games. When others start to get tired, he seems to excel.
Thomas De Gendt – life is like a box of chocolates for Mr De Gendt. Capable of great things, but often slides into the shadows. On a good day, he could win this.
Ben Hermans – a real improver over the last few years. 4th in the Tour of Poland TT was a sign of quality from the Belgian. He must have spent a considerable time on his TT bike. Add that to his great form and you have a rider that could cause an upset.
A TT in Spain? Has to be Movistar! I will go with Jonathan Castroviejo, he certainly deserves his moment.
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