By David Hunter
Belmez > Villanueva de la Serena 204km
Just a boring old sprint stage. Maybe we need it.
Nothing much to say about the route. Some will say the break has a good chance, as Philipsen is not here and Alpecin-Fenix won’t chase, but this is another sprint finish, Deceuninck – QuickStep and Groupama – FDJ will make sure of it.
Another roasting hot day.
It looks easy, but we have two roundabouts in the final 1.2km.
This is with 1.2km to go, both sides are open, the left-hand side is the fastest.
With just 600 to go we have this roundabout, just the right-hand side is open. You can see the riders can’t go full gas through this, they’ll have to slow slightly as the road bends quite a lot. Those at the front will take it with the most speed and carry the most speed out of the curve. Those further back don’t stand a chance.
Fabio Jakobsen – his win the other day was amazing, his power is unrivalled at this race. The sprint train hasn’t always gotten it right, and they’ve now decided to switch Van Lerberghe and Sénéchal. Fabio has two wins and a firm grip of the green jersey, but he wants more. After suffering through the previous stages, he’ll want to take a win and show just how dominant he is.
Arnaud Démare – with fewer sprint trains, FDJ have to get it right. They’ve done one good lead out in the race, that’s quite unusual for them. Since the last sprint, Guarnieri has quit the race, this leaves Sinkeldam as last man, but untried riders in front of him. Having Sinkeldam at number 2 isn’t a disadvantage, he’s brilliant in this role, but I do worry about the other riders in the train. Démare is fast enough to take a win, but he needs to start in a good position.
Alberto Dainese – second to Jakobsen the other day, that was a great result for the Italian. If Fabio makes a mistake, he’s got the speed to take the win, but he does need his rival to get things wrong.
Jordi Meeus – he’ll be hoping to challenge for the podium, but he would need a perfect sprint to take the win.
A third stage win for Fabio Jakobsen.
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