Full flat for the last 3 kilometres, this stage is tailor made for the fastest men or is it really? After a fast and furious Friday 13 and on the eve of The Blockhaus, multiple scenarios are possible..
The Monte di Procida of 2.1 kilometres at 6% and a climb to Lucrine Lake of 600 metres at 9.4% are included in a 5 laps circuits before a 20 kilometres run in to the finish with two last climbs of 1.8 kilometres at 5.2% and 3.4 kilometres at 4.7% respectively. The last 3 kilometres are strictly flat.
In the last 40 kilometres, the 4 climbs will perhaps eliminate some of the sprinters among which Cavendish, who also lost Morkov due to fever. So will it be the powerful sprinters, or the tough punchers? That’s the question. Ewan, Démare, Girmay, Van der Poel, and Gaviria are the best five that I feel possess a mixture of both with Caleb Ewan the favourite.
Mathieu Van Der Poel – Won the opening stage on an very tough uphill finish and his strength is that he can attack on the final climb or any anywhere else.
Biniam Girmay – second best in the opening stage and he can also attack on the final climb and is possibly faster than Van der Poel in a sprint.
Edward Theuns – Good sprinter and the late climb should suit him to help possibly eliminate some faster guys.
Magnus Cort – Can not be discounted after an impressive 4th on stage 1.
Andrea Vendrame – Good punchy rider who can sprint in a reduced group.
A day after having animated the race, the Dutch could be back with their biggest superstar, Mathieu van der Poel. This hilly stage is perfectly fitted to his powerful abilities. To win, the Alpecin-Fenix rider will have to be on the top of his game as other teams will try bring it to a sprint in which Caleb Ewan is the favourite. The Australian has regularly proven that short steep slopes is not an issue for him .He would want to end his run of bad lucks and finally take a well deserved Giro victory this year. His biggest threat should the new sensation, Birmay Girmay who could turn that series of Top 5 results into Gold by out-sprinting everyone left. Magnus Cort Nielsen is another protagonist who does not mind rising gradients and fit into the category of riders who would benefit from such a stage profile, as does Andrea Vendrame.
|★★★★★||Caleb Ewan||Mathieu van der Poel||Caleb Ewan|
|★★★★||Arnaud Demare||Biniam Girmay||Biniam Girmay|
|★★★||Biniam Girmay||Edward Theuns||Mathieu van der Poel|
|★★||Mathieu van der Poel||Magnus Cort||Magnus Cort|
|★||Fernando Gaviria||Andrea Vendrame||Andrea Vendrame|
Favourites (out of 15)
10 Ewan, Van der Poel
4 Cort, Démare