Tour de France – Stage 2 Preview

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After the drama of today we head to the mountains of Corsica.The intermediate sprint point is only at 33km,so don’t expect a break to go before then.The road heads up from kilometre 0 and we have a rather nasty uncategorised climb after about 50km.Then we have the Col de Bellagranajo at 70km,which is 6.6km at 4.6% and is a cat 3,then the Col de la Serra at 85km,again a cat 3 with 5.2km at 6.9%,straight after at 95.5km we have the Col de Vizzavona.This tops out at 1163m and is a cat 2 with 4.6km at 6.5%.So in just 25.5km they climb for 16.4km.This means that the pure sprinters have no chance.Yes,Cavendish has been climbing better but not the length of climb at that average gradient.It will also spell the end of Bouhanni,Kittel and maybe Greipel and Goss.Some may think that they have time to get back on as they have 60km before the end but with Cannondale leading the peoloton they won’t stand a chance.Other commentators have suggested that the peloton might take it easy up the climb,but recent grand tours have shown us that this rarely happens anymore.

A massive downhill follows until a little leg breaker of a final climb,the Cote du Salario,which is just 1km long at 8.9% and is a cat 3.This is just 12km from the finish so expect some fireworks.

Just a little word on the intermediate sprint.It also has 2 ramps.A section of around 8% for 500m,at 3km to go and then the sprint point rises at around 4% for 500m.It won’t be as easy as today!

Stage profileIntermediate sprint

For me the stage winner can only be one man …. Peter Sagan.

This stage is made for him.He will get ride of most of the sprinters early on and then the final kick will remove the last of them.Expect him to win by about 5metres.Contenders for the podium have to be Alexander Kristoff,Edvald Boasson Hagen and John Degenkolb.Orica have to decide who they want to go for it as Impey,Gerrans and Albasini will all probably be there but these guys will only be chasing 2nd and 3rd.I expect a clear and easy win for Sagan,claiming the green jersey in the process and he’ll keep wearing it till Paris.



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