The road rises for almost 29km on the way to the 1st climb of the day,but it’s categorised as 10.9km at 4%.Then,another long drag up to the 2nd climb,which is 11km at 2.6%.From the top we have 30km to go and some more lumps and bumps to deal with.
As you can see the road kicks up from 3km to go until 1km but the rise is only about 3%,so it won’t be too difficult.This should be the first stage with a mass sprint and I would expect Farrar,Meersman,Matthews,Markus,Arndt and Richeze to all want a piece of the action.
The bookies have Farrar as their favourite and I can see the logic behind that.Both Matthews and Meersman will be looking to do better than on stage 4 too.
My big concern is the lack of numbers to help close down a late escape.We’ve had 3 stages in a row where an escape has happened and not one team had enough riders to chase it down.The pattern could continue and I would expect to see some late attacks to test the will of the peloton.
However,there should be enough teams willing to work,so it should end in our 1st bunch sprint.
I’m going for a bit of a long shot!
I’ve followed this rider closely for a while now and expect big things of him,it’s Francesco Lasca of Caja Rural.He has performed very well this season,he was 3rd in the Classica de Almeria,1st at the Vuelta Ciclista a La Rioja,2nd in 2 stages of the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon,had 4 top 10 finishes in the Tour of Turkey and finished 3rd in stage 3 of Vuelta a Burgos.
He is 33/1 for the stage and well worth an each way bet.I’ve also taken him in a H2H against Schorn of NetApp,who only has 1 good result to his name all season(2nd in the last stage of the Tour of California).
1 point e/w on Lasca at 33/1 for the stage
10 points on Lasca v Schorn at 1/2.
I’m going for another large H2H bet and hopefully fortune favours the brave!
I lost a few points in stage 4 and need to make some ground.