Team tactics will play an enormous part in this stage.
The cat 1 climb is very steep but only around 4km.Will we see the peloton go over it quickly or will they take it easy?With 50km to go till the finish we could see some attacks but it does seem a bit far out to survive.
The sprint teams will be lacking numbers and a late attack might not be brought back,as in previous stages.
The steep finish favours Gilbert,Moreno and a few others.
We also have to consider the morning break,as the cat 1 climb should encourage riders with a KOTM interest to get away and if not a threat on GC Astana won’t ride hard.The sprint teams won’t put in too much effort as the finish doesn’t suit them,although Orica seem to think that this stage favours Matthews,so the break could make it all the way.
For the first time in this Vuelta I think the morning break will make it.The GC teams will want to rest up before Friday,that means I have the hard job of picking the break!
Cataldo,Edet,Westra,De Greef,Howes,Clarke,Txurruka,Ulissi are just a few names that might have a go.
This is what Orica DS Matt Wilson had to say about it,
“It’s a hard finish tomorrow,” said Wilson. “We’re not quite sure how it will go down. There’s a potential for the breakaway to stay away, but on paper, it looks like it could be a good finish for Matthews. We’ll discuss our options tonight and make a decision from there.”
Doesn’t sound too confident.