The riders head 188.4km from Stoke to Lllanberis.
The 1st climb is down as only 3km but the road rises for just under 10km at around 3%.
The cat2 climbs do come very close together but I doubt any of the GC boys will want to drive up them at speed.
The cat 3 climb up Pen-y-Pass is down as 1.6km but I make it 2km from the turn in the road.It’s at an average of 4.6% and is a long drag of a road.
Once the riders crest there is only 9.3km to go.
I don’t expect the climbs to eliminate any of the sprinters,but I would imagine a few riders will attack on the last climb and try to stay away on the descent.
OPQS will want to control the race on the climb and over it,and they should get some assistance from other teams.Don’t expect MTN-Qhubeka to help as they only have 4 riders left.In stage 1 we saw Stauff deliver Ciolek to the line but he crashed out on stage 2.He didn’t need him but that stage wasn’t a flat sprint.The German will have to try and latch onto another train,but I wouldn’t rule him out as he’s in super form.
Cavendish finished an impressive 10th today and he had a little attack on stage 2,so it looks like his legs are now back after not racing for a month.He is the class sprinter in the field and has to be a big favourite(9/4 Ladbrokes).
The bookies seem to have forgotten that Viviani won stage 1 and have him at 12/1(bet365).He did say after stage 2 that it was his biggest crisis in his career and thanked his teammates for helping him.He took it easy in stage 3,so there is a question mark over him.
Ciolek who is looking good but mis-timed his stage 1 sprint is 5/1(betVictor).
Modolo came to the event as Bardiani’s sprinter but on both stages 1 and 2 his teammate Coledan has done better than him.Coledan was 4th in stage 1,8th on stage 2 and finished a respectable 15th in the TT.Modolo said that he suffered cramps 300 metres from the line on stage 2.It’s unclear who they will ride for tomorrow but certainly Coledan has the form.I’m amazed that bet365 have him at 50/1 and Modolo at 12/1,an each way bet could be in order.
I would think that Cavendish should win the sprint but the odds on Viviani and Coledan represent good value.
After the Vuelta,I’ve decided not to bet on stages like these before the stage but rather wait till in-play.If you are braver than me,go for it!