Here is what happened in the exact same stage in 2012.
The first climb is 4.3km long and steep but it is so far out that it won’t put the riders into trouble.
The 2nd climb is 7km long but it’s a tempo climb and will be easy for the peloton.That takes us to the end circuit.
The climb up Caerphilly Mountain is officially 2.3km but the steep bit is 1.5km.
It is quite difficult but not that hard.Last year the leader,Leigh Horward,a sprinter by trade,finished around 30 seconds down on the race winner Konig.That year,we had 2 men in front followed by a group of 10.
We have a better quality of rider in 2013,but I think a small group of riders will arrive at the finish together.You do need teammates on the way to the finish and Team Sky will have Wiggins and Stannard,so they should be able to limit any damage they suffer on the climb.I expect Sky to set a strong pace to try and stop attacks but it seems that Dan Martin and Nairo Quintana are here to attack!
It was interesting that Dan Martin was riding for Jack Bauer today and I would expect that to continue.
After Visconti retired,Quintana has free reign.
The final climb is 2.3km at just under 8% but the final 1.5km is at around 10%.
There are a number of climbers that want to do well –
Wiggins,Golas,Elmiger,Pirazzi,Bongiorno,Quintana,Yates,Pardilla,Bennnett,Martin and Bauer.
The winner of the stage will come from these riders.Doing the final climb twice will take care of the sprinters,although if one of them is on super form,they’ll have a chance.
An obvious bet is Yates to beat Coledan.Yates was 8th here last year and Bardiani is all about Pirazzi and Bongiorno,so 3/5 with bet365 is great value.
A climber that can sprint is a good shout here.Pirazzi will attack on the climb and Bongiorno will get an easy ride,if it comes back together he’ll have a great chance.
Dan Martin has a good sprint but might burn himself out for Bauer.
Of these riders Golas has the fastest sprint so he must be a slight favourite for me.
He finished 5th in the uphill sprint on stage 2 but has good form in reduced sprints this season.He beat Greipel and Cavendish in an uphill sprint on stage 4 of ZLM,finished 7th on a flat sprint on stage 3 of the Tour of Poland and was 5th on stage 4 of the Tour of Turkey in another flat sprint.
Yates v Coledan at 3/5
Golas for stage at 22/1 each way.