Stage 5 delivered the battle of the GC favourites but tellingly they were all evenly matched.
The 1st climb is 2.1km long at around 6%.
The 2nd climb is 3.8km long at 5%.
The 3rd climb is 4.6km at 5%.
Like in the previous stages,these climbs are too short and not steep enough to cause any problems.
The final climb is 5.8km at around 6%.This is not my idea of a mountaintop finish!In a grand tour it would probably be just a cat 2.
This might not be a popular opinion but I cannot see past Bradley Wiggins.
Please remember we are talking about a Tour de France winner and he loves these power climbs.Team Sky should set a strong pace on the climb and Wiggins will want to win this stage for himself and all his fans.
This stage will settle the GC and Wiggins has a healthy lead over Stannard and Elmiger.I will expect to see another attack from Dan Martin and Nairo Quintana but don’t think they’ll escape Wiggins.
The contenders for today are very similar to stage 5,but fewer: Wiggins,Quintana,Martin,Elmiger,Pardilla,Yates and Bongiorno.
Sergio Pardilla was my pick on stage 2 because he is very good on a climbing finish,so he’ll go well here.I would also expect Bongiorno to go very well,as he matched the efforts of Quintana and Martin today.Both have very good form with Pardilla winning a mountaintop finish in the Tour of Portugal.
In the recent tour of Lombarda,Bongiorno finished higher than Pardilla in all 3 stages.He finished in the top 10 on all 3 days,despite riding for others.All 3 stages had tough,uphill finishes.
Elmiger is solid but I don’t think he can climb as well as these two.
Yates will go well but winning will probably be too much for the young man.
I expect to see Team Sky dominate the race and bring back the expected attacks from Quintana and Martin before Wiggins rides everyone off his wheel to take the win.
I don’t see Golas coping with the climb as well as he did today,so don’t think he’ll be there.
Wiggins to win with maybe Pardilla and Bongiorno in the top 3.
The bookies have Bongiorno v Pardilla as a match bet and the Italian is 7/5.Considering their recent head to head form,this seems over-priced.
Wiggins is available at 20/1 with bet365.This is incredible value considering what I’ve already said and I would advise taking it each way.