The first ever edition of Gran Camiño! Spain has been crying out for another stage race, and it’s great to see one taking place in Galicia, a beautiful part of the world where roads are rarely flat. We have one punchy stage, two GC days and a tough TT to round off the race.
The punchy stage. The big climb crests with 30km, but it’s not that hard, so this should end in a reduced bunch sprint. There is a chance of a late attack succeeding, if it contains riders from the big world tour teams, but Movistar and EF will likely ride for a sprint for Serrano and Cort.
The day ends with 1.7km at 14%, it’s a brut of a little climb. It really is one that you’ve got to see to believe just how hard it is. Valverde and Sosa will fancy this one.
With three tough climbs in the final 50km, 7km at 7.1%, 3.4km at 9.7% and 7.9km at 7.3%, this will be a hugely selective day. Each of the climbs is difficult, put three of them together and the bunch will be blown to pieces. Expect to see Valverde & Sosa fighting against Carthy & Padun.
We end with a 15.8km TT, which features a series of rolling hills, finishing with 500m at 8%. It looks like a climber’s TT to me, but Magnus Cort might well have something else in mind.
Movistar – it’s not a surprise to see them arrive with one of the strongest teams. Valverde is back after missing a few races due to being a close contact, they also have Gorka Izagirre, Pedrero and Sosa as GC options. Sosa surprised me in Andalucía, he coped well with climbs that didn’t really suit him, this is a much better race for him. Given Valverde’s lay off, I would expect Sosa to be their GC leader and he’ll be looking forward to the third stage, it looks very good for him. Sosa isn’t the best on a TT bike, so he’ll need a nice gap before the final stage.
EF Education-EasyPost – another strong looking team. They arrive with Hugh Carthy, Camargo, Eiking, and Padun as their climbing options. There’s been a lot of talk about Padun, we’ll have to see what his shape is like as he starts his first season for EF and then we have big Hugh. I’m hoping to see him start well, something he usually does. The third stage is perfect for him, this is where he can make a big impression, especially as he’ll go well in the final TT.
Jakob Fuglsang – missed Andalucía due to COVID, which means his current shape is totally unknown. He started the season well in Valenciana, we’ll have to wait and see how he’s recovered in the last week.
Jesús Herrada – stage 3 is probably too hard for him.
Filippo Zana – 13th in Oman was an okay start to the year, but he would have hoped for better considering the other climbers in the race. Hopefully he’ll be better in this race, he should enjoy the climbs, I expect him to be challenging for the top 10.
Jefferson Cepeda – made the split in the Queen stage in Andalucía, I’m hoping to see a lot of him in this race. The Colombian is a talented climber, he’s about to turn 26, it’s time we started to see the best of him.
Roger Adrià – a rider I’ve enjoyed watching progress in the last couple of years. He’s another who’d love to be challenging for the top 10.
Santiago Umba – is he the next Savio goldmine? Not long turned 19, he’s still just a baby, but he’s already very strong. The tiny climber should enjoy the racing in this part of the world, hopefully he’s on good form.
EF v Movistar. I think we’ll see a win for Iván Sosa, his early season form has been impressive.