Sefro > Fermo 154.5km
After today’s display of Pogačar power, can anyone stop him from taking consecutive wins? This is your classic Tirreno stage, lots of wall climbs for the riders to get their teeth into.
Nice and sunny, with a lot of headwind throughout the stage.
The final 11km is incredibly tough, it has four climbs contained in this short period of time. We have 2km at 8%, 600m at 11%, 650m at 15% and the final 1.5km rises at 6%, with some cobbles thrown in for good measure. This is a brilliant way to finish a stage, there really isn’t any time to rest.
Is it possible to beat Pogačar given his current form? The good news for the other teams is that given the final 10km, it is possible to beat Pogačar. The lack of a long climb increases the chances of a puncheur taking the win, but it won’t be easy beating the man of the moment.
With headwind for almost all of the opening 120km, the breakaway will have a tough job staying away, it’s more than likely it comes back together. We’ll then have to see how UAE ride the finale. It’s clear that Soler has freedom to attack, but he doesn’t have the legs to get away from the best. I think we’ll all be waiting for the Pogačar attack; he won’t be waiting for the finish as it suits some of the faster riders a little more.
The bunch hit the final steep climb with 3km to go. 650m at 15% is perfect for Pogi to go for it, but can anyone stay with him? It is short enough to give some riders hope, but we’ll have to wait and see.
Tadej Pogačar – no words required.
Michael Matthews – didn’t make it today, but the pace was very high. The shorter climbs should be better for Bling, as is the finish. I still have some doubts over his current shape, hopefully he can find good legs in this stage.
Robert Stannard – wasn’t far off today, the Aussie will love this type of finish. As an under 23 he had a great record in Italy, I think he’ll back himself to win this stage.
Benoît Cosnefroy – this stage suits him perfectly; he really should be challenging for the win. His form seemed to be moving in the right direction, but he was off the pace in Strade Bianche and today’s stage. I’m hoping that was because neither race really suited him well, but this is a different story.
Alex Aranburu – he’ll be up there, but it’s unlikely he’ll win.
Filippo Ganna – late attack.
Jan Tratnik – breakaway hopeful number 1.
Michael Valgren – breakaway hopeful number 2.
Daryl Impey – breakaway hopeful number 3.
Koen Bouwman – breakaway hopeful number 4.
Kasper Asgreen – breakaway hopeful number 5.
It’s boring to keep picking Pogačar, so I’ll switch to another rider. The series of short climbs is perfect for Benoît Cosnefroy to take the win.