Apecchio > Carpegna 215.2km
The Queen stage, with two ascents of Monte Carpegna. This is a very difficult climb, expect to see big gaps.
Another nice day, but it will be very cold on the climb.
Almost 5km at 11%, this is a brutal climb. One ascent would be hard enough, but two will break most riders in the peloton.
Twice down this descent, it’s a tricky one.
How do you stop Pogačar? The only team with realistic multiple options seems to be Bahrain, they have Bilbao, Caruso and Landa all within 1:24 of the race lead, but I doubt any of them are strong enough to beat Pogačar.
UAE don’t need to chase the break; we’ll see if anyone else wants the stage win. Once on the climb, I would expect UAE to set a fast pace, this is a good Tour de France audition for their domestiques. Once they are finished, Pogačar will launch his attack and see who can follow. The fact the climb is so steep, should be good news for López and Mas, both always seem to go well on this type of climb. Pogačar has a huge lead on everyone except from Evenepoel, he doesn’t need to win the stage, but he’ll want to. Make no mistake, there will be no gifts in this stage.
Tadej Pogačar – the man with more matches than an arsonist on Bonfire Night. He’s already got a stage win, but he’ll likely want another. I don’t think UAE will chase the break, that will be the responsibility of his rivals, but he will strike when we hit Monte Carpegna. It’s highly unlikely anyone will be able to follow him.
Jonas Vingegaard – after a poor TT, he’s responded well in the last couple of stages. Having him at his best is a very important part of the Jumbo-Visma plan for July, this is a good opportunity for him to measure up to Pogačar. Winning will be tough, but I hope to see him attacking and not waiting for Pogačar to make his move.
Miguel Ángel López – has a very good record on climbs like this, the steeper the better for the Colombian. He would prefer it to be at a higher altitude, we’ll have to see if that has an impact on how he performs in this stage. He’s started the season in fine form, winning here would be a huge result.
Enric Mas – another who loves steep slopes.
Remco Evenepoel – I don’t see him surviving when Pogačar lights it up on Monte Carpegna. I hope I’m wrong, I’d love to see him putting pressure on the Slovenian.
Richie Porte – this is his final season as a pro, it’s great to see him already in form. Fingers crossed he can pull something out the bag in this stage.
Sepp Kuss – breakaway hopeful number 1.
Koen Bouwman – breakaway hopeful number 2.
Jefferson Alexander Cepeda – breakaway hopeful number 3.
Lilian Calmejane – breakaway hopeful number 4.
Someone will chase the break down, and Tadej Pogačar will take another win.
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