Magenta > Rivoli 199.4km
No more Superga, the race has moved to this spot in the calendar and it’s back to being a sprint. Sad times all round. The bizarre news is that some teams didn’t get the memo, they arrive without any sprinters! Imagine their shock when they got the road book. The route is dull, it’s a nailed-on sprint.
Nice and sunny.
Hands up who likes a roundabout? We have them with 5km, 3.3km, 2.7km, 2.4km, 2.2km, 2km and 1.6km to go. This is bonkers! It then calms down for a kilometre, with the final turn at 500 to go. This finish is made for a team with a strong lead out to hit the front with 4km to go. The frequency of the roundabouts means that the team on the front will likely stay there until the end.
Mark Cavendish – started Tirreno with a cold, so didn’t get involved in the first two sprint stages. He stayed around for the final stage but got boxed in and couldn’t sprint. QuickStep arrive with one intention, a sprint for Cavendish, and they normally get what they want. They look to have the longest, and most powerful sprint train, which is perfect for this finish. Crucially for Cav, he’s now got Mørkøv back in front of him, we all know what that usually means.
Kayden Groves – sprinted very well in Tirreno, but just couldn’t get the win. His sprint train here is weaker than Tirreno, he doesn’t have Michael Matthews to help. He should still be up there challenging, but positioning could prove to be tricky.
Juan Molano – the Colombian has a decent sprint train; UAE should be one of the teams looking to control the final 5km. On his day, he can challenge the best.
Biniam Girmay – Wanty have both him and Kristoff, I would go with Girmay, he’s faster in this type of finish. The sprint train is missing a few crucial riders, but they should be one of the teams fighting QuickStep for control in the closing stages.
Nacer Bouhanni – quit Tirreno after stage 4, I’m not sure he’ll have recovered in time for this race.
Alberto Dainese – 5th was his best result in Tirreno, it was a frustrating race for the Italian, just like the UAE Tour. He is a very fast sprinter, but rarely gets to show it.
Mørkøv is here, so Mark Cavendish will win. He really is a class above the others in this race.