Echallens > Echallens 168.8km
A rare easy day in Romandie. Just one categorised climb, and 2500m of ascension, this is about as easy as it gets in this race. We don’t have many sprinters here, but with QuickStep, Ineos and UAE happy if we get a sprint, that’s what we’re likely to get.
Another cracking day.
With 16km to go, the bunch hit this unclassified climb. Just 4.6km at 3.6%, it’d be amazed if any of the sprinters get dropped.
Relatively easy, with the final turn coming with 2.5km to go. At this point the bunch head out of a little village and into an exposed section of road. The wind will be around 15km/h, but it will be a full crosswind from the left. It’s not strong enough to split the peloton, but in terms of preparing the sprint, it’s very significant.
Clever teams will get on the right-hand side of the road and let it rip, which will force other teams into using energy moving up the windy side. This is a finish made for a strong lead out team, but we don’t have any at the race, so it should get very messy.
Fernando Gaviria – his season has been like many in the pro peloton, one interrupted by illness and injuries. That should all be behind him, he should be in full Giro mode now. Two wins in the Tour of Oman was a good start to the season for Nando, hopefully he’s now ready to get some more. He should have Oliveira as his lead out man, which gives him a significant advantage over his rivals. This is a great chance for the Colombian to take his first world tour win of the season.
Ethan Vernon – the young Englishman already has a world tour win to his name; he took a tricky stage in Catalunya. QuickStep will be backing him in this stage, but they don’t have a recognised lead out man for the final kilometre. The power of Černy, Cavagna and Cattaneo will be able to control the bunch in the final 3km, but the lack of a final man is a worry for me.
Ethan Hayter – crashed today, we’ll have to see if he’s okay to sprint in this stage. If he does, he should be challenging for the win.
Dion Smith – with Maas and Jansen to guide him in the closing kilometres, he’s got a good chance of starting the sprint from near the front. He’s unlikely to win, but he should be aiming for the podium.
Jon Aberasturi – not much help in terms of a lead out, winning will be hard, but he should be able to secure his first good result for Trek-Segafredo.
Johan Jacobs – breakaway hopeful 1, 2, 3 and 4.
I’ll go with Fernando Gaviria; the presence of Oliveira will be significant.