Verona 17.4km ITT
The race finishes with a 17.4km ITT around Verona. Despite its length, there’s only around 8km of flat, the route is dominated by the climb and descent, making it an interesting looking time trial. Grand tour races that end with a TT can throw up a surprise winner, it’s all about who’s managed to be clever over the last week and save as much energy as possible.
The route might look familiar to you, it’s very similar to the route was in 2019. The only difference is that this time the riders must do an extra 400m of climb, and that’s the bit that contains the steepest gradients, making it harder than 3 years ago.
Cloudy, but it should stay dry, and the wind will be constant for all.
4.5km at 5.3%, but it’s harder than the numbers suggest. The road surface isn’t great, although it might have been resurfaced, and the gradient is constantly fluctuating. This climb will have a huge impact on the type of rider who can win this TT.
Mathieu van der Poel – he could have had an easy day today to prepare for the TT, but that’s not his style. So many breakaway appearances will have an impact on his resources for this stage, but he’ll still start as one of the men to beat. He lost out to Yates in Hungary, finishing just 3 seconds down on that day, this is a big chance for him to take his second stage win of the race.
Matteo Sobrero – he was 4th in the TT last year, but as the big guns are not here, he’ll sense a huge chance to take his first professional win, outside of the Italian TT championship. He’s the perfect example of someone who’s been able to coast round in the last week, saving everything he’s got for this stage. Being Italian, it would mean the world to him to win this time trial.
Ben Tulett – he’s not been able to coast round in the last week, he’s been working his guts out for Richard Carapaz. He was 5th back in Hungary, but as this is his first grand tour, he must be a huge amount of fatigue in his legs.
Tobias Foss – it’s not been his race, but a win would make a massive difference. The Norwegian is excellent in this discipline, and I suspect he’s been saving energy for this stage. He should start as one of the big favourites.
Thymen Arensman – would normally be one of the favourites for this stage, but he’s used up a lot of energy in breakaways this week.
Edoardo Affini – he’s in amazing form, but the climb is bad news for him. If this was a flat TT, he’d win it, unfortunately for him it is not.
Thomas De Gendt – the race is already a success for him, thanks to his amazing win in Napoli, but can he round it off with a second stage win? He was 3rd in this TT back in 2019, that will give him a confidence boost coming into this one.
Magnus Cort – seems to be riding into good form, and the route suits him well. He should be challenging for the podium.
Lennard Kämna – another who would have had a better chance in this stage if they had taken it easy today, but that still doesn’t mean he can’t challenge for the win.
Just like in 2019, I think the stage will be won by someone who’s been carefully managing their resources in the last couple of weeks. I’ll take a win for Tobias Foss.
That’s my first grand tour in the can on my new website. With over 150,000 page views it has been an overwhelming success. Thanks to you for reading, I’ll be back next week for the Dauphiné. Vamos!