Circuito San Juan Villicum > Circuito San Juan Villicum 174.2km
Another sprint stage, but this one has a tricky finish. It’s the same end that was used in 2020, when Štybar surprised the sprinters with an attack in the final kilometre. Can lightning strike twice?
It’s going to be a hot one with temperatures approaching 40 degrees. There’s a little bit of wind about, but it shouldn’t cause any problems.
With just under 5km to go the bunch head off the main road onto the racing circuit. We have several sweeping bends and a few little lumps to deal with. It really should end in another sprint, but some will gain hope if they rewatch what Štybar did three years ago.
Fabio Jakobsen – he got his win yesterday, making it 1-1 in terms of him versus Bennett. Remco is doing a brilliant job in position 4, the gentle inclines in the finale of this stage make it even more likely that QuickStep will boss this finish. Last time here they allowed one of their train to attack, I don’t think this will happen this time round, but Remco could simply ride everyone off his wheel. Just like in the first two stages, Jakobsen starts as the favourite.
Sam Bennett – van Poppel has been brilliant in the first two stages, Bennett just didn’t have the legs to win yesterday, he seemed to die fairly soon after launching. One thing is for sure, if van Poppel continues to deliver him to the front of the race with 200 to go, he’s going to win more races.
Fernando Gaviria – got very close to winning yesterday, that would have filled him with confidence for what’s to come. He doesn’t have much of a sprint train to support him, but he’s got good legs just now. This tricky finish suits him better than the opening two stages, if he gets on the right wheel, he could well take the win.
Jon Aberasturi – another who’ll enjoy this finish. Last year wasn’t a good start for him at Trek-Segafredo, he only finished on the podium in one race. His third place yesterday is a great way to start the season, he’ll be hoping for even better in this stage.
Giacomo Nizzolo – another who should enjoy this finish more than the opening stages. The Italian is much better when we get a harder finish. Okay, this finish isn’t that hard, but it’s still better for him than a flat sprint. He should be aiming for the podium.
I don’t see a late attack winning this year, Remco will easily chase down any moves.
Looking at yesterday’s finish, I’ll take a win for Fernando Gaviria, but he needs to get on Jakobsen’s wheel. I think the European sprinters will suffer a little in the heat.