2023 Trofeu Ses Salines – Alcudia Preview

Ses Salines > Alcúdia 158.1km

Flat for most of the day, then it’s one climb, one descent, and a sprint finish. Not the most exciting race in the world, but it’s good racing kilometres for the peloton. Last year, Biniam Girmay took the win, will he back it up with another win this year?

Weather

Cloudy sun, not very warm, and a light headwind for most of the day.

The Climb

Col de Sa Batalla is the main event of the day, 7.7km at 4.8%. It’s a steady effort and can be easily controlled by a strong team.

Tactics

Almost all the world tour teams want a sprint to happen, so that’s what will happen. The climb isn’t that hard, but the sprinters still need to be climbing well to get over it in the peloton. The headwind on the climb swings the advantage even further towards the quick men, teams like Lotto, Wanty and QuickStep should be able to control with ease. Everything is pointing at a standard sprint stage and a relatively big sprint.

Finale

The approach is relatively straightforward, but there will be a relatively strong cross/tailwind coming over the left-hand shoulder of the riders, meaning teams will want to hug the right-hand side of the road as they head along the coast and into town. 

The first pinch point comes with 1km to go, when the bunch head left at a roundabout, this is quickly followed by a right-hand turn at a roundabout with 600m to go. Then there’s a fast corner which finishes at 300m to go, this is when the riders get their first look at the finish.

Contenders

Biniam Girmay – took an impressive win last year and Wanty will hope to follow up today’s win with another one here. Girmay will have Teunissen leading him out for the first time, I think it’s going to be a very successful partnership. He’ll join Adrien Petit in the sprint train, so expect to see lots of them in the finale.

QuickStep – their first choice will be Ethan Vernon, but if he doesn’t survive the climb then Ballerini will get his chance. With Cavagna and Sénéchal to help in the sprint train, QuickStep will hope to go one better than today.

Juan Molano – UAE had a lot of bad luck today, it seemed that most of their riders crashed. Molano is a rider who normally starts the season well, and he’ll be supported by Trentin (he crashed today) and Oliveira in the closing kilometres. Despite winning several races in his career, I always get the sense that Molano is underrated as a sprinter. 

Nacer Bouhanni – this is his first race since April, that’s a long time out due to injury. We’ll have to see how he responds after missing so much racing, that’s why Arkéa also have McLay and Dekker at the race. They’ll hope that at least one of their quick men will survive the climb and get to sprint at the end.

Milan Menten – I’ve been a fan of Milan’s for a long time, I’m delighted to see him getting a chance to ride at a higher level. He packs a very fast sprint after a tough day, so this stage isn’t exactly perfect for him. However, as there aren’t too many top line sprinters, he’s got a chance of challenging for the podium.

Itamar Einhorn – a rider who’s progressed well over the last few years. We’ll have to see what shape he’s in, a top 5 would be a great start to the season.

Stanisław Aniołkowski – this is his first race for Human Powered Health, I think he could be an excellent signing for the team. The Pole is one of those sprinters who regularly features in top 10s, but he rarely wins. He should be able to survive the climb and fight for a spot on the podium.

Max Kanter – still without a win as a pro, that’s never a good look for a 25-year-old sprinter. He did well enough in 2022, but he really needs a win.

Prediction Time

Embed from Getty Images

I think we’ll see a win for Biniam Girmay.

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