Savignano sul Rubicone > Cesena 34.9km ITT
35km is a very long time trial, it’s going to have huge ramifications in terms of the fight for the pink jersey. With just 101m of climbing, those who don’t go well in this discipline could lose a huge amount of time to Evenepoel. Time lost here will be difficult to regain in the final week, if you want to challenge for the top 5 on GC you need a good time trial.
At this point in a grand tour, domestiques would normally be told to go easy in this stage, but as the next mountain stage isn’t until Friday, I get the feeling that most will be given the green light to do their best and see what happens, if the roads are dry.
After Roglič put some time into Remco today, a lot of questions have now been asked, but we’re back in Remco’s favourite terrain. It looks even more important that he puts big time into Roglič in this stage.
Heavy rain in the morning, a little lighter in the afternoon. Horrible conditions for a TT which has several corners. The wind is better for the early starters, but not by much.
Remco Evenepoel – in last year’s Vuelta he beat Roglič by 48 seconds over 31km, that’s a good reference for this time trial. Judging by the way he flew round the opening TT, I think he’s got hopes of putting more than 1 minute into Roglič, which would leave him in a brilliant position on GC. He lost some time today, 14 seconds isn’t much, but it’s the psychological damage that I’m interested in. How will he respond?
Primož Roglič – can he keep the gap to Remco under 1 minute? Roglič normally performs very well in this discipline, but he was way off the pace set by Evenepoel in the opening stage. The length of this TT is good for him, the Slovenian will be hoping for a good day.
João Almeida – performed very well in the opening stage, and he’ll hope for something similar in this stage. Almeida will have high hopes of finishing on the podium when we reach Rome, a strong TT will be a big boost.
Stefan Küng – he’s been carefully saving energy for this day but beating a flying Remco will be incredibly difficult. The GC riders haven’t started to fatigue yet, it’s going to be a fair fight. The pan flat route is good for him, and you just never know about the weather, he starts much earlier than the GC stars.
Geraint Thomas – he’ll be looking to take time on most of the GC riders, this is a discipline he normally excels in. I don’t see him challenging for the win, but he should be able to post a good time, which will set him up nicely for the second week.
Rohan Dennis – will he be allowed to go for it? He’s slowly started to ride into some form, I hope he’s allowed to go for it.
Bruno Armirail – solid top 10 option.
Tao Geoghegan Hart – not normally known as a TT rider, but his 4th place in the opening stage was an outstanding result. What we do know is that his current form is excellent, he’s another of the GC riders who’ll hope to put time into most of his rivals.
Josef Černy – probably won’t be allowed to go for it, Soudal – Quick Step have bigger fish to fry.
Michael Hepburn – solid top 10 option.
Jay Vine – capable of doing the incredible. You might think the flat route doesn’t suit him, but he can bash out huge watts.
Will Barta – another with excellent current form. He’s still relatively high on GC, if he can put in a good TT, you just never know what could happen in the second week.
A win for Remco Evenepoel, but I think his main rivals will get quite close to him.