Ponte Arche > Ponte Arche 226km
The Italian road race takes place close to Trento, up in the north of the country. The riders cover about 80km before hitting the lap circuit, and there’s eight times up the climb. 226km is a long race, and 4000m of climbing will test those who aren’t climbing well. This has the potential to be a cracking watch.
Sunny and temperatures will hit around 23 degrees.
The climb is 5.5km at 5.1%, it’s not the hardest in the world, but eight times up will test everyone. From the top of the final ascent, there’s 11km to go.
UAE – they come here with Trentin, Covi, Ulissi and Formolo, which is a very strong team. Ulissi didn’t do much at the Giro but his 3rd place in Slovenia was a step in the right direction. Trentin looked solid at the Dauphiné, but can he cope with 4000m of climbing? Formolo is the best of their climbers, he’ll hope to survive and be in the mix, and I have no idea which version of Covi will turn up. If he’s on a good day, he’s one of the men to beat. They might not have the biggest of teams, but they do have quality.
Bahrain – Caruso should be their main man, but it all depends on how he’s recovered after the Giro. Tiberi and Zambanini will be back-up options, but they should be all in for Caruso.
Astana – they’ve got the numbers but lack a bit of quality. The likes of Battistella, Scaroni and Velasco could all win from the right type of break, but they aren’t good enough to challenge from the main group.
Soudal – Quick Step – Bagioli and Cattaneo are their realistic hopes. It’s not been the season Bagioli would have hoped for, but he’s got so much quality he must be in the mix for the win. Cattaneo is very consistent, he can be used to try and sniff out a chance from distance.
Green Project – Bardiani – they’ve got the biggest team in the race, but the quality isn’t very high. Their best hope will likely be Zoccarato.
Giulio Ciccone – after his stage win at the Dauphiné, he’ll start this race as the big favourite. He’ll have Baroncini and Mosca to help, but that’s not enough to keep the race together. Ciccone will have to think carefully about his tactics, he’s going to be isolated and as the big favourite, everyone will look at him. Attacking from distance and slimming down the front group is one option, either that or take his chances and wait until the last two laps.
Lorenzo Rota – form is rottan;)
Stefano Oldani – he didn’t win a stage, but he still had a good Giro. The climbing will push him to his limit, he’ll hope for a steady pace for much of the race.
Filippo Ganna – he’ll attack from distance and take his chances.
Giovanni Aleotti – looked quite good in Slovenia, which will give him hope for this race. This is the type of race he should be challenging to win, but he’s another who’ll be isolated and will have to ride a clever race.
I’m not sure how he’ll win but I’ll go for Giulio Ciccone.