Morella > Burriana 186km
Another day where the riders head south, this time towards Valencia, for a bunch sprint. Just one categorised climb in the day, and it’s a very easy cat 2, this should be a sprint.
Some will tell you the break has a chance as Groves is too dominant, these people are talking shite. We’ve had one stage, no way do the other sprint teams wave the white flag and admit defeat. Teams like EF, Trek, Lotto and UAE still have a much better chance of winning from the sprint than the break.
Okay, today it was only Alpecin and DSM who chased, it would help if another team wanted to contribute in the early stages. UAE can’t, they don’t have domestiques to spare in a sprint stage, but the other teams should be looking to help out. They might play a bit of poker, looking to force Alpecin to use up more riders in the chase, but this is still going to be a sprint.
A little on the cloudy side, but the sun will eventually break through. There’s a nice tailwind to help the break for the first 60km, but it slowly turns into a headwind for much of the second half of the day.
For the majority of the final 15km, the riders are faced with a crosswind. It will be light, only around 15km/h, but GC teams will still want to push the pace to ensure their riders are at the front. Splits are very unlikely, but the speed will be up, allowing sprint teams to sit in the wheels and wait for the final 5km.
Hands up if you like a roundabout? From 4.5km until 1.2km to go, I count 8 of them. Why they choose to approach the finish using roads like this is beyond me. This means they’ll be a constant narrowing of the bunch, followed by a sprint to then move back up the group. There’s also a couple of corners to deal with too, the final one comes with 800m remaining.
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