The big time trial stage, only now without the big time triallist Tom Dumoulin. It’s the chance for Primož Roglič to take the stage and put time into this rivals, and a chance for us to see how his form is holding up.
Ewan’s turn: winning is portrayed as joyous but often for a pro cyclist it’s about relief, a job done and Caleb Ewan showed both emotions with his sprint. The longest stage came down to the shortest of finishing straights and once Ewan rounded the final corner the win he was able to blast past Pascal Ackermann with a muscular sprint, you could see Ewan using all his upper body rather than getting into his characteristic low, forward position.
The Route: 34.8km and all on wide, open roads. After leaving the seaside resort of Riccione it’s 22km to the second time check in Faetano and here the road starts to climb with 5.3km at an average of 6.6% and the slope nudges 8% for the first kilometre, then for the most part it’s regular but a tighter section as it twists through the village of Montegiardino. Once over the top there’s an exposed section of false flats before the slope kicks up into San Marino and a sustained climb of 6% for the final two kilometres.
The Contenders: Primož Roglič (Jumbo Visma) finished so far ahead of the rest in Bologna he’s the obvious pick today. He’s had a crash this week and the burden of being in the race lead but otherwise he’s the clear pick.
Who else can beat him? Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) was close in Bologna but the open flat road section at first could see him lose time but he’s had a quieter first week. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) did a great ride in Bologna but was this based on one uphill dash more than a long time trial.
Bob Jungels (Deceuninck-Quickstep) has been working for his sprinter Viviani but could feature. Otherwise it’s hard to see who might win. Tanel Kangert (EF Education First) can do a surprise, Ion Izagirre (Astana) possibly and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo). The long climb will be ruinous for time trial specialists like Jos van Emden (Jumbo-Visma), Tom Bohli (UAE Emirates) and Victor Campenaerts (Lotto-Soudal).
|Yates, Jungels, Izagirre|
Weather: a mix of sunshine and showers and the chance of a thunderstorm, 18°C on the coast and cooler in San Marino.
TV: the finish is forecast for 5.15pm CEST / Euro time. It’s on RAI in Italy, Eurosport across most of Europe and Australia, L’Equipe TV in France and Flobikes and Fubo.tv in the US.