¡ Vamos a la playa ! The race starts with a quick tour of Malaga’s sea front and beach, today is a short time trial to give the GC some order.
The Route: don’t call it a prologue, that label applies to courses under 8km. That bump on the profile above is real but nothing more than a long drag up away from the beach and it’s all on big wide roads.
The Contenders: Rohan Dennis is the prime pick. The Australian has won prologues before and has since refined his aerodynamics even more where the fast course suits him and he’s helped further by a relatively light field with few short distance specialists. BMC Racing team mate Richie Porte is handy in a time trial and could be a contender but has been sick with stomach strife and so could be weaker than usual, check for updates during the day.
Victor Campenaerts (Lotto-Soudal) won the European TT title
Eneco Tour TT but seems better over mid to long efforts but should still be very close.
Team Sky have a trio in Jonathan Castroviejo, Dylan van Baarle and Michał Kwiatkowski and the Pole is often hit or miss, capable of blitzing the course as he is of being way off even when on form and he’s just won the Tour of Poland.
Among the outsiders Movistar’s hopes might rest on Nelson Oliveira, the four times Portuguese time trial champion and still an outside pick. Spanish hopes probably reside with Ion Izaguirre of Bahrain-Merida. Mitchelton-Scott’s Alex Edmondson is a former track pursuit rider but has yet to win outside of Australia so this would be an upset. Matthias Brändle (Trek-Segafredo) can win TTs but it’s rare. Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb) can get ahead of the climbers already but winning outright is a big ask.
|Victor Campenaerts, Michał Kwiatkowski|
|Kelderman, Castroviejo, van Baarle, Porte|
Weather: hot and sunny with a top temperature of 33°C. The light onshore breeze will drop during the day.
Tune in: the last rider should finish at 8.30pm CEST. By all means watch but scan the results afterwards if you want to ration your viewing.