The Giro resumes and a day packed with sharp climbs in the finish.
Rest day review: who is going to win the Giro? “Open” is the word used in several languages to describe the situation, there’s no overwhelming favourite. Vincenzo Nibali might have rank and seniority but each time the road’s gone uphill he’s lost time to Wilco Kelderman and the Dutchman is superior in the time trials, he’s the rider to beat. Nibali though has got eyes and ears on others, he played down the rivalry with Jacob Fulgsang, saying the Dane’s newspaper column is “spice” created by the media but all the same we could see Nibali marking Fuglsang just as he marked Roglič in last year’s Giro. But predictions are premature, it’s Tuesday and there might not be much GC action until Saturday’s Valdobbiadene time trial and Sunday’s Piancavallo stage. Meanwhile it’s still too early to do weather forecasts beyond but a large low pressure zone is set to dominate northern Italy and the Alps, if stays there will be trouble. There could be more too with the results due from Covid tests conducted on the rest day.
The Route: 177km up the Adriatic coast. Instead of passing through Pescara the race heads inland to Chieti for some climbing, the first of several “walls” to be scaled today, before dropping back to the coast for some recovery riding and then taking in a hilly finishing circuit around Tortoreto Lido. This has four walls between 900 metres and 3.1km in length and with ramps ranging between 10-20% but arguably the defining feature of the circuit is more the vertical gain than the steep walls, the circuit is tilted to the climbers.
The Finish: a flat finish on the seafront.
The Contenders: a day for the punchy riders and some of the GC contenders. Jhonatan Narvaez (Ineos) is the prime pick, punchy for the climbs and with a good sprint. Diego Ulissi (UAE Emirates) could be close but he’s less good at the repeat climbs and the flat finish isn’t what he’d design. . Atilla Valter (CCC) is another to watch, Andrea Vendrame (Ag2r La Mondiale) too.
has a chance but his Sunweb team are all in for Wilco Kelderman’s GC bid so he’s got less resources, but they can spare some energy today, the problem is coping with the climbing but he can hope to get back on if dropped is out following a Covid-19 test . Once upon a time Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) would have been the three-chainring certainty but not any more but if he can shadow moves on the climbs he can sprint and win because the faster sprinters will have gone
The descent and flat finish makes it harder for the GC riders to win the stage outright, if they get to the finish with some beefier riders they should be outsprinted. João Almeida (Deceuninck-Quickstep) is handy for today’s finish and so is his team mate Fausto Masnada. Jacob Fuglsang (Astana) should enjoy today’s finish too.
|Jhonatan Narvaez, Diego Ulissi, Jacob Fuglsang|
Weather: cool and mainly cloudy, 16°C with a NW wind at 15km/h.
TV: the finishing circuit starts around 3.00pm CEST and the stage should end around 4.30pm CEST.