Gaviria won his third stage and made it look remarkably easy!
However, he owes Richeze several beers. The Argentinian lead-out man was simply sublime and dropped Gaviria off with 75m to go, even managing to finish 5th himself!
Mareczko followed Gaviria’s slipstream to finish second, with Bennett coming home third.
Will we see a similar top three tomorrow? Let’s have a look at what’s in store for the riders.
Another pan-flat stage that you can tune into for the last 20km.
I was hoping to look at the forecast for some wind to liven up the day but alas, there is nothing of note! There is a good chance of rain/thunderstorms though which could make the run in interesting…
As for the finish itself it is fairly technical with a few roundabouts in the closing 5kms or so. There is a relatively sharp turn at 450m to go which is actually around another roundabout. Similarly to what we have witnessed on some previous stages, the road narrows from two-wide lanes into one just before the roundabout.
Due to how narrow it is, the sprint trains will be desperate to lead into the turn. If you come out of it with two lead-out guys in front of your sprinter, with the lead rider pealing off just after the turn, it will be very hard for anyone to come around your sprinter!
This consequently could make the end of the stage dangerous if there is a big race to that final turn, we might see a few crashes as the road narrows. Especially with it being the last sprint stage, I’m sure there will be some riders willing to take more risks. Hopefully that’s not the case though!
A definite sprint stage but can anyone beat today’s winner?
Gaviria – He’s been exceptional so far this Giro and with Richeze as his last man, tomorrow looks like another day that they can jump in the last 500m and win. If they repeat today’s performance he is the man to beat!
How can the others beat him though?
I think it is possible to out-gun the Quick Step on the run in to the finish tomorrow, but the teams will need to get their timing perfectly. We say today that Bora took up the pace just a bit too early, with Selig tiring at just the wrong time for Bennett. If a team takes it up fully after the roundabout before the 2km sign, then it will be hard for others to come round them.
Who can do this?
Well Bennett‘s Bora team look the best equipped to do that. They were fantastic today but as I’ve mentioned, just ran out of steam too early. From what I’ve witnessed the past few sprint stages, they have the best traditional lead-out. But as a relatively new outfit and with some young guys, then they’re still learning and lacking experience. Their DS will be crucial in telling them when to go full gas tomorrow. Bennett has the speed to challenge if in the right place and he could nab his first Grand Tour win tomorrow.
Orica are the other team with the fire power to control the front of the race. Ewan was lightning at the start of the Giro but didn’t get a stage win, however, he got that monkey off his back on Stage 7. He went missing today but according to their press release, he hit another rider and his brake pad bent, meaning it was impossible to sprint. The Aussie loves a technical finish and he won’t be afraid to take any risks in the closing kilometres. He just needs to get the rub of the green again!
I was disappointed with Greipel today and his Lotto train seemed poor as well, maybe he’ll allow Hofland to sprint tomorrow?
Modolo at least showed in the top 10 again after recovering from allergies in the first week. UAE have a solid lead-out but they’ve failed to deliver anyone properly this Giro, can they get it right this time around?
As for Mareczko, he’ll need to follow the fastest rider again and hope that’s good enough for another podium.
Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
Orica have the best lead-out for this type of finish and after being massively disappointed today Ewan will bounce back and take the win tomorrow. He is incredibly fast and if gets the chance to showcase his form that he had at the start of the race, then he will no doubt be up there.
You better run, you better take cover.
2pts WIN Ewan @ 9/2 with Bet365
Thanks as always for reading and any feedback is greatly appreciated. Who do you think will tomorrow? Will Gaviria make it 4, or will someone else triumph? Anyway,
Those were My Two Spokes Worth.