In the end it was BMC who made it three wins on the trot here after putting together a strong display.
It wasn’t as dominant a display as they’ve produced in the past though with surprise package of the day Mitchelton Scott coming home only 4 seconds behind them. The wind did seem to ease for the later starters which might have played a little part in regards to the results as second team off the ramp Sky could only manage third, 9 seconds down.
A few GC riders are a little bit behind but the race is still well poised going into the rest of the week. Let’s look ahead at what is in store for the riders tomorrow though.
A day for the sprinters!
The only real difficulty throughout the day comes right at the start with a small climb of Montemagio which averages 3.5% for 4.8kms. I wonder who will be on the rollers at the start, chasing the KOM jersey? All of the ProConti teams will certainly have a few hoping to go for it!
Aside from that, there is nothing to worry the riders throughout the day and even the finish is fairly straightforward.
An 8.3km long hot-dog circuit ends the day as they do three laps of it. The major fighting point will be to the 2.8m mark where they make a u-turn and then head along the promenade towards the finish line. However, there is enough road for teams to re-organise and take to the front of the race with their sprinter. The final 1km is arrow straight which should make things easy.
With the route following the coast line south for most of the day, one thing that could cause an issue is the wind coming off of the sea.
The above screenshot is the forecast for Cecina which comes at around 90kms into the day. As you can see, it is a constant crosswind and some of the roads in the area are fairly exposed but is it too far out for any teams to try to split it? Unfortunately for my enjoyment, I would say that it is!
So with that all said, it looks as if we’ll get a big bunch sprint come the end of the day.
We’re one sprinter down already with Cavendish not starting tomorrow due to missing the time cut after his crash.
If there was ever a finish that suited the big German it would be this. An arrow straight road so he can’t get lost from his lead-out! He’s been fairly shocking this year so far by his lofty standards, but a very impressive run to the line on Stage 3 of the Abu Dhabi showed a glimpse of what he is capable of. Without a win so far this season and with so many of his opponents already ahead of him in that respect, he’ll desperately want something here. It’s also possibly why he avoided Paris Nice, to avoid those in form, but he’s ran from one tough set of opponents into another!
The Colombian started the season off in sensational form back in South America but he has struggled a bit so far back in Europe. Saying that, he’s not been to many races that suit him; finishing Strade within the time limit was a respectable result itself! He has a strong train and with favoured pilot fish Richeze, there is a good chance he’ll be fighting for the win.
A bit of a “meh” day by him in Strade on his return to racing after being at altitude camp he looked strong but Bora played a stinker in terms of their tactics. I think it would be wrong to call Sagan deceptively fast, but he probably is just that because he gets viewed as much more than a pure sprinter. On his day though, he could match and beat most in a straight line. He doesn’t have a lead-out as such so he’ll have to surf wheels, something that he happens to be excellent at.
The day is arguably too easy for the Italian; although you could say that for some of his competitors too! He’s started the season off in fine form with a string of very solid results, including the impressive win on the Hatta Dam. He could win tomorrow, but he would need to time his sprint perfectly and everyone else to mess up.
He came up a bit short when against the best in Abu Dhabi, although three top 5s is not bad. The issue seemed to be a bit of experience where he would launch his effort too early at times. At Tirreno he arrives with a very strong team that looks pretty much geared to him challenging for stage wins, with Yates being given very little GC help. Expect to see Mitchelton hit the front fairly early and take control of the closing kilometres; will they time it better tomorrow?
Lotto Jumbo are continuing with their short but sharp lead-out approach here. It’s a very hit or miss way of going about the sprint but if they get it right then Van Poppel has a good chance. We’ve seen him mix it with some of the better guys so far and I am really intrigued to see what the Dutch outfit can do with him over the coming year and longer.
Modolo, Venturini, Arndt, Nizzolo, Debuscherre, Sarreau, Mareczko and Boasson Hagen will all be fighting for the top 10.
A really tough one to predict but I think the Richeze factor will see the Colombian sensation Gaviria take the win!
2pts WIN Gaviria @ 5/2
Thanks as always for reading! Who do you think will win tomorrow? Anyway,
Those were My Two Spokes Worth.