Despite Silvan Dillier’s best efforts, the remnants of the morning break was caught on the slopes of the final climb and we had a showdown between the GC riders for the stage win. Adam Yates set tempo on the front of the bunch in the closing 2 kms, initially looking to work for his team-mate Haig, but with the Australian losing contact it was Yates who attacked going into the final 300m. Izagirre tried to follow but couldn’t match the acceleration, while Valverde came round the Astana man to try to close the gap. It was too little too late for the World Champion with Yates holding on for the stage win.
Valverde took second place while Bilbao came over the top of his team-mate to round out the podium on the day. The result was enough however for Izagirre to take over the race lead with Valverde and Bilbao 2nd and 3rd respectively. With that unlikely to change barring accident or mishap, Izagirre has one hand on his first GC win since the Tour of Poland back in 2015.
Let’s have a look at what is in store for the riders tomorrow though.
A flat and unusually short route for the final day, there is nothing really exciting to talk about at all…
It is meant to be quite windy tomorrow but given the city circuit in Valencia, there is no threat of things splitting up because of it.
There are a number of roundabouts on the circuit but thankfully most of them come earlier on in the lap, so it shouldn’t affect the run-in. The last of the roundabouts is at 1.4km to go, but as you can see on the next image, it isn’t a really tight turn.
There are two sweeping right hand turns in the closing 700m, with the last of which teeing the riders up for a 300m straight to the finish. Depending on what part of the road they have blocked off for that final turn, it might be a slightly harsher bend but we’ll have to wait and see. It shouldn’t be too bad either way but being in the first 6 wheels coming out if it will be very important.
If I’m honest, I can’t really be bothered to go through all the sprinters again, enjoying watching the rugby too much this afternoon.
Looking at the field and on a stage like this then it really is hard to see past Groenewegen. There are no hills or obstacles to stop him this time and his team has the best lead-out.
He’s a class above in terms of sprinting and the only rider who I think might have the top-end speed to match him is Bouhanni, but even then I think he’ll be just shy if it is a clean sprint.
Was tempted to put the house on Groenewegen but it is a no bet for me tomorrow, ending the race early punting wise after a few close calls but ultimately a rubbish week!
Thanks as always for reading, who do you think will win tomorrow? Anyway,
Those were My Two Spokes Worth.