By David Hunter
Stage 1 Recap
The wind looked to have worked it’s magic, until the final few riders. Bob Jungels was the leader for an eternity, until Alberto Contador set a brilliant time. Alberto didn’t have time to get into the hot seat, as Chris Froome beat him by 8 seconds. Froome’s second half of the stage was quite incredible.
Stage 2 Tarare – Pays d’Olliergues(Col du Beal) 158.5km
The riders head for the hills.
With lots of categorised climbs, expect some familiar riders in the break. This stage is very important for riders who want to win the KOM jersey. The early climbs, are not difficult, so it’s all about the last climb.
13.6km at 6.6% isn’t the most difficult climb in the world. The gradient is quite consistent throughout the climb, apart from kilometre 6 at 9.2%. The last 600 metres rises at 8.4%, which could provide a few riders with a perfect chance of victory.
As Froome leads, it’s highly unlikely the break will succeed. I would expect to see De Marchi, Meier, Edet and Damuseau in the morning break. Damuseau won the KOM jersey in 2013 and will want to retain this classification. Meier is fresh from the KOM jersey in Bayern Rundfahrt and likes a breakaway.
Team Sky are experts at leading the peloton, so I don’t think the break will be given too much rope.
On the final climb, we will see the familiar site of the Team Sky mountain train. We have Thomas, Nieve and Porte all on hand in destroy any breakaway attempts.
Alberto Contador has been in wonderful form, but I would be surprised to see a big attack from him, in this stage. I think he will wait until later in the week.
The best tactic for the other riders, will be to try and hang on to Sky and attack in the final kilometre. We have a number of talented climbers in the race and some with a better sprint than Froome.
That being said, it would take a brave man to back against Froome, after his display in stage 1.
With Team Sky in control the break won’t survive. The Giro riders: Hesjedal, Moreno and Kelderman have to use their form before the legs run out. I think the finish looks perfect for Daniel Moreno. Am I crazy for backing against Froome? Probably!
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