By David Hunter
Lido di Camaiore – Lido di Camaiore 5.7km
After a late decision to cancel the TTT, the race starts with a prologue instead.
The short distance and 5 corners means that we’re looking for prologue specialists and we have a few. The riders capable of putting in around 53km/h for 5.4km are Sagan, Sergent, Keizer, Terpstra, Javier Moreno, Le Bon, Bodnar, EBH, Cummings, Durbridge, Hepburn, Arndt, Quinziato, Grivko, Cancellara and Navardauskas.
The gaps are going to be very small and some of the GC riders will be glad to see the back of the TTT, where they could have lost 45 seconds.
The GC battle, means that Uran will be trying to go as fast as possible and try to gain 5-10 seconds on Contador. The Colombian is developing into a wonderful TT rider, finishing 1st and 3rd in the two Giro ITTs in 2014. He will take to the start line, wearing the Colombian national TT jersey for the first time, a very proud moment for him. Expect a quick time from him and other Etixx riders.
Jesse Sergent has some recent form, finishing 3rd in the West Flanders prologue. He’s a specialist in this discipline and rides one of the best bikes. Sergent will post a quick time.
Also fresh from Flanders is Martijn Keizer of Jumbo. He was 5th there but rides a sub-standard bike compared to the rest.
Javier Moreno won the Andalucia prologue but Movistar riders don’t usually go well away from home. Malori would be the exception but he’s Italian! I can’t see Moreno repeating his success and it looks a little short for Malori. That being said, he is developing into a brilliant TT rider and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him winning this stage.
What about Sagan? He blew it in Strade Bianche, lacking his usual kick. The change to a prologue means he has a great chance of taking the overall lead or being close enough to take it after stage 2. Expect a strong Sagan performance, especially after his disappointing ride on Saturday.
Fabian Cancellara is a fan of a prologue. His acceleration is crucial and he’ll be expecting to win the stage. Anything other than a podium spot would be a big surprise.
Sagan to take his first win of the year. It’s going to happen some time!
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