By David Hunter
As I predicted, we didn’t get a sprint. My pick, Voeckler, managed to get into the break and was great throughout. The big surprise, was that Michael Albasini, went in the break. It was a great decision by the Swiss rider! The stage was too difficult for the teams to control the break and Albasini took win number 3.
Stage 5 Neuchatel – Neuchatel 18.5km
The last stage sees the riders tackle a challenging TT course.
The climb is 2km at 8.6%, this is tough! After a very demanding week, it’s only the riders in form that will cope with this route.
I will stick my neck out straight away and say that Tony Martin will not win this stage. He is not climbing as well as he was in Pais Vasco, and he is starting to look tired. He rode Amstel and LBL for the first time since 2011 and it’s starting to show. He will not take enough time out of his rivals before the climb and will suffer on the steep slopes. It’s a brave man that backs against the German in any TT, and I am that man!
The Queen stage showed us that the best climbers in this race are Chris Froome and Simon Spilak. Froome will be anxious to show Alberto Contador that he can also time trial and should go very well. Amazingly, his TT win the 2013 tour, was his first TT win ever! This is a great chance for another.
Spilak is a very solid TT rider, but not amazing. He has never won a TT in his life and I don’t think he’ll start here. However, he will finish in the top 5.
Rohan Dennis is excellent in this discipline but the steep climb goes against him. He should be good enough to make the top 5.
Andrew Talanksy is another rider who should go well, but he didn’t climb as well as he would have liked in stage 3.
The only other rider capable of challenging on this stage is Vincenzo Nibali. If he was on top form I would say he could win this stage. In the 2013 Giro he was 4th and 1st in the 2 time trials. The only problem is that he is not at his top level, yet. That being said, he is still capable of challenging on this course and I would expect him to make the podium on the stage and secure his 3rd place overall.
Has to be Chris Froome.
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