By David Hunter
We open with an explosive prologue for the riders to get their teeth into.
The course does have a climb of one kilometre at around 3%, but it’s the corners that will interest the riders more than the slight incline. We have a number of tight corners, making it hugely important that riders have the power required to accelerate out after slowing down. This looks like a course suited to powerful riders.
It looks very likely that the weather will have a big impact on this prologue. The weather was beautiful in Aigle today, but will take a turn for the worse on Tuesday. There is a chance of a shower at the beginning of the afternoon, but it looks more likely that the later starters will get rain. Wet roads will make impossible for any rider to challenge for the win.
Chris Froome – usually better suited to a longer TT, don’t be surprised to see his name near the top of the leaderboard. The Sky rider will be looking for a strong start, to send a warning to his rivals.
Ion Izagirre – the winner of the Romandie prologue in 2016, Izagirre will start the stage as one of the favourites. He is an awesome rider on his TT bike and the climb is also good news for him. He is fresh from an impressive performance in the Ardennes, I would expect to see him take advantage of those good legs.
Primoz Roglic – after his TT performance in the Basque Country, he probably starts the stage as the favourite. His prologue experience isn’t huge, but considering he nearly won the short opening TT in the Giro, it looks like he will perform well in the prologue.
Richie Porte – not brilliantly suited to a prologue, but given his 2017 form, he should be capable of challenging for the top 5. The climb should allow him to get closer to the more explosive riders.
Michael Albasini – the Swiss rider just loves this race! He is in the middle of a good period of form, taking 3rd, 5th and 7th in the Ardennes races. Could this be his first ever TT win?
Bob Jungels – another rider that has the power required to challenge for the win. I would be shocked if he wasn’t competing for the top step after showing great form in the Ardennes. The TT specialist is a big contender for the stage.
Victor Campenaerts – after winning the 12km ITT in Andalucía, the Belgian starts this race full of confidence. Just 25 years old, his recent progression has been great to see and I think he is capable of more. I’m not sure how he’ll handle the short distance.
Stefan Kung – BMC arrive with a number of Swiss riders who would all love to challenge for the win. It’s hard to pick just one of these riders, but I’ll go with Kung. As a former individual pursuit world champion, he should enjoy the short distance.
Alexander Edmondson -another former individual pursuit world champion! The Aussie has been impressive this season and will be allowed to chase a result in this stage. The track star will post a fast time!
Andrey Amador – another rider that has the potential to go well. Movistar always seem to have a rider challenging to win every prologue and I think he might just be their best hope. He rarely gets to ride for himself, when he does, he usually impresses.
Very tough to pick and the weather will have a big say. Interestingly, we have in the first twenty starters:- Roglic, Spilak, Kelderman, Froome, Edmondson, Bohli and Castroviejo. Looks like some of the big names have the same forecast I do!
Looking at the weather and the start times, I have to go with Primoz Roglic. I hope he takes a book for the hot seat!
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