By David Hunter
Stage 19 Salvaterra do Miño – Cangas do Morrazo 180.5km
The climbs are:-
Alto do Monte da Groba 12km at 4.2%
Alto Monte Faro 4.7km at 7%
It’s all about the final climb, the distance of this picture, varies from the road book distance.
AT 180KM it’s a medium length stage, and the profile is good for teams wanting to control the break. The final climb is difficult, and will eliminate nearly all the sprinters, but what about Michael Matthews?
This is a stage that Orica will have planned for, but they arrive short of bodies. They only have 6 riders left and they’ll need help controlling the stage. Movistar should be more than willing to help, as Valverde will also like the look of this stage.
Movistar will plan to attack on the climb and get rid of Matthews, as Valverde can’t beat him in a sprint. No other sprinters have a chance of making it over the climb, but what about Gilbert?
If the pace is too strong for Bling, it’ll be too strong for Philippe. The climb looks too long for Gilbert.
The other sprinter who will have a chance of making it, is Fabio Felline. He can climb well, but it will take a top performance for him to stay with the peloton. If he does, a podium spot should be his.
If all the sprinters fail to survive the climb, riders like Kelderman, LL Sanchez, Moreno and Pozzato will be interested in the sprint, although Pozzato might get dropped too. It will be very difficult for any of these riders to beat Valverde, in a sprint.
Orica and Movistar will control the peloton and ensure a sprint. Movistar will destroy the peloton, on the climb, including Matthews. This will allow Valverde to take the stage.
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