Article submitted by twitter user @cyclingbolar
Another stage, another winning day.
On to today. The stage we have all been waiting for. A 65km killer. The start will be different here as the top 20 will line up in a grid formation like you see in motor sport and from the get go the road rises. I don’t think the grid formation will have any effect as Sky will soon take control of the peloton, but if anyone wants to beat Sky, it’s today. Whoever is wearing the yellow jersey at the end of the day will wear it all the way to Saturday’s time trial as Thursday’s stage is a transitional one and Friday’s probably won’t be hard enough to do damage and knowing these teams, a break will probably take it by 10 minutes again.
So we should see attacks from the outset. With Sky needing to remain defensive, I don’t think Geraint Thomas or Chris Froome will win the stage, but I could be wrong.
Steven Kruijswijk & Primoz Roglic – I expect both to put their places in the GC on the line tomorrow. Like on stage 11, I think we will see Kruijswijk go solo at some stage and then Roglic counters when and if Kruijswijk is brought back. This time, this is when Antwan Tolhoek comes into the picture. He should be up the road early, if possible, to help Kruijswijk. If not, then maybe someone else from another team.
Romain Bardet – Depending on how the stage goes he will be on the attack. If the GC guys are together on the final climb he might attack and he will be let up the road as he will be no threat to the yellow jersey. The same applies with Dan Martin, Ilnur Zakarin, Jakob Fuglsang.
Movistar – They can make the race interesting. Alejandro Valverde is too far behind but expect him to attack early on in the stage to get up the road. Then it will be up to Nairo Quintana to help Mikel Landa get across. They should be attacking like their lives are on the line. The only Movistar rider that can win the stage is Landa.
Tom Dumoulin – Expect him to attack at some stage. He has showed the Giro hasn’t really affected him. If these teams work together and Sky are isolated and it’s just Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas by themselves, then Dumoulin can get away and stay way.
I can’t see anyone else I haven’t listed winning the stage except for maybe the guy below.
I will put down Rafal Majka’s name though. If he can get up the road early, and the race falls to pieces behind, and he starts the final climb with an advantage, then he could hold on as there is a good chance the GC guys might just look at each other and keep counter attacking, which will only help the rider(s) up the road.
As for the stage winner. I am going to go with Kruijswijk. He always gets stronger as Grand Tours go on. I think he makes up for the stage 11 disappointment. Geraint Thomas and Tom Dumoulin, Primoz Roglic and Chris Froome will come in like stage 11, but this time fighting out the minor placings.
- Steven Kruijswijk
- Geraint Thomas
- Tom Dumoulin
You can find odds at Crownbet Australia in the morning sometime.
As for my bets, check twitter tomorrow afternoon.