Stage 7: Huesca to Alcañiz. Motorland Aragón, 164.2km
A rolling stage that will almost certainly see a bunch sprint, especially considering there aren’t that many chances for the fast men to show their stuff in this race before the high mountains give them vertigo. There’ll be plenty of room for the sprinters to spread out as the wide finish line is on the Motorland Aragon motor racing circuit after a long, looping hairpin which opens out on to a final straight of about 500 metres. In the event of a bunch sprint, everyone will be looking for the wheel of Argos-Shimano’s John Degonkolb as he seeks to complete a hat-trick of stage victories.
Having said all that, if there’s a wind a-blowin’ – as it tends to do in this part of Spain – it could leave the peloton fractured, which might ruin the sprinters’ party. And with Katusha making noises about being willing to give up the red jersey to leave the team fresher for the final week, this might just tip the balance in favour of a successful breakaway if J-Rod’s men stand down and the sprinters’ teams don’t commit fully to the chase.