Stage 6: Mola di Bari to Margherita di Savola, 169km, flat
The profile of this stage looks uncannily like a python halfway through digesting a small pig – flat in the front and back but one big lump in the middle. Personally, I think that anything to do with snakes means sprint trains.
It’s another day riding along the coast, with breaks going out until one sticks. The GC contenders will be looking to minimise their workload ahead of Saturday’s time trial. Therefore expect the OPQS and Argos-Shimano boys to keep any rogue riders under control and to reel them back in at the appropriate time. That would be once the peloton gets to Margherita di Savoia, where they will take a 16km circuit around the lakes and end with a bunch sprint.
Unlike yesterday’s treacherous uphill finish, this one looks as straightforward as they get even if we do get a repeat of the rain. The final 5km is so flat it would make a billiard table look lumpy, and after a quick right-left kink it’s arrow-straight for the last 2,000 metres, so the sprint trains have no excuse for not getting their act together. The smart money will be on Mark Cavendish or yesterday’s winner John Degenkolb – will we finally see them go head-to-head? – with the likes of Nacer Bouhanni, Elia Viviani and Giacomo Nizzolo snapping at their heels.
Link: Official website