Today appears to be like like an intriguing day of racing. Does Simon Yates, who begins the stage in second place 11 seconds off the lead of Mathieu van der Poel, wish to take the pink jersey, or will the Briton be hoping a breakaway prevails and wrestles management of the maglia rosa?
I believe he and his BikeExchange-Jayco workforce would need the latter, however relying on how the stage is raced, Yates could also be pressured into taking the maglia rosa off the broad shoulders of Van der Poel. If that is the case, then his workforce will in all probability hope to lose it over the following few days.
Having worn the chief’s jersey for 13 days again in 2018 earlier than shedding it in dramatic style to Chris Froome on stage 19, Yates is aware of higher than most that taking the lead in a grand tour too early provides a level of stress that us mere mortals might discover obscure. Additional media duties and being the centre of consideration the place each transfer, remark or quip is analysed to inside an inch of its life may be draining.
Based on the idea that Van der Poel loses the maglia rosa immediately – I believe that is a secure assumption – then Yates would in all probability find it irresistible for a breakaway to clip off up the highway and take the stage win, so do not be stunned if you happen to see any individual like Lorenzo Fortunato (Eolo-Kometa) or Alessandro de Marchi (Israel-Premier Tech) working arduous within the early a part of the stage in an effort to make a breakaway. However, ought to considered one of Yates’ many normal classification rivals resolve to assault on the ultimate climb, both going for the stage or in an try to achieve time on the Briton, then he should reply. He might not wish to take the pink jersey, however he definitely won’t wish to lose any important seconds so early within the race.
This will, hopefully, be an interesting stage which in recent times has created loads of drama, a few of which British biking followers might wish to overlook. It was on this stage the place Geraint Thomas in 2020 got here a cropper after a rogue bidon took the Welshman down within the impartial zone to finish his hopes, whereas later that day Yates was dropped round eight kilometres from the summit, plummeting all the way down to twenty fifth general. It just isn’t all doom and gloom, nevertheless. Yates’ then team-mate Esteban Chaves received right here in 2018 whereas the Briton took the primary of his 13 pink jerseys right here on a memorable day for his Australian squad.