Giro d'Italia 2018 > Giro d'Italia 2018 stage 2: Haifa - Tel Aviv


t-72

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Giro d'Italia 2018 stage 2: Haifa - Tel Aviv
« on: May 03, 2018, 22:10 »
I figured out the Israeli flag was a good stage icon: flat over, flat under and it is a one star stage meaning someone figured out this is not important for the GC. Unless, of course .... more about that later!

Let's check the profile:

  • yep, it is flat!
  • there's a little bump mid-way for handing out the blue jersey
  • the length is pretty much average, so this is neither short-intense nor long-and-tiring
All the ingredients for the first sprint from a gruppo compatto!

Let's start looking for the teams that actually bring sprinters. There aren't that many of them, and there are even fewer that come with a team with שְׁדֵרָה sprint  specialization: optimized for Israeli boulevards.

There's #quickstep, of course: Elia Vivani is hands down favorite to win all the sprints he can get to this year.
Then there's #bora: Sam Bennet has been improving steadily and now he may be able to challenge Viviani - the team should be ready for that.
#academy bring Sbaragli, but he doesn't seem to be in shape. I am writing here because the rest of the team minus Hermans can be expected to go completely mental about getting in the breakaway and securing the climbers jersey on the little hill near mid-way.
#ef has Sascha Modolo. Maybe this time.
#bahrain brings Bonifazio, and he may get a chance - but the team is not built around him, so there will not be much of a lead out.
#bmc Jempy Drucker can also get in there - but win?
#wilier  Jakub Mareczko can sprint too, but if he gets a win I think it will be later in the race.

It is the weakest sprint field in the giro for a couple of years, at least.  There's no Greipel here, and no Caleb Ewan. #quickstep Viviani might bring home more than just this stage, but he will have to make sure Bennett stays behind him.  Viviani used to do pretty good with no leadout whatsoever when racing with Sky, and now that he's got the best team behind him, I think he'll be dominant. He is listed as the #1 sprinter in the world by PCS, so say ciao to the shampoo salesman: he'll probably open a bigger gap this May.
Except this stage maybe: there's no home advantage for him here.

Let's take a look at the map:

So, the last half of the stage is flat along the coastline. I think it is a while since we saw something similar. I think it hasn't happened since stage two of the Tour de France in 2015. That year it was all about #sky Froome vs #movistar Quintana and despite a lot of noise around the Pierre St Martin summit finish on the first mountain stage: in the mountains, Quintana matched Froome. It was on stage 2 he lost the race. He finished in a large group 1:28 down from the leaders. Thibaut Pinot was in the same group (Bardet as well).
Finishing in the same group as Froome: Tom Dumoulin. 

We obviously need to consider this as an important stage for the GC, due to the long section of exposed coastline IF the wind starts to blow. The exposed section is even longer than it was in the 2015 TdF stage 2.

However, my meteorological forecast sources[1]  indicate sunny weather and only light winds, up to 5 m/s, so this time I think it will be for Elia to prove he's the best sprinter here.

I hope the weather forecast is wrong!  :angel

 1. (not very good for this area, someone knowing hebrew better than me might be able to find something more reliable)
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  • « Last Edit: May 05, 2018, 14:41 by LukasCPH »

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    soo, 3-2-1 bonus seconds at the sprint (only at the 2nd one, after 105.3k). 10-6-4 at the finish. Will #fixall Victor Campenaerts and #bmc Rohan Dennis give it a go to take #pink?! :D
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  • "If this is cycling, I am a banana"

    AG

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    I think Dumoulin would be happy to let it go to be honest.   He will not want to control the race all the way ... so this is a good chance.

    I think Bahrain will work very, very hard to get Campanearts up there.
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    this actually turned out to be a better kind of a sprint stage, with attacks for #pink, #blue and home glory. And plenty of (crazy) spectators

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  • t-72

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    Yep. for a complete report I think we need a picture of these guys. Definetly the winners today:
    • creative construction
    • excellent mechanical work
    • good giggle, having fun
    • safe execution away from riders
    :cool

    https://twitter.com/roadphil/status/992763001701879809
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