Stage 1: Porto-Vecchio -- Bastia, 213km
Stage rating: flat
Jerseys in play:
Stage Grafix: [Click to embiggen]
Today, only today, the course is probably not as tricky as it appears on the profile. The next few days on Corsica will be riven with climbs of all shapes and sizes, but today? I dunno, I really don't believe that little hump at the end will throw off the Cvndsh type not-so-climby sprinters. Once the pomp and circumstance is over with, this should be a typical opening stage: peloton in full cry, sprint teams all-in, and of course crashes. Keep your fingers crossed on the latter. Maybe those curvy coastal roads won't be as tricky as they appear.
Under such circumstances, it'll be really interesting to see who can mount a challenge to Omega Pharma-Quick Step's Mark Cavendish and his organized leadout. Certainly defending Green Jersey winner Peter Sagan will try, and he comes with a Cannondale team that's also loaded for sprints. Lotto-Belisol is too, and defo don't overlook the commitment they've made to getting Andre Greipel where he needs to be. Then there's the madness of Argos-Shimano. Who leads, who goes? Kittel or Degenkolb? This and other questions will be answered.
Pick to Win
Mark Cavendish. Wrld's fstst hmn. The War on Vowels will be televised.