TdF Stage 3 Preview: Not a Single Meter of Flat

Fotoreporter Sirotti

More hills in Corsica, though this time they're much closer to the finish.

Stage 3: Ajaccio - Calvi, 145.5km

Stage rating: Medium Mountains

Jerseys in play:

Mj_medium Mv_medium Mp_medium Mb_medium

Stage Grafix:

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Profil_medium

Analysis

Are we at the Giro? From the stage profile and the Tour's description of the stage, it seems like it. This is a tricky stage with four categorized climbs and plenty of other climbing, the most daunting of which is the category 2 Col de Marsolino, which climbs 3.3km at an average gradient of 8.1%. That isn't too tough of a climb, though the road tilts upwards before the climb technically begins. With a short 13 kilometers to the finish from the summit, Vincenzo Nibali would love this profile. Really, it's too bad he isn't here, though Cadel Evans may get a little feisty here. The relatively short distance of the stage should up the aggression, even if it is only for the stage win and not overall time.

The interesting question is whether Peter Sagan and Aleander Kristoff make it over the final climb and nab some points for the green jersey. Kristoff is a long stretch, but Sagan is more believable, should the GC action not really kick off. If he wins the stage (or even podiums, though it's hard to see him doing worse than winning if he makes it over the final summit within sight of the finish. Will the climby types let him? That'll be interesting.

The fight for the maillot a pois should continue in earnest after the climbing of yesterday, too. Whatever the jersey, there will be opportunities to fight for it.

Pick to Win

Voeckler. Up and down all day and tricky? You bet Thomas is going to be in the break.

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