One gentle day is what the sprinters got before the organizers shoved a fistful of mountains down their throat. "Medium mountain day" is the codeword for "not very likely you make it to the end with the best. That said, this first challenge looks slightly doable with 20+ kms of flat after the a lot of climbing in the first 110 km of the stage. Can they make it?
It certainly looks like a day where at least the purest sprinters should end up in trouble even if there none of the climbing is at scary gradients. You get the feeling we may see a sprint between the likes of Gilbert, Matthews, Battaglin, Meersman and Slagter rather than the heaviest guys.
Juan José Lobato. Isn't this exactly the kind of stages that guys like him live for? Lobato has had a slightly anonymous period after his blistering season start but chances are he ahas aimed for his second peak of the season here in a race that has a ton of opportunities for him.
Amy's Food & Vino del giorno
Wine: Bisson Cimixia L'Antico
Cimixia, also known as Scimiscià. That is a new one for me and apparently rather obscure though grown in the area of Genoa since ancient times.
Food: Pesto! Most of the pesto I make these days is from random CSA greens, often arugula. So it was a nice change of pace to make a more traditional version with basil, pinenuts, olive oil and parmesan cheese.
For more on Amy's food & wine visit her WineBookGirl blog