Hey, look sprinters! A bone! After getting pummeled for three days of the opening five a shellshocked gang of sprinters will crawl out of hiding, squint at the sun, and ride around dazed for a while wondering if they even have the legs to sprint anymore. And then they will remember that it's still week one in the Giro and they damn well better have. After that the breakaway will get chased down so that order can be restored at least one day in this week.
There is a bit of terrain mid-stage but as long as there is some decent cooperation it shouldn't be enough to let the breakaway get enough time. With a minimum of dedication there should be plenty of time to sew this together in the final 40 kilometers. Tinkoff may not be as much help as Orica would have had they kept the jersey but there should be enough teams interested to make this happen.
The finale looks safe enough with two 90 degree turns between 3000 and 2000 m from the line and then a fast sweeping turn into the finishing straight about a kilometer out. A clear oportunity for the teams that want it to set up an organized leadout.
André Greipel:I simply can't say anyone else. The team were completely focused on setting him up for the first sprint stage and when that failed I think they will be doubly determined not to squander their chances in this Giro. If not they might be sent in exile to the island of Elba that lies just off the coast from Castiglione della Pescaia where the stage finishes.
Amy's Food & Vino del giorno
Wine: What may be the wine of the race: 2005 Talenti Brunello de Montalcino. The lesson here, buy a bottle or two to put aside for a few years.
Food: Gnocchi from the wonderful cookbook, Pasta By Hand. For today's stage we went old school with a potato version.