Stage 7: Llíria - Cuenca
Nobody likes flat stages in the Vuelta, but I suppose they can be a necessary evil at times. This time maybe not being one of them, but at least we’re getting closer to Xorret del Cati in Valencia.
What’s It About?
More transitioning. In the Tour, this would be a nailed on sprint, but the fact is that the first fifty kilometres are almost all some form of uphill or false flat, which is territory for nobody but brave attackers. Chances are, by the time the plateau is reached after one hundred kilometres are completed, the break might have a pretty long leash. Whether the sprinters’ teams are going to be willing to chase such a break down is a more difficult question. Trentin’s already got one easy win, but he spent most of the day in the early move for stage six. Fatigue may certainly play a role here, along with the final climb, which at a seven per cent average is by no means easy. Contador and Froome made a race out of a flattish stage six, they could attempt to do so again here. To be honest, there are too many variables for me to predict a bunch kick here. More likely the (insert Spanish word for) baroudeurs will make a fight out of this one for the third day in a row.
Did You Know?
Oh no, it’s the Did you Know section. Er, hmm. Cuenca is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, thanks to its great emphasis on culture. Also contributing to that may the the fact that it’s basically perched precariously on the edge of a cliff. Somebody noticed that particular fact apparently, and nicknamed the place the “eagle’s nest.” Pity Bjarne Riis isn’t around.
Pick to Win
Well, I’ve already planted my flag with the breakaway, so let’s look at who might be on form. Nobody who was in the breakaway for stage six please, I don’t want to bet on anybody tired. Hmm, I’m going to go with Jetse Bol. He was in the break on Tuesday, but got caught out on the flat. This is his chance to shine even brighter than his jersey.