Not a firefly to be seen, let alone ten million but there is the rarest of occurrences this Vuelta: a flat stage. Mind you, if I’m invoking the Owl City tune in the headline, I may as well parody a verse so here goes:
You would not believe your eyes
If two dozen sprinting guys
Tore down the street of your coastal town.
A crowd fills the open square
There are cameras everywhere
The thing to do right now is just stand and stare.
Feel free to improve on this in comments.
So, finally respite from the climbing of the Basque Country and of Los Machucos, all of which has left Primoz Roglic rather in the driving seat. If that driving seat is in a car several kilometres ahead of the broken-down, on-fire bus that contains every GC guy in this race who is not Slovenian. Crushing it. You go Primoz, you da man. However, he finally has a day where all he has to do is stay on his bike as the sprinters finally get a go for the first time in almost a fortnight. I am actually happy about this. Jakobsen vs Bennett vs out of form Gaviria isn’t a perfect sprint battle but I’ve seen worse. The score is currently 1-1 between Jakobsen and Bennett although there are mitigating circumstances in how Bennett allowed the Dutchman to even up the scoring.
And yes, it really will be a sprint. The one categorised climb is only three per cent and the sprinters have hung around through hills too brutal to pass up a chance at a win. Wannabe breakaway artists had better save their legs for another day, I think. So then, Sam vs Fabio it is. The Irishman is simply the faster of the two. He should come out on top.