The Selection Process – Giro Stage 5

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Tomorrow we leave behind Frascati and its Tuscolan Villas, and head to Terracina for what should be a very straightforward sprint. It’s fair to say that this isn’t the most entertaining preview to write, nor will it be the most entertaining stage to watch. The Giro likes to keep us waiting.

The Just Profile

We actually start with a 7 km climb, right from the flag drop. I’m not sure the rollers are a necessity, but it’s a bit of a kicker to start the day. This also guarantees aggressors but the second half of this short, 140 km, stage is gentle and a flat 40 km gives the sprint teams more than enough time to prepare.

All In – Elia Viviani 2/1

Assuming Viviani survives the early ascent in one piece, I can’t see him losing tomorrow. Despite a handful of bad days to start the Giro, the Italian Champion remains the faster sprinter in the race and will be delivered safely to the finish. I’d pick Ackermann as his biggest threat, but Viviani is on a revenge mission after the strict application of the rules to his diagonal sprint on Monday.

Launch A Quid – Francois Bidard, Nico Denz, Nans Peters…

Can’t resist launching a dart at the non-sprinters and it was a toss up between any number of wildcard riders and one of the AG2R selection. Bidard has already been off the front and should have no problem with the early bumps.

Any Other Business

The finale to Stage 4 was extremely messy. Dumoulin crashed and was nursed home by Sunweb. There’s worse plans than to abandon and focus on the Tour. UAE’s two-pronged attack was jumped by Richard Carapaz as the sprinters dug deep to fill the top ten. At the time of writing, Dumoulin is still in the Giro. Sadly, I’m not sure he will be in the morning.

Some Trivia

Frascati is twinned with the UK town of Maidenhead, whilst Terracina is twinned with Exeter. Suddenly the stage sounds less exciting.

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