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Discussion Starter #1
This is a 110-miler that on net is downhill, nearly 1,00 feet, across those miles. This may be something of a "transition" stage. We get some mountains this upcoming weekend.

Gap is often a finishing spot, offering some great climbing and twisty roads, but in this year's tour, it is a starting point. Riders will end up in yet another little town, Privas. They will approach by a twisty country road that straightens out as they get toward town, and in the final km, there is a traffic circle and then a bit of road furniture. So, the run in is pretty easy, but there most likely will be a few teams vying for the sprint win, and there is just enough geography to make this interesting.

Low likelihood for a breakaway. There are over 60 riders within 15 minutes of the top spot overall, including Gesink, Van Aert, Kwiatkowski a bit more than 10 minutes out, but 90th place and farther out are past 30 minutes off the top. We are just getting to the point where a non-threatening group may be allowed to break away; if so, they will be from this latter group. Sagan could show off a little; he is 32 minutes back.

There are only 4 withdrawals, overall. Obviously, the riders, including Caleb Ewan, have shaken off the impacts of Day 1. It seems like there is usually a bigger early set of withdrawals - guys who simply do not feel that great, have been riding hard and decide it is best to look for the next race, etc. Maybe this is less than usual since there has been a break from the steady intensity of a typical season.

Weather forcecast is "mostly sunny and pleasant" (pleasant, unless you have had your tail on a skinny saddle for the past week, eating out of a horse-feed bag plus the occasional Spanish steak and shot of whisky, and hoping to not hit pavement). The run-in goes north, and they care calling for a light wind out of the north, so there may be a little head wind.
 

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Who would have expected a stage with no break? Everyone waiting for tomorrow?

Nice win for Van Aert.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
i think i saw this as a possibility...

...tomorrow there is sure to be a break. may be many attempts.
 
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