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Sprint, Sprint, Sprint!
With just a tiny Cat. 4 climb mid-stage and two intermediate sprints in the final 40 kilometers, we can expect a furious finale to this opening road stage across the plains of Piedmont. If westerly winds pick up and a few GC teams want to cause some panic, echelons could form and disrupt the sprinters’ stage-winning tactics. Intriguingly, the finish in Novara, a city of 105.000, is only 50 kilometers from Milan—where this Giro will finish in three weeks’ time. Also, May is the wettest month in this region, so there’s a one-in-three chance of rainfall, which could lead to a few crashes in the tricky run-in to the city.
Assuming the peloton doesn’t split, the stage win will be contested by the hottest sprinters. The contenders include Caleb Ewan of Lotto-Soudal, David Dekker of Jumbo-Visma, Fernando Gaviria of UAE Emirates, André Greipel of Israel Start-Up Nation, Tim Merlier of Alpecin-Fenix, Giacomo Nizzolo of Qhubeka-Assos, Peter Sagan of BORA-Hansgrohe and Elia Viviani of Cofidis.