Should be kind of interesting. Could be won by a number of riders.
Top 10 after prologue:
1 Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:03:40.42
2 Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:00.27
3 Leigh Howard (Aus) HTC-Highroad 0:00:00.73
4 Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Team RadioShack 0:00:01.95
5 David Millar (GBr) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:00:02.10
6 Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:00:02.98
7 Patrick Gretsch (Ger) HTC-Highroad 0:00:03.44
8 Mark Renshaw (Aus) HTC-Highroad 0:00:03.64
9 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Pro Team Astana 0:00:03.95
10 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Leopard Trek 0:00:04.00
Ok did u watch Amstel Gold. He finished 6th against the best classics riders on what is surely a harder track. He won 2 stages in Normandie in 2009 when this was a tougher route. He also won 3 stages in the hilly Tirenno Adriatico in 2008 aswell as numerous tough grand tour stages. top 30 is well within his grasp and bookies have even priced Bennati low for tomorrow.
Maybe Freire might not be top 30 here if it really heats up. But his form on these type of stages gives him every chance here I think. 4.4% final 3 km is not going to kill him.
Vino looks like an obvious choice for this stage, because he said he want to capitalize on his form before his break, and this finish looks like aperfect one ofr him, on a climb with some difficulty, but not to great of a percentage. Before his puncture, he looked excellent.
I also can see Roman winning this on a counter attack after Vino is caught.
I see this stage as one where the Top TT that can climb (evans, Wiggins, Menchov), wont attack just stay upfront, and if someone else wants to go and pick off a couple of seconds, I dont think they will dig to deep to chase.
If its not Vino, then I think it could be an outsider to win the stage, Like Carrara for Vacansoliel, or Chris Sorensen for Leopard, Roche .
yeah i think Astana should make the race hard. However i doubt Vino can win, he will not go so well up the climb maybe. I think Gasparotto in the break will work well, i can envisage him winning. Think Evans will keep Vino in check. Basso also has to attack to get back 9 seconds off Cadel.
Yes, I hope Astana will do something, but they are weakened because Robert Kiserlovski had to abandon. (still suffering from that horrible crash - cracked vertebra, not sure if he will be able to ride Giro..)