Usually the first mountain stages in GTs are relatively boring because everyone is unsure about their relative fitness. They check each other out and often the group of real contenders finish in an elite bunch.
I hope tomorrow will be different. The last climb is long, but on average not too steep (5.6/7%) with some steeper sections till the end, up to 9.5% and one in the last km. Shallow start, punchy finish... who could that be?
Evans, Valverde and Sanchez at 1:12; 1:14; 1:20 are well placed and can in theory conserve energy. On the other hand, bonus seconds are an easy way to take time on other contenders. Valverde thus has the edge. He should be doing well - assuming he is in tip top form - like he did in the DL on the Ventoux.
Basso and Gesink are already at 1:52 and 1:57. Evans being the best TTr - assuming he will remain in contention given his placing and not think too hard about the Worlds - needs to be attacked up hill. Basso and Gesink are similar climbers, diesels that run forever. Perhaps they can set up a 1-2?
Then there is Fuglsang and Danielson, both of whom I have no real idea how well they'll hold up for the duration of 3 weeks.
Mosquera is already 2:52 behind, so he surely has a reason to take time to close in on a top 5 spot.
Perhaps some others will want to go for a win, what about Andy Schleck. Valjavec is already 3m behind, and I thought he wanted to impress this tour after his absence in the TdF. What about Cobo or de la Fuente in an escape?
Looking forward to tomorrow.