Yes, the course is long (217.5 kilometres) and possibly even tedious if you are under orders to control the breakaway. So it is best to keep the attackers within range while traversing the rugged and ancient volcanic landscape between Saint Flour and Albi. Even better: make sure Thomas De Gendt, Alessandro De Marchi, Bauke Mollema and other masters of the fine art of the breakaway are not in the mix. It will make your job so much easier.
Obviously, the pace will be high in the finale. First to bring the attackers back, and then to produce a perfect launch pad for the sprinters. Who, by the way, have to keep in mind that the final straight runs slightly uphill.
Given his 2019 credentials, Groenewegen is the sprinter to beat. He won ten races, Ewan nine, Viviani took seven sprints, Kristoff four, while Sagan powered to three wins. Yet, the Dutchman crashed hard on stage 1 and did not sprint pain-free until stage 7. He bounced back and outgunned Ewan in Chalon-sur-Saône.
The first sprint on this year’s Tour de France was marred as Groenewegen went down inside the last 1.5 kilometres. Surprisingly, his lead-out Teunissen took the reins and outgunned Sagan in a millimetres sprint, while Ewan finished in third.
Viviani powered to his first ever Tour de France stage-win in the second sprint opportunity in Nancy. Kristoff and Ewan rounded out the podium.
Favourites 10th stage 2019 Tour de France
*** Dylan Groenewegen, Elia Viviani, Caleb Ewan
** Peter Sagan, Michael Matthews, Alexander Kristoff
* Giacomo Nizzolo, Jasper Stuyven, Jasper Philipsen
Take a look at the route of the 10th stage on the Tour de France.
Tour de France 2019 stage 10: profile and finale
Click on the images to zoom