Tour de France 2023 Favourites stage 2: Sprint of strongmen

Wout van Aert E3 - Tour de France 2023 Favourites stage 2: Sprint of strongmenimage: Cor VosThe riders are to conquer an elevation gain of roughly 3,000 metres on the second day of the Tour de France. The finale is a descent from the Jaizkibel - 8.1 kilometres at 5.3% - onto a flat, 7.6 kilometres long run-in to the line. (Slideshow route/profile)

The average gradient of the Jaizkibel is deceptive, as the ascent also serves double digit sections. On the other hand, the steepest parts are located at the bottom of the climb and it’s still of long way from there. Firstly the rest of the climb, secondly the straightforward descent, and thirdly the flat run-in to the line. So yes, it would be a bold move to attack that early.

A likely scenario is that the breakaway is reeled in before or on the Jaizkibel and that a reduced peloton sprints for the win in San Sebastián.

Virtually all uphill action in the 2nd stage is packed together within 145 kilometres. Following a flat run the riders traverse the Col d’Udana (4.5 kilometres at 5.1%), Côte d’Aztiria (2.7 kilometres at 5.3%), the unclassified climbs to Larraitz-Txindoki (3.1 kilometres at 5.4%) and Altzo (2.1 kilometres at 7.3%), Côte d’Alkiza (4.2 kilometres at 5.7%), Côte de Gurutze (2.6 kilometres at 4.7%), and, as mentioned, the Jaizkibel (8.1 kilometres at 5.3%). There are 16.5 kilometres remaing at the summit.

The Jaizkibel descent is far from technical. The first part isn’t too steep, the last part does have some close corners and hairpins, but a moment later the riders are back down. The final 7.6 kilometres are flat, except for an uphill kick halfway.

A likely secenario is that the likes of Van der Poel, Van Aert, Alaphilippe, Girmay and Pidcock will sprint for the win.

Favourites 2nd stage 2023 Tour de France

*** Wout van Aert, Mathieu van der Poel, Tom Pidcock
** Julian Alaphilippe, Tadej Pogacar, Biniam Girmay, Mattias Skjelmose
* Jasper Philipsen, Mads Pedersen, Neilson Powless, Marc Soler, Valentin Madouas

Another interesting read: route 2nd stage 2023 Tour de France.

Tour de France 2023 stage 2: route, profiles

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