Stage 9 is one out of three stages for the sprinters this Vuelta, adrenaline shot in the last 5 kilometers for the riders, high speed finish.
Most likely we will see a 3-8 rider breakaway mostly filled with riders from the PCT teams. Deceuninck – Quickstep and Bora Hansgrohe have sprinting as on of their main goal this Vuelta, they will take control early to make sure this rare chance doesn’t slip away from them. We might also see a bit of white at the front of the pack because UAE – Emirates have a quick man as well who managed to become 2nd on the previous sprint stage.
The only other sprint stage so far this Vuelta was stage 4, this was the top 10:
- Sam Bennett (DQS)
- Jasper Philipsen (UAE)
- Jakub Marezcko (CCC)
- Pascal Ackermann (BOH)
- Gerben Thijssen (LTS)
- Matteo Moschetti (TFS) OTL on stage 7
- Max Kanter (SUN)
- Mihkel Raim (ISN)
- Emmanuel Morin (COF)
- Magnus Cort Nielsen (EF)
Jasper Philipsen was placed very well by his young but strong leadout train consisting of Riabushenko – I. Oliveira – Oliveira -> Philipsen. Went first place into the last corner and managed to get a decent gap but it was still about 250m and Sam Bennett who had a more powerfull sprint was able to come over him in the last 50 meter.
For stage 9 I expect the same names. Unfortunately Moschetti did not finish within the timelimit on stage 7 so he is not in the race anymore. Some sprinters that didn’t end up in the top 10 last time but have a chance for place 5-10 tomorrow are Manzin, Aberasturi, Aranburu, Edmondson and Barbero.
For the win it is Bennett who looked the strongest on stage 4 and he is definetly the top favorite for me. Ackermann looked strong today on stage 8, he was able to hang on very long with the Movistar driven peloton. He might’ve faded a bit less than others due to all the tough mountain stages. His leadout wasn’t going smoothly in stage 4 so for me he is the 2nd favorite closely followed by Philipsen.
For the win there are only 2 more somewhat realistic contenders in my opinion. Marezcko and Cort. Marezcko survived the mountains and with his podium finish he proved good form. Doesn’t like the hills as much as Cort but give the guy a flat road and he is a worthy opponent, especially in Asia.
Cort Nielsen might be a weird pick to some because he only finished 10th in stage 4 but on his day he can go with the top sprinters. Isn’t the best in elbowing himself to a good position in the sprint preparation but if everything falls into place he might be the only one who can beat the 3/4 top sprinters here.
**** Sam Bennett
*** Pascal Ackermann, Jasper Philipsen
** Jakub Marezcko, Magnus Cort Nielsen
* Max Kanter, Gerben Thijssen, Emmanuel Morin, Lorrenzo Manzin