Who will win Stage 3?
And so we get to the first crunch stage of the 2018 Tour, for the overall contenders; the team time trial. Only 35km long, it is fast and (to be honest) terrifying to watch, albeit beautiful, as we see riders in close formation at speeds of 80km/h, or more if the predicted tailwinds materialise. That is fine on open roads, but there are more than 15 roundabouts on this technical parcours, so teams will need to be watchful, with lactic acid bubbling out of their eyeballs. Expect a winning time in the order of 36 minutes… just under 60km/h average.
So who will win? After being knocked out of contention with yesterday’s prediction, we are back with Team Sky for today. They have a double reason; Chris Froome needs to claw back some time on his rivals after his stage one farming expedition, and Gearing Thomas nicked a bonus second yesterday, which can only mean they are up for getting him into Yellow. Quickstep will also be strong – they have fewer climbers than the GC teams, and a number of Classics had men who can churn big gears for a short effort like this -as will Mitchelton-Scott, who also need some GC time for the unlucky Yates lad. Also keep an eye on the LottoNL-Jumbo squad, who have Primoz Roglic and Steven Kruijswijk to drag them to a fast finish.
We will stick with Sky, who dominated a similar TTT at the Dauphine in June. And need the time gains, badly.