Each stage, the Rouleur panel of ‘experts’ will give their picks for the following day’s race.
David Hunter, AKA Cycling Mole, is a top tipster who spends far more time studying the odds than we do. In a daily battle of wits, Team Rouleur will give their predictions for the next day’s stage before Moley runs his scathing eye over them and comes up with his own. Who will win?
Stage 16: Santillana del Mar to Torrelavega, 32km time-trial
Rohan Dennis – BMC
Unless both his main bike and his spare catastrophically fail, it’s going to be a matter of how much Dennis wins this by. I’m going for 1.24. Glad I got my dibs in early.
Jonathan Castroviejo – Sky
When I went with Jonathan Castroviejo in the prologue it was with the caveat he had a better record in longer time-trials. So that’s one thing in his favour. Another is that he’s apparently spent most of the race since that seventh place with his feet up. He should be fresh, and we’re not so far from home for the Basque man either.
Victor Campenaerts – Lotto Soudal
Because Hugh took Castroviejo just as I was about to pick him, I’ll go for my tried-and-tested TT pick of Victor Campenaerts. The prologue showed he’s got the form, he’s been saving energy over the last few days and the flat course should be to his liking.
Wilco Kelderman – Team Sunweb
As I had the short straw pick – meaning the big names had already been taken, and not being sure how Kwiatkowski is recovering from his second crash of the Vuelta, this is my reason for going with Kelderman.
Nelson Oliveira – Movistar
Short straw? You lot don’t know you’re born… Quit the bellyaching! This Movistar man – as I’m sure Moley will be only too happy to confirm – has never won a time-trial in his career, far as I can see. Top-three is realistically the best I can see for him here.
It’s TT day and the route is certainly a lot harder than the profile makes out. We have lots of uphills and downhills, perfect for a rider with a lot of power. This is a day where getting first pick is very important.
Nick – he’ll have delighted to get the first pick. Rohan Dennis is the overwhelming favourite, it would take an act of God to stop him.
Hugo – a solid pick as Castroviejo will enjoy this course. You never know, he might just benefit from a friendly moto driver.
Andy – going with the Euro champion is never a bad idea. Campenaerts is a very strong rider against the clock, but he doesn’t often win.
Hannah – off all the GC men, Hannah goes with Kelderman. Seeing as he blew up on Sunday, this looks a bad pick.
Ian – poor Ian, he didn’t have a lot to pick from. Oliviera could give him a run for his money, but it’s unlikely he’ll win.
My pick – simply has to be Rohan Dennis.