Stage 2’s rolling terrain and uphill finale should favour those blessed with the strength and speed to sprint up to the line in the final few hundred meters of the race – the puncheurs cometh. The short 132km stage is based predominately around five city circuit laps, the first of which begins after around 25km have been completed. The long drag to the line should kick plenty of the pure sprinters down the pecking order, so a change of race leader seems likely after Stage 2 is over.
Juan José Lobato has one here before at the Tour Down Under and he should have a great chance of repeating this once again in 2016; the Movistar rider usually possessing a good amount of form during the early races of the year. Diego Ulissi is another former winner of the day’s uphill finale in Stirling, a man who normally flourishes on this type of terrain, though he has struggled somewhat in recent years to demonstrate such talents as convincingly as we are accustomed too. Blighted by misfortune and injury during last year, Simon Gerrans is bound to have an eye on taking early glory in 2016 by winning today’s stage finale in Stirling. Despite having not won here already, Gerrans’ performances have been consistent on this finish and with his team eager to retain the leader’s jersey for another day, there is a great chance he will finally win.
1st Juan José Lobato 2nd Simon Gerrans 3rd Diego Ulissi