There is no rest afforded to the peloton after yesterday’s queen stage, Stage 15 might be short at 118.5km, but the jagged profile and summit finish is certain to catch riders on a bad day. The journey from Sabiñanigo to Sallent de Gallego features the Category 3 Alto de Petralba (6.3km avg 5%), Category 2 Alto de Costefabio (12.5km 4.3%) and the final Category 1 summit finish up to Sallent de Gallego (14.5km 4.6%). Bound to be a chaotic and more intense day due to the shorter nature of the stage, it shall be difficult to predict who exactly will summit Sallent de Gallego first.
Gianluca Brambilla conceded a great deal of time several days ago and now looks like one of the strongest placed riders to make it into a breakaway which will contest the day’s stage win. With hardly a stretch of genuine flat terrain to be ridden, Brambilla will relish a day which provides him the perfect springboard to attack solo en route to victory.
Omar Fraile has maintained his presence in the breaks in order to collect further points for the mountains classification and will still believe there is a chance of him picking up a stage win at this year’s race. Given the easier terrain compared to yesterday, Fraile will be a far greater threat to the hopes of others today and should perform well on the final climb.
Davide Formolo has not been as active as previously expected, so today could be an inviting proposition for the young Italian rider to join the action and take the win. His team Cannondale need to make their time here worthwhile, so a stage victory is a growing concern for the American outfit.
Simon Yates is demonstrating a great level of form at the race and should be considered a danger to everyone if he manages to find a place within the breakaway. One of his greatest skills is the ability to time his efforts to perfection and it would come as little surprise to see him secure victory through tactical nous, rather than simply being the freshest rider in the group.
Chris Froome will be the favourite if the race is brought back together on the final climb and it is hard to imagine anyone getting the better of him on the finish today. Nairo Quintana is still on the lookout to gain time on rival Froome ahead of the individual time trial and could potentially try an attack to steal a clutch of seconds. Esteban Chaves looked sharp yesterday and could certainly be interested in a late attempt to get away from the general classification leaders if the race comes back together on the last ascent.
1st Gianluca Brambilla 2nd Davide Formolo 3rd Omar Fraile