Today’s 201km Stage 2 from Brussels to Spa has all the hallmarks of our favourite one day classics in the Spring. While the first 100 km is relatively flat the second 100km is decidedly lumpy. Three Category 4 climbs precede three Category 3 climbs as the parcours winds it way through the roads made famous by Liège-Bastogne-Liège, culminating in the 6km ascent of the Col du Rosier 11km from the finish.
A break is sure to go with Team Katusha likely to be the animators. The Russian squad has at least three riders who could win a stage like this. The big question is just how hard the squads of the GC contenders will be prepared to press. If the back half of the stage is raced at speed by the big guns, the break should be caught and then there will be chances for their lieutenants and other opportunists sniffing around for the spoils of a stage win. Should be a cracking race - a La Doyenne lite, if you will.
My tip: Rodriguez or Kolobnev (Katusha) from Vinkourov (Astana) and Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin). Though I wouldn’t be surprised to see Damiano ‘The Kid’ Cunego in the mix too.