This stage should result in a bunch sprint – and a good possibility for an in-form Peter Sagan to get his third win of the race. With the stage running from east to west there is a very real possibility that the riders will face a significant headwind for almost the entire stage.
This may put paid to any but the most serious breakaways – riders such as Jens Voigt live for days like this. However, it will also place a heavy burden on those teams, such as Cannondale, who feel they have a fast finisher who can rule the day. There are several small ascents, the first climbing up and into Ojai, ‘The Shangri-La of Southern California’.
The punchy climbs over East Casitas Pass and West Casitas Pass may split the field but there is enough distance to regroup before the final small bump and a quick plunge down to the Santa Barbara beach front where a large, tanned crowd of race fans is expected.
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