What's the stage like?
A short time-trial, at only 9.2km.
Largely flat, with a kick-up at the end, it's as much an advert for the Budapest tourist board as it is a cycle route, but some twists, turns and cobbled sections mean it won't be entirely straightforward for the high-powered clock merchants.
This is likely to be won by small margins and a surprise winner wouldn't be... well, much of a surprise.
Who are the favourites?
Tom Dumoulin (2.506/4), who took some time out of the sport after the 2020 season, seemed to return with his time trialling form intact in 2021, winning the Dutch national title and coming second at the Olympics. This season he's been less reliable, though, suffering from illness. A return to the form of his third over a similar length time trial at the UAE Tour in February might be enough, but those are short odds on a course that isn't ideal.
Mathieu van der Poel (4.003/1), the winning tip from Stage 1, is prominent in some lists, presumably on the basis that the course is well suited to his explosive style. But it's worth remembering that he has never won a time trial as a professional, and hasn't even come close at this sort of level. Expect him to do his Pink Jersey proud with a valiant showing, but backing him for the win at those odds would be unwise.
Who are the most likely outsiders?
There are a host of time trialists who could conceivably get close, including Tobias Foss (12.0011/1), Edoardo Affini (18.0017/1) and Matteo Sobrero (20.0019/1).
But it feels as if non-specialists may take the day here. Given his age and racing focus, Richie Porte (40.0039/1) would be easy to discount, but he has an excellent record on punchier time trials and could spring a surprise. Preference, though, is for Joao Almeida (8.007/1) and Jonathan Castroviejo (100.0099/1). Almeida will like the punchy course, and 35-year-old Castroviejo - although his best form is long distant - is nonetheless somewhat of a specialist at these shorter time trials.
What effect will it have on the overall markets?
General Classification contenders have little to gain on their market rivals in a field that will likely be split by seconds, and so most will therefore adopt a relatively conservative approach on a course where there could be spills.
*Odds correct at the time of writing