These days, a key part of preparation is to recce climbs and other potentially important stretches of road. Sometimes on Google maps, but often, and more likely for the big budget teams, in person. It’s a very labour intensive way of securing a small advantage for your riders.
At one point today the camera cut to Belgian super-team Quick Step who were scattered asunder, up and down the road, and in pieces. That they managed to pull their dignity back together suggests they weren’t quite all over the shop, but they were certainly browsing different aisles and working from their own shopping lists.