Stage 10 Preview
So Stage 9 turned into a Katusha training exercise as they took the win. They some how managed to have a strong reserve of riders running into the final climbing test of the day. The pace was fierce over the top of the days only categorised climb and this helped shed Pinot, Uran and Konig who were dropped on the descent. Then Moreno went on the final km. Rodriguez followed the chase of which Valverde was the strongest. Moreno got the gap he needed and did not let up with Valverde coming second as Rodriguez failed to pass him in the sprint. Roche fought hard on the climb surely going deep into the red but gave up the jersey by just a single second as he crossed the line in 4th.
Notable was the top 10 by Argos rider Barguil he is proving pretty strong. Basso again is impressing me so far this week. The racing that suits him is yet to come but he has impressed so far holding in their. With Ag2r an open team Nocentini could well be pushing for the team leadership now. Arroyo a rider I had built up before the race has so far failed to make an impact and its slightly worrying that he has yet to show anything on the stages that should be suiting him
So instead of a rest day on a monday the Vuelta will have it on a Tuesday. This is the most diffcult stage so far this year. Their is a downhill from the start but then it is barely flat for the rest of the day with a number of small climbs to get over before a downhill into the feed zone. The two sprint are very near each other whic his unusual. However the break should still be out on the road before they start the climbs proper. Just under 40km out the start the climb of the Monachill and the the climb of the Hazallanas t0 1,650m. Those final 40km’s look energy sapping and with a rest day to follow it will be all out chaos.
Alto de Monachil is 8.5 km and the start is very steep. Alto de Hazallanas start easy enough but then kicks up in the middle 4km. The final 7 km are about 8.5 % and hits double figures in parts. At the finish gradients almost reach 20 % and this this is were we are most likely to see the fireworks.
It has been pretty warm the opening week and again the sun will be out for the day but predicted temperatures for the climbs at the finish are lower which will be of relief to the riders. The first climb is not easy with a pretty steep profile with little let up. The final climb eases up in parts but has some steeper ramps which are sure to find out those on bad day. Again expect Katusha and Movistar to pace set and Rodriguez and Moreno again have a great chance on any climb were 10% comes into play.
With several riders just off Moreno in the overall the red jersey is once again up for grabs on a day like this. Roche now just a second off will have to really excel if he is to out climb Moreno on this one and I reckon he will decline as a result of his efforts this week. Talk has been that Valverde is more worried about the Worlds but his leg looked useful today on the final wall. Horner was on my mind for the Wall but maybe something bit longer could suit this will really show if age isn’t holding him back. Three riders who got dropped on downhill today will want improve. Uran, Konig and Pinot have all shown well on other days and don’t be surprised if they bounce back.
Zubeldia is now Horners strongest support and it will be interesting if he continues to ride his own race here or work as support. Basso and Majka I expect to go well on day like this and push for top 10 places now of which I would be very surprised if Santaromita can hang on to. Both Capecchi and Kangert are support to their leaders but it will be interesting see if they get a Moreno type chance at the stage.
.25pts Chris Horner 20/1 hills
.1pt Uran 66/1 paddypower
.1pt J Rodriguez 6.69 pinnacle
1pt Rodriguez to beat Valverde 2.83 pinnacle
2pts Horner to beat Henao 13/20 bet365, ladbrokes
2pts Uran to beat Zubeldia 1.77 pinnacle
1.5pts Majka to beat Pinot 2.24 pinnacle
1pt Anton to beat S.Sanchez evens ladbrokes
2pts Scarponi to beat Santaromita 2.59 pinnacle
2pts D.Nerz to beat Brajkovic 1.72 pinnacle
2pts B.De Clercq to beat Barguil 1.65 888sport
2pts B.De Clercq to beat Nieve 1.88 888sport