Stage 13 Preview
Well the easier test in Stage 12 did not go the way of the pure sprinters. Boassen Hagen (not so ill after all) came good with his strong sprint delivered but it just wasn’t enough as determined Gilbert hung on and came off his wheel at the last minute to win. The consistent Lampre rider Richeze continued his good run of form in this Vuelta with a 3rd place. Otherwise the stage had no real affects on the top 20. Soupe the FDJ man ruled himself out as his illness got the better of him. Santaromita was on of big losers of day as he wasn’t too far down till today but Nerz is the BMC focus. Matthews obviously had himself an issue of some sort that he wasn’t even in for the sprint. Coppel who had a good time trial went back into the bad stuff losing time again it just seems like he is struggling to cope with the racing.
So Stage 13 is a bit of a half way house and some of today’s stronger riders could be getting involved. They begin a cat 3 climb from the off and then with 45km to go the climb a testing climb in the Alto del Rat Penat it has some serious steep patches over the 4km. Its quick from the top of the climb as its pretty much downhill. The run in for the finish is flat but the last 300-400 metres are not. It looks like a it pitches up between 4-7% depending on who you listen to.
The finish will be hotly debated as to wether the likes of Meersmann can make it or if it will be a battle of Gilbert and the Boss again. This stage could well suit a break as Astana continue to be lax about doing any chasing as long as their happy with the break that gets away just like today. The finish is by no means easy but its doable and Matthews will be keen to make up for his flat he suffered today, I fancy he might well give this a good go if he gets their he has the support of his strong team.
Looking at the profile the stage really stood out as something Gerrans could go well on but he has no form what so ever at the moment and its just too much of a risk. Paolini is showing form he was 4th today so he is showing good legs the finish should be really up his street tomorrow and theirs even 34 going on betfair for him.
.2pts Michael Matthews 22/1 paddypower
.1pt G.Meersmann 20/1 various
.2pts Luca Paolini 28/1 various (34.0 betfair)
2pts Konig to beat Basso 8/5 bet365, hills.
1pts Konig to beat Majka 13/8 ladbrokes
2pts D.Nerz to beat Uran 1.71 pinnacle
2pts Ten Dam top beat Scarponi 13/10 bet365
2pts Anton to beat Pinot 11/10 bet365
2pts Ulissi to beat Nocentini evens ladbrokes2pts LL Sanchez to beat Nocentini 1.72 888sport
3pts Paolini to beat Roux 8/11 ladbrokes
3pts Paolini to beat Ratto 1.65 pinnacle