Stage 18 Preview
So those classic winds came as expected however they didn’t just result in ensuring a break wouldn’t stay away they also ensured that the peloton spilt wide open with two notable names losing out Pozzovivo and Pinot. Saxo Bank put on a show driving the pace pretty hard which Cancellera then helped keep up as he paced Horner to safety. In behind FDJ and Ag2r worked hard for both their team mates but lost over a minute on the day and Roche continues to hold his form.
Stage 18 is the first of three parts to help finally decide the top 10 of this race. Nibali now shown to be vunerable has a task on hand especially with Horner looking strong. Rodriguez and Valverde even with a Tour de France in the legs just are not going away and the same applies to Roche who just isn’t giving up.
The interesting route is easy enough till about half way when the climbs start, but its the final two climbs of the day that will test this field more than anything. The 6 k long Peña Cabarga is the final climb and while its just 565metres it starts at 20metres, its 10%+ most of the way up. A flat spot 2km out is the only ease., The Caracol (2nd category) is 10 k long with a gradient of 6.5% but with such long run in to final climb i expect the racing not to start till the final climb of the day. That final climb screams of Rodrigeuz who sits a minute off the podium right now. Minutes could be lost if it all goes wrong. We got see this climb in 2010 and 2011 so theirs a bit to go on. Froome famously beat Cobo here in 2011 when he had his break out grand tour.
GC after Stage 17
1 NIBALI Vincenzo Astana Pro Team 68:50:29
2 HORNER Chris RadioShack – Leopard 0:28
3 VALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro Movistar Team 1:14
4 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquim Katusha Team 2:29
5 ROCHE Nicolas Team Saxo-Tinkoff 3:43
6 POZZOVIVO Domenico AG2R La Mondiale 5:09
7 PINOT Thibaut Equipe Cycliste FDJ.fr 6:08
8 KONIG Leopold Team NetApp – Endura 6:17
9 SANCHEZ GONZALEZ Samuel Euskaltel – Euskadi 7:33
10 KANGERT Tanel Astana Pro Team 10:52
With Rodriguez past win here and his legs looking pretty strong still his 11/4 price looks very tempting now that Katusha can race solely for him as Moreno has dropped out of the top 10. Igor Anton has mixed form but has chance here to break out and take a stage win for Euskatel.
.5pts Rodriguez 11/4 boylesports
.1pt Anton 33/1 various
2pts Pozzovivo to beat Pinot 2.02 pinnacle
3pts Horner to beat Nibali 4/5 ladbrokes, hills
4pts Arroyo to beat Scarponi 2.28 pinnacle
1pt Arroyo to beat Konig 13/10 888sport
3pts Arroyo to beat Nerz 4/6 ladbrokes
2[ts Nieve to beat Landa 2.05 888sport
4pts Uran to beat Moreno 8/11 ladbrokes
2pts C.Majka to beat CA Sorensen 1.61 pinnacle