Tour Down Under 2016 Cycling Preview
This year to keep the interest from a blog and tipping point of view the blog will be exactly that a relaxed blog format with few thoughts on the cycling and the races ahead mixed in with the betting. Early in the year with racing off a long break books are keen to price as shown by the amount of books pricing the peoples classic. Now onto the Tour Down Under and the race is really about two key days with the rest suited to the sprinters.
Willunga Hill is on stage 5 again and is a though climb but not long enough to rule out the lesser climbers who are in good shape, riders like Gerrans have always hung in on a climb just under 3km. For most riders this time of year is for getting the dust off or simply heading to warmer climates so outside of the local contingent it can always be tricky to tell who might be interested. Since moving away from being a sprinters race 4 of the last 5 renewals where won by an aussie. Slagter broke that mold when not a single oz made the podium of that Tour Down Under.
Stage 3 has corkscrew hill this somewhere a good tactical race could pay off and go to try win solo, bonus seconds at line mean winning a stage puts you in prime spot for overall. Porte has twice won on stage 5 Willunga Hill but not the race and that is a result of being a climb where riders can try sit onto attacks and use time gained from other days to keep the overall. The field is decent the organisation top notch and the adding other races around it has encourages a decent field and makes for a nice intro to the season. Most riders will be happy to have spent some time away from the winters of Europe.
Gerrans is favourite here he has twice won the race before, but he comes in after 2015 went very wrong for him and he has turned the wrong side of 30, I would not see how he matches results of years gone by and his peaks are going be much shorter and harder to attain than previously. Dennis and Porte are fighting for the BMC card both have had strong showings in this race. Ulissi and Thomas have both shown well in this race before.
Jarlinson Pantano (33/1 Bet365) is here with IAM and he means business his price is big enough to entice me and he is well worth a shot here. Yhe talk out of IAM seems upbeat. Michael Woods (100/1 bet365) is a natural athlete and he was destined for the World Tour, yes he is in at deep end here but his whole cycling career has been just that and he has swam each time. Those are my two outsiders. Some have mentioned Vakoc and at 100/1 I may have a saver but I want to see a little more of him before I can make a better judgement of him. Of the riders at the top of the market Diego Ulissi (12/1 skybet) is the one who tempts me most, he had an interruption he will want to get over in 2015 and we know he has gone for it before here.
.5pts Jarlinson Pantano 33/1 bet365
1.2pts Diego Ulissi 12/1 skybet
.1pt Michael Woods 100/1 bet365
2pts Thomas to beat Impey 4/5 pinnacle
2pts Pantano to beat Haas 1.64 pinnacle
.75pts Woods to beat Meintjes 2.84 pinnacle
1.75pts Ulissi to beat Gerrans 2.4 pinnacle