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Vuelta a Espana 2015 Cycling Preview

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Vuelta a Espana 2015 Cycling Preview

Vuelta a Espana 2015 is on our doorstep. Quickly two notes that will worry the strength of teams and the race this year. Firstly the worlds are on stateside this year meaning those aiming for that will leave earlier than they might have if it was in Europe. Secondly the opening team time trial has descended into a farce due to the parcours that somehow got chosen. It won’t be changed so it looks like they will neutralize it now and be a show stage.

Adam Hansen is going for a 13th consecutive grand tour finish in this one to go for an all time record. He was battered in the Tour but it didn’t stop him and he continues on here. He is a top rider and I was delighted to meet him at the Giro in 2014 when his streak was all the talk and it has continued since. Best of luck to him here, a stage win would be nice.

Its a mixed field, but its a very interesting race for me. Last years 2nd Froome lines up with Sky in the number 1 jersey with Contador absent. Its all about how he comes off his Tour victory of which he was solely feeling the pinch of that race he might just in my view struggle to show up for another 3 weeks here. Henao is here as a strong back up option.  As always the steam is strong unlike lesser teams the talent doesn’t tend to drop off outside the Tour. Henao is fresh with no Grand Tour this year and in 2013 he had shown glimpses of his talents.

Ag2r send Pozzovivo here undoubted leader after his big misfortune cut his Giro short and this has now been reset as his main objective for 2015. He had a tune up without pushing too hard but he will enjoy the steep climbing of the Vuelta. His 5th in Suisse post Giro was impressive and given how fresh he should be I fancy he could push for top 5. Cherel supports off his solid Tour showing. Hopefully they can do enough for him when he does need it. Vuelta a Espana 2015

aru

Fabio Aru could thrive in Vuelta a Espana 2015

Astana come in with several options on the horizon for this. The main man must be Fabio Aru who had a very strong Giro coming in 2nd, can he manged a repeat, health issues early in season might get in way to peak twice is a real test. He looked really sharp in Poland and thats all that he has raced since the Giro. Landa was his near equal in the Giro but is leaving for sky so must be on the naughty list now. He might have a stage in him but expect Sky might be happy for him to soft pedal. Lastly Nibali comes from the Tour and he had got quiet hard time from the team till he peaked well in week 3, its debatable how well he can go here, but it is not like he has peaked for long this year to not do it all over again.

BMC send both Sanchez who is in his latter years and the rather impressive Atapuma, Sanchez rode a full tour and grabbed 3rd,  Atapuma was a 16th in the Giro both will provide strong support to Van Garderen who comes here from illness at the Tour, he really needs to go deliver here as BMC have placed a strong team in support of his plan B here. Local outfit Caja Rural are lead by Arroyo,  Its been a pretty mixed season for him so I am doubting he can excel again. Txurraka who is off to Orica might prove a stronger rider overall.

pozzo

 

Cofidis have been lead by the sprinter Bouhanni for this one. So he has a team built around him for the most part. Navarro is here with a chance in his home race and he surely will be much more involved than he was at the Tour, Colombia target this after missing out on the Giro this year.  Cano had a good Turkey then cooled off,  Duarte has never quiet lived up to his hype and has been targeting mountain jerseys this season. Torres has had a few notable results and could be the one to watch Quintero can also do a bit and is one of a number to take a climbing stage in this. Rubiano has gone ok and carries in some form all in all the team would be disappointed not to be heavily involved in the mountain with Torres another option.

Etixx are GC light here and its hard to see them involved here. Bouet for me is not a GC rider. Brambilla might be an option but even top 20 would be a feat in my view for him, but maybe he has something in his pocket. No doubting that a weak looking FDJ team is looking to the pocket rocket Ellissonde to refind his best form here. He showed some life in Poland after a quiet Giro this year and some of these climbs should really suit him. IAM send the departing Chavanel as he goes for all three grand tours in a season. He had two podiums but failed to grab a stage win thats his ambition for here. Coppel has not been at his best but if he clicks he could prove a threat to the overall.

 

Lampre will be wondering if Niemiec is going show up this season after a disaster season with little to show. Grmay the Ethiopian has some talent but hasn’t always had a chance to get involved maybe he can here. Durasek Turkey winner had a quiet tour I expect the same here again. Ruben Plaza had a stage win in the Tour but doubt he gets involved overall here. Lotto Soudal send the clashing Van Den Broeck and Monfort again here with a view of them trying to out do each other for a top 10 spot. But watch out for De Clercq he has had a good Poland and earlier a good Dauphine. He was 34th last year but I see him exceeding that. Both Van Den Broeck and Monfort finished together again in Poland it will be close again.

Movistar have there duo of Valverde and Quintana for this. Both would have dug in for there podiums in the Tour its interesting to see how they come out of that now. They have not raced since and it be interesting but in my view Valverde shouldn’t be able to peak after a long season for him but Quintana who got going late in the Tour may have a second life in him. The team supporting is decent looking. MTN look light trying to compete back to back grand tours.  Prehaps Berhane who didn’t race the Tour can come good after decent show in smaller races. Meintjes is bound to feel the pinch of nearly a whole Tour in his legs.

Orica line up with the backing behind Ewan and giving him a sprint train. But they are still left with the talented Colombian Chaves. 14th in Suisse since his rather quiet showing in the Giro. Hopefully with pressure off he can thrive here. Cannondale will be hoping the resurgence of Dombrowski is rewarded with him having a good vuelta showing. He has enjoyed racing stateside and won Utah at a canter but its another ask again for him deliver now back in Europe. Talansky had an iffy start to his Tour but got home for an 11th in the end. Fresh he would have been a decent option but I don’t see how he is able for another 3 weeks hard riding. Dan Martin is also here from racing the Tour he is likely stage hunting with his move away from the team in the news. Vuelta a Espana 2015

Europcar have Rolland here maybe looking to impress any possible additional sponsors to help the team next year. Rolland came 10th in the end in the Tour and  its hard to see him fresh enough to repeat that. Sicard improving this year also has himself a Tour in the legs here. Giant will look to stage wins with Degenkolb and Dumoulin but might hope Craddock can come good in the overall picture. 17th in Poland was decent and I’d like to see him involved in this one.

Katusha have been in the news with the back dated positive of Caruso so the line up has changed for this race along with the story of some drunken escapades in Rio from two other riders. Rodriguez comes from two stage wins in the Tour and I wonder will stage hunting be on the cards for him again here as he winds down his career. Maybe he left a bit in the tank and can excel in this one. He has managed just a single podium in the Vuelta missing out before for a number of reasons. Machado raced the tour but had a decent Burgos will his late call up be a blessing or mean he comes in under prepared. Moreno was 3rd in Burgos and is fresh for this can he finally deliver over 3 weeks for himself in what has been a light season for him.

Lotto NL Jumbo had a solid Tour but find resources strained with Ten Dam out injured as they approach this Vuelta. Bennett was 21st in Poland, but this should prove too much for him as the teams most likely leader. Tinkoff come in with two big names in the team as Majka and Sagan will race. Majka had a full tour and wasn’t too far off the pace but he has shown before he can bounce back but I doubt we see him in overall picture. Lastly Trek are here with a healing Cancellara who would have hoped to win this now proved silly team time trial. Zubeldia had a below average Tour by his very average standards so is a little quiet. Zoidl can also climb a bit but Frank Schleck has a final chance here to prove he still has something to be a winner in cycling.

vuelta a Espana 2015

I will try top up at bigger on Tejay but I don’t think he should be 50/1 for this he should have another one in his legs and his Tour had been going quiet well till he fell ill. Moreno is a long shot but at 300+ i had to have dig. Pozzovivo is dead fresh and he has one last hope of a Grand Tour win he might catch the others flat. I am not mad keen on Quintana or Froome its a trust thing, at three times the price id prefer to opt for Aru.

.5pts Tejay Van Garderen 50/1 bet365

.1pt Daniel Moreno 300 betfair

.5pts Dominco Pozzovivo 34+ Betfair

.75pts Fabio Aru 7/1 betfred

About Author

Based in Dublin, Ireland. Introduced to betting through horse racing, placed my first bet on kicking king to win the Gold Cup at 4/1. Used my love of all sports to take an interest in betting on sports. Qualified accountant with a way with numbers. Over years have found the niche sports most rewarding with NFL and Cycling, but always dabble in bit of everything. Focus in future is good staking and improved trading. Also blog at http://sportinginvest.com/

22 Comments

  1. Vuelta a Espana Overall match bets:
    ,
    2pts Aru to beat Valverde 2.1 pinnacle
    1pt QUintana to beat Froome 4/5 bet365
    2pts Chaves to beat Arroyo 1.79 pinnacle
    1.5pts Chaves to beat Torres 11/10 ladbrokes
    3pts
    Pozzovivo to beat Rodriguez 1.75 pinnacle
    3pts Van Garderen to beat Talansky 8/15 bet365, ladbrokes
    1pt Navarro to beat Rolland 11/10 paddys
    1pt Moreno to beat Nieve 4/9 ladbrokes

  2. Stage 2:
    Pozzovivo should be fighting fit here he will need to fight his way to get to the front before climb but the fact the steep parts are later and the flat part is after the finish gives him a good shout here. Jelle rarely shows up to his best but when on it we have seen him capable of goign well, to add I have had a punt on Dan Martin who migth still have enough left for a win I love his risk/reward racing. Chaves was a good price as was Moreno but now there gone they are best left alone.
    ,
    .4pts Pozzovivo 40/1 paddys
    .1pt Jelle Vaendert 100/1 skybet
    .25pts Dan Martin 16/1
    ,
    Star bet is to go Nieve over Landa, but are back up but word is that Landa is looking a little well fed from his Giro.
    .5pts Henao to beat Moreno 5/4 ladbrokes
    1pt Van Garderen to beat Talansky 1.57 pinnacle
    2pts Bouet to beat Jeandezboz 8/11 bet365
    2.5pts Nieve to beat Landa 5/4 ladbrokes
    1pt Pozzovivo to beat Quintana 1.91 pinnacle
    2.5pts Pozzovivo to beat Majka 4/6 ladbrokes
    2.5pts Chaves to beat Duarte 8/13 ladbrokes
    2pts Vanendert to beat Serry 8/11 ladbrokes

  3. Stage 3:
    So letting Chaves go as we missed the price was costly he was so close at 33s which was goign in some books 40+ would have been a bet he did awesome as did Dumoulin in 2nd who if anyone backed deserved to be paid out amazing showing. Our matchs where decent half pt on Jenao lost and pozzovivo lost to Quintana for a pt, but alway others won that been all our main bets. With Serry nowhere near Jelly in that match bet. And Duarte was well down too in his match bet so decent return for the blog. Notable Van Den Broeck, Dombroswki and Machado where well off the pace. Arroyo lost over 4mins, Coppel just less than that. Other riders lost a mix of time that hasn’t ruled them for now.
    ,
    Onto the stage I like Degenkolb overall and he isn’t going mind the big lump of a climb in middle to sap the legs and I took a pt on his 8/1 with betway. Not sure I am keen on any of his rivals at top of the market. I am a Drucker fanboy so can’t help a saver on him at 33/1 (shows how his odds shrank since his win at 40s in London)
    ,
    1pt Degenkolb 8/1 betway
    .1pt Drucker 33/1 various
    ,
    1pt Aru to beat Froome 2.1 pinnacle
    1.5pt Drucker to beat Rojas Gil 1.68 pinnacle
    1.25pts Monfort to beat Brambilla 1.94 pinnacle
    1.25pts Degenkolb beat Bouhanni 2.11 pinnacle

  4. Stage 4:
    So Sagan won a grand tour stage, and our pick degenkolb was 3rd and also Drucker our longer odds pick was a very solid 4th, an iffy 1 from 4 on match bets left us slightly down but small stakes it. |Stage 4 is flatish but with 4km to go they hit a 1.6km wall of 10% and more. Then it eases then kicks again then downhill to the final km. The finish has some steep kicks and its going make for interesting racing.
    ,
    Not looking at Sagan here despite his favouritism here I am not of same thinking. I like both Rodriguez and Martin here the best of rest last time. My joker is Vanendert he could steal this one he is capable of this.
    Stage 4 bets:
    1pt J.Rodriguez 9/1 paddys
    .8pts D.Martin 12/1 paddys
    .25pts Jelle Vanendert 66/1 betway, bet365

    1ptNieve to beat Landa 11/10 bet365
    2pt Degenkolb to beat Bouhanni 8/13 bet365, ladbrokes
    2pts Henao to beat Roche 6/5 bet365
    2pts Van Garderen to beat Majka 5/4 bet365

  5. Stage 5:
    I had in play trade on valverde and rodriguez so that worked out. Moreno proved more useful than Rodriguez today mixed fortunes for either on the horizon. Valverde was just top class, Sagan just as good don’t mind tinkoff he did as well as he could have ever hoped on finish like this. Amazing from Roche too, he held on longer than I thought he would and came up just short. Dumoulin again right up there, funny how lenient they proved on giving time gaps although the narrow finish might have decided that. So non major was involved in losing time Chaves remains leader.
    ,
    Stage 5 is flat so of less interest to me as betting tends to be a little lame when the trains can make it to a finish which is for the sprinters. However while this is a flat day the quick finish has an uphill final km to contend with. Orica will work its too easy a day not defend the leaders jersey, Degenkolb is most suited to this test so I have taken 4/1 and looking for bigger.

    .7pts Degenkolb 4/1 paddys (5.11 pinnacle)
    .1pt Barbero 33/1 paddys
    ,
    1pt Aru to beat Froome 2.63 pinnacle
    1.25pts Moreno to beat Valverde 2.84 pinnacle
    1.25pts Van Poppel to beat Bouhanni 2.89 pinnacle
    1pts Degenkolb to beat Sagan 2.89 pinnacle
    2pts Quintana to beat Majka 2.3 pinnacle
    2pts Sanchez to beat Martin 13/8 bet365
    2pts Barbero to beat Reynes 1.714 pinnacle

  6. Stage 6:
    5 stages in and its got interesting, a really good up hill sprint saw Degenkolb pipped by Ewan who looked just too damn good. Match bets where mixed Froome beat Aru by been well up in the sprint. Moreno took valverde at a nice price but Van Poppel was just a single place behind bouhanni.
    Degenkolb beat Sagan at 2.89 by a place to compensate. Majka just beat QUintana, but the well priced sanchez beat martin to cover a slightly profitable day.191 riders left as we hit stage 6.
    ,
    The stage starts of easier and the climbing starts in the later part. with the overall so tight everyone will be on edge for this one keen not to lose time. The middle climb is not terrible just enough to clean out the bunch of the weak. The break should cope with it. The final climb is longer than mapped as they climb well before the final 3km mapped after the short downhill. With some steep pitches this will get interesting to see who can contest a sprint at the top or even stay away.
    ,
    DUmoulin is in prime shape but hes going have a fight on his hands to hold on here as by the time they hit the final climb he will have had to probably dug in quiet a bit it might be just a bit too much especially with Movistar and Katusha riding full gas. QUintana backers note todays heat, he has had issues with it previously he mentioned so could do today again. Its hard to oppose Valverde here beating him requires taking an earlier risk or trying something a bit different.

    Some may watch as Valverde is expected to chase. Pozzovivo could be the man to strike on this day he copes well with heat. Brambilla also looks a crazy good price at 200/1 and is worth taking for a chance at the win.

    .25pts Pozzovivo 33/1 bet365
    .2pts Brambilla 200/1 bet365

    2pt Rodriguez to beat Martin 2.05 pinnacle
    2pts Pozzovivo to beat Aru 8/11 ladbrokes
    1pt Bouet to beat Bennett 2.3 pinnacle
    2pts Chaves to beat Roche 1.81 pinnacle
    3pts Sam Sanchez to beat Dumoulin 2.48 pinnacle

  7. Stage 7;

    The heat was something else again today but some riders coped better than most, Chaves doubled up that super impressive. Martin again missed out on victory while DUmoulin put in an amazing fight to hold on for third but lost his jersey to the days winner.
    Stage 7 is a proper mountain top finish so I don’t expect DUmoulin to survive this one.With the heat and many tricky days to come there is a chance a smart break could stay away despite the final climb.This final climb is about 18km at around 5% but its flat in places kicking up in others. The final four km climb well so the winner will have to have the climbing legs switched on.
    Valverde is 5/1 favorite but Movistar can only do so much for him and its making his task quiet tricky.Chaves is 12/1 to complete his hat trick on the day.
    Stage 7 Bets:
    .4pts Pozzovivo 22/1 paddys
    .5pts F.Aru 18/1 paddys
    .1pt Sicard 200.1 bet365
    .
    .75pts Branbilla to beat Navarro 7/4 bet365
    1pt Sanchez to beat Meintjes 11/10 bet365
    1pt Sanchez to beat Schleck 1.84 pinnacle
    4pts Tejay Van Garderen to beat Dumoulin 8/11 ladbrokes

  8. Stage 8:
    Tejay let us down him and Froome where dropped from main pack, DUmoulin hung on to the tail of that. Aru did well but took 3rd with two up the road so that was a little unlucky. So a stage winner missed there Aru loves a longer climb and has a great attack. Brambilla beat Navarro at 7/4. Some bad luck as Sanchez had lost to frank by a place and lost to Meintjes who is flying so the blog is a little behind now.
    This is an easy stage by normal standards, downhill for most of the the day, two bumps in the road late on then the finish. But that climb coming twice might be enough to shake the sprinters.4.2km at 7.5% is long enough and steep enough to shake many of the riders and the gap to repeat isn’t so long that you could get back on and have time to recover for the repeat. It makes the 2nd time round even harder.Its still 12.5km from the base of the descent to the finish.
    I am going lay Sagan and Degenkolb on this one and Bouhanni if I can get the right price. LL Sanchez is all the talk for this and at 22/1 thats enough for me to chance him finally winning a Vuelta stage. DUmoulin is to my liking right now he is flying and he could see this as a good chance for himself here.
    ,
    .5pts LL Sanchez 22/1 paddys
    .5pts Tom Dumoulin 22/1 paddy
    .2pts Jasper Stuyen 40/1 bet365
    ,
    1pt ROche to beat D.Martin 17/20 ladbrokes
    2pt Stuyen to beat Reynes 4/5 ladbrokes
    1pt LL Sanchez to beat Chavanel 8/13 lads
    5pts Tom Dumoulin to beat Moreno 4/5 betfair

  9. Stage 9:
    So stage 8 was kind to use it gave us a 40/1 winner at Stuyen and we landed the full house on the match bets. Martin left the race which is a pity and another motorbike crash took the news headlines. A mostly flat day tomorrow before passing through some of the tourist hotspots of Spain. The finish is typical Vuelta with some uphill parts. They complete a loop to finish and with just under 4km to go they hit the finishing climb. It gets pretty steep in parts so will again only suit some of the lighter types as it is over 3km mostly at 10% and more.
    I will top up a pt on each at the bracket prices as oddschecker works now
    ,
    .6pts Daniel Moreno 15/1 bet365 (16/1)
    .4pts Meintjes 40/1 ladbrokes (50/1 boyles)
    .2pts Nieve 50/1 bet365, ladbrokes (66/1 boyles)
    ,

    .5ptsBouet to beatVerona 11/8 bet365
    .5pts Moreno to beat Roche 6/4 bet365 (.5pts 2.76 pinnacle)
    .75pts Rodriguez to beat valverde evens bet365 .25pts (2.16 pinn)
    1.5ptsNieve to beat Landa 4/5 ladbrokes (.5pts 4/5 lads)
    .5pts Sanchez Sam to beat Dumoulin 6/4 bet365 (.25pt 2.83 pinnacle)
    3pts Brambilla to beat De Clercq evens ladbrokes (1pts evens ladbrokes)

  10. Stage 10:
    Tom DUmoulin won the stage nipping Froome and it was amazing it really was. Brambilla lost by a place with was a pity the next bet match bet was easy pickings as Nieve was in the main pack while Landa fell back big time ahead of his Sky move. This stage has been penciled in as a sprint day or a break away. The late climb and descent has me thinking we get a suprise winner for this one so its small stakes fare from me.
    Names like Terpstra and Hansen are of course near the top of the market.

    .1pt Stephen Cummings 66/1 ladbrokes
    .1pt Daniel Bennatti 100/1 paddys

    .75pts DUmoulin to beat Valverde 5/6 bet365
    .75pts Aru to beat Majka 11/10 bet365

  11. Stage 11:
    Dumoulin going strong 14/1 for overall still seems very optimistic from what we know of cycling. Spilt the deck on stage 10 as a different MTN rider took the spoils. Stage 11 should get interesting with a true test of climbing off a race day.
    ,
    This stage is short at 138km but its looking at about 5,000 metres of climbing which means this is never flat always up or down often at sheepish gradients. Borrowing a style from golf this is a course designed by Rodriguez. The climbs are his style less than 10km but on the steep side. The final climb is nearly 9km at around 9% that is something seriously sapping after the hard day
    ,
    Moving from the south the riders get some rain and cool temps in Andorra. DUmoulin might actually do well here steep hasn’t been an issue for him so far and he should handle the rain, its going be hard for his team to chase and will other teams do there part. A brave descender in the break may win the day here. I like the chances a break could win but it won’t be a run of a mill rider who does so if it happens that way.
    ,
    So with that in mind I have gone for a double trio of outsiders. Sicard is a man who rides these roads alot and he isnt that bad this season to rule him out. Arroyo surely has one big stage in him it could be here. Brambilla is stage hunting he has looked very good he could strike here. De Clercq has tailed off a little but the team is playing for stage wins now expect at least two lotto in the break so thats why Monfort 300/1 looks serious he is enough off GC to not be chase as is Zoidl.
    ,
    .2pts ROmain Sicard 125/1 boyles
    .2pts David Arroyo 150/1 boyles
    .15pts G.Brambilla 150/1 bet365
    .1pt Bart De Clercq 150/1 boyles
    .1pt M.Monfort 300/1 bet365
    .1pt R.Zoidl 300/1 bet365

    Dumoulin looks a very nice price to keep outclassing Chavez.
    1.5pts Brambilla to beat De Clercq 2.67 pinnacle
    2pts Aru to beat Rodriguez 1.69 pinnacle
    2pts Zoidl to beat ZUbeldia 1.74 pinnacle
    4pts DUmoulin to beat Chavez 6/4 bet365
    .5pts Majka to beat Valverde 4/7 bet365
    1pt Torres to beat Schleck 1.77 pinn
    1pt Landa to beat Schleck 8/13 paddys
    .75s Arroyo to beat Rossetto 2.4 pinn

  12. Stage 12:
    Oh stage 11 you where a harsh mistress. It kicked off early climbing from the start does that. Sicard was out early and was in days break as a result, Landa won from it refusing to sit up for Aru as he should. The main contenders fought it out on the days last climb, it hurt me as Dumoulin came in on Chaves wheel not trying to go past, so close yet so bloody far. Otherwise brambilla won his match bet as did Aru, Majka, Torres and Landa. So we came out just a little down in tne end. Landa looks steal in hindsight but worry was if he worked on the front for aru instead. Really the bigger bet was in Torres.
    ,
    Onto stage 12 and the riders will be pretty sapped from the stage before.How good was Boswell by way on stage 11. The team title which ties in it a few bob is truely up for grabs now as well between the big 4 of SKy,Astana,Movistar and Katusha so thats an interesting side race. Also Dumoulin despite losing time has gone in for odds. As I mentioned the shorter steeper stuff is actually to his liking, wait for a longer climb to see can we proclaim a new king. Losing red is a blessing he was so isolated today for 40km that it will do him good.
    ,
    CLimbing early but the later part is quiet flat but the last km sees a slight rise. Dumoulin might want giant to hold back for him a little so wonder how much is done for Degenkolb the break again has a chance today. Its a finely balanced stage as the GC men take a breath after the killer day before. At 5/4 I am not backing Degenkolb here. Instead I am opting for the super strong Drucker. Apart from that who goes for a break your guess is as good as mine.
    ,
    .25pts Dempy Drucker 22/1 paddys
    1.25pts Drucker to beat SBaragali evens bet365
    1.5pts Drucker to beat Bennati8/15 lads
    1pt V Der Stande to beat Rojas evens bet365
    1.5pts Nieve to beat Sicard 11/10 bet365p

  13. Stage 13:
    Unlucky 13 is on way but on stage 12 it was a funny day, Van Poppel proved strongest in a really fractured sprint. All 4 match bets won so much for small stakes but happy to be in profit once again the vuelta isn’t going so badly.
    Stage 13 is a middle 173km day. The 3 climbs listed are 8.4km at 3.6%., 9.2km at 5.2%. ,13.9km at 2.6%. The middle one should blow out any chances for the sprinters and then the long steady one ensure they don’t get back on. The break has a prime chance the flattish finish means GC will wait and see with Astana who will let the right break go ahead. The finish has an uphill kick before the finish meaning we should look for break candidates with something smart about them for a hill finish of sorts.
    Hansen is below 20/1 thats insane really in my view its been long year for him to then beat off some strong challenges, 2nd fav how im unsure. Terpstra and Gonalves are more likely but still below 20/1 mark. Degenkolb is 10/1 which reflects the tricky task he has ahead I don’t think he has it in him. De Marchi also looks far too short.
    Stage 13 winner:
    I will trawl through but most I liked where 50/1 or below which i couldnt take needed the break but two below stand out for now.
    .15pts Matteo Cattaneo 200/1 bet365
    .15pts Kristin Durasek 150/1 ladbrokes
    .2pts Peter Serry 50/1 bet365
    ,
    1.25pts Oliviera to beat Hansen evens bet365
    1.5pts Dumoulin to beat Valverde 8/13 bet365
    1.25pts Serry to beat Montaguti 5/6 bet365

  14. Stage 14:
    Right team wrong rider as match Nelson Oliviera came good but won also overall 50/1 I had some trades that should traded but liquidity has been an issue. Onto stage 14 now of La Vuelta. This ones long its 215km a pretty long test this late in the season. 3 climbs on the day and they dip into lowlands before taking two climbs back up to near 2,000m. Its not an overly hard stage so it should be well controlled a late attack to go for stage win.
    But there is some tricky climbing to be had and it might put some in trouble. The final climb is quiet long and steady enough climbing wise. I mentioned Dumoulin would do well on short steep climbs as he copes well but long and steady might just be ok for him to find tempo as well. Aru will be keen here he knows Dumoulin is too close right now.
    ,
    Jury is out on if GC takes it or a good rider able to get in break. It is still limited in who could win this from a break. Majka is riding strong now this could suit him he has a great stage winning attack and he is a much bigger price with decent stuff on exchange for him. Nieve also looks a little big to do something here. Price wise thats what stands out for me.
    .
    Stage 14 bets:
    1pt R.Majka 12.5 Betfair (10/1 bet365)
    .1pt M.Nieve 48 Betfair
    ,
    1pt Moreno to beat Valverde 2.04 pinnacle
    1pt De Clercq to beat Jeandezboz 2.27 pinn
    1.25pts De Clercq to beat Ellisonde 4/6 ladbrokes
    2pts DUmoulin to beat Chaves 5/4 bet365 (2.24 pinn)
    2.5pts Rosa to beat Landa 2.67 pinnacle
    1.25pts Brambilla to beat Sicard 4/5 lads (1.81 pinnacle)
    1.25pts Henao to beat Roche evens bet365

  15. Stage 15:
    Disaster on stage 15 as the break was giving a huge leash, it wasn’t that strong but it just wasn’t chase for much of day. Quintana proved strongest in the end of the non break candidates. The match bets hurt Moreno lost by a place, De Clercq had be guided home by Monfort just losing to ellisonde. Dumoulin had a bad day, Landa committed to Aru. Branbilla had a poor day in the saddle to falling out of top 10 overall. Henao did beat Roche however.
    So stage is a similar style stage and like 14 the break could be a worry if Movistar are in it as they are on of best to chase it. Climbing in latter half of stage two categorized, but two other ones most be climbed too that are shorter so not listed. THe first climb a cat 2 is very up and down with plenty flat and downhill spots meaning it does really kick up in places, its bit far out to mix things up but Dumoulin will hope the pace is not too high expect Astana to try something here to test riders.
    ,
    The Final climb 12.7 km long has an average gradient of 7.9 % this should get interesting with the riders loving the cooler climate we have seen from early in the race. it starts steep so expect the racing to begin quiet early. the middle of the climb suits the diesel pace setters with 6km of pretty constant gradient this might encourage someone to guy before this then set tempo when. away.Then for the final 2km or so we steep gradients hitting into double figures this is a sapping finish. Dumoulin will be happy the early parts won’t suit him but a steady middle with a steep finish is right up his street to limit his time losses to Aru and others.
    ,
    Strong feeling the break could once again take this away, but in end yesterdays break only won by 1.29 the final climb really sucked it in. A break of more than 5 would be needed. It won’t be as easy this time round but it could happen and it likely is the 50:50 some have discussed. A star match bet is close run thing between Bouet and Navarro with the spainard suffering a little right now.

    .3pts R.Majka 18/1 bet365
    .1pt G.Brambilla 125/1 paddys (250 betfair)
    .1pt K.DUrasek 125/1 sportsbook
    .1pt D.Arroyo 150/1 ladbrokes
    .1pt M.Bouet 300 betfair (250/1 bet365)

    2pts Arroyo to beat Cardoso 2.39 pinnacle
    1.5pts Brambilla to beat De Clercq 2.63 pinnacle
    1pt Brambilla to beat Sciard 11/8 ladbrokes
    1.5pts Aru to beat Rodriguez 7/10 hills (1.71 pinnacle)
    2pt Monfort to beat Visconti 2.07 pinnacle
    3pt Bouet to beat Navarro 4/6 bet365
    1pt Rosa to beat Landa 3.81 pinn
    1pt Henao to beat Roche 1.73 pinn
    1pt Pozzovivo to beat Chaves 13/8 bet365
    2pt Nieve to beat Moreno 8/13 hills

  16. Stage 16:
    So the Vuelta is coming to its climax Sunday proved sapping and Dumoulin did let go of some time again but has been brilliant in limiting his losses, with rodriguez and Aru watching each other a little he should be given a little more breathing room than he has been getting. Majka was really conserative today he hugged Arus well unwilling to try go get Rodriguez playing his cards and saving energy for a better battle. It was a pity as he seemed to have something left at the line. How good was Moreno to come in 3rd ahead of both Quintana and Aru. The match bets where middle of road but Bouet did take Navarro in our 3pt bet.
    ,
    Onto stage 16 a 3rd day in a row in the mountains of Northern Spain in cool climates the riders are riding to there best efforts. Fussier fans will be delighted with such an open GC playing itself out as we enter the final week. This has been dubbed the queen day by the organisers and as a result they have categorized 7 climbs on the day. Ignore the first four they are spread out, The real business will happen from 3 out as the final three climbs come quiet close together starting at 45km to go. 3.4km at a steep 9.7% will be big sap of legs and we could see the bunch quiet small at that stage.
    Katusha and Astana will control both looking quiet strong, Movistar have less reason to do so. The 2nd last climb is even longer and just as steep 9.3km at just over 9% with sections well in the double figures that change up may hurt the likes of Dumoulin who enjoys being able to set rhythm and not constant change of gradient it eases off for final km so imagine how much it ramps up before that.
    ,
    The final climb is a brute for the riders its going be mostly every man for himself here as drafting will offer little benefit. The climb is under 7km long but at 11% and more it will feel really long to the riders. On top of that the final 500m or so are super steep at 15% and more. The stage is so hard the break might have chance if one rider in it actually has found some GC class of legs. Rodriguez might pay a little for today and have a little less in the tank while QUintana might take a risk his price is not for me instead Majka who got a nice tow off Aru before speeding past. I left the break away outsiders as price too tight on likes of Atapuma and Dombrowski.
    ,
    stage 16 bets:
    .5pts R.Majka 9/1 bet365
    .2pts Chaves 40/1 bet365

    1pt Brambilla to beat Sicard 1.69 pinnacle
    2pts Chaves to beat Moreno 6/5 hills (2.2 pinn)
    1pt Majka to beat Quintana 1.9 pinn

  17. Stage 17:
    ,

    Stage 16 saw the one day return of Frank Schleck who took overall victory. Aru and Rodriguez fought it out but only gained half a minute on time trial expert Dumoulin. After the race I commented on twitter with others that the near 2/1 prices on Dumoulin where far too generous and that this was now his race to lose (i.e I had him about 2.0-2.2 in the prices. I took some and eventually he did move in and now is about that 2.2 price.
    In this time trial its just under 40km, most are saying he should take 3 second a km from Rodriguez and Aru, he took quiet bit of Majka in Suisse and Majka is half decent
    ,
    I think we are looking at 7seconds per 2km. which should see him gain over the 2 minutes (he needs 1min 52) gaining a 15 second cushion would be great, I mountain stages left are more to his liking and he should be able to hang in, his real dream would be for only Aru or Rodriguez to be a threat after the time trial rather than both. His team must also step up to the mark although they have good experience controlling on the less climbing days with Degenkolb who I am sure will now give himself to the cause.
    ,
    The time trial is quiet flat and that plays to Dumoulin and other time trial experts left in race.He might not trash this as he usually can but he is still an expert at this test and expect him to be just a little off his peak showings like at the worlds. I prefer Kiriyenka to Dumoulin here at the prices but LL Sanchez is way bigger than those two so has to be called on here. I may top up but for now just minor bets and hope Dumoulin does the job well.

    .3pts LL Sanchez 14/1 paddys
    2pt Majka to beat Valverde 4/9 ladbrokes, hills
    1.5pts Bodnar to beat Terpstra 8/13 hills

  18. Stage 18:
    Dumoulin killed the time trial today, but Aru was also very impressive and trails by just the three seconds. Bodnar was a good 2nd in the end but over a minute off the best of Dumoulin.The race gets interesting now there are 3 days left for Dumoulin to stage assuming a truce is called on Sunday which may not happen if the gap is still in the region of 3 seconds. THe mountain top finishes however are over. Nothing crazy on Stage 18 with 3 climbs categorized and a late cat 1 climb.
    ,
    The cat 1 isn’t crazy with a gradient under 6% and at just over 8km with no steep pitches its very much one DUmoulin should enjoy. 13km from the top to the finish could lead to attacks but Aru and Rodriguez not exactly best suited to those sort of things.Expect degenkolb to get involved in trying to get over the top with Dumoulin.
    ,
    Giant will let anyone in break within reason, and there chase is not going be too hard either, Astana may hae to decide to take over if they want to worry DUmoulin. Giant will always rely on teams protecting there top 10 spots to keep things in check while Movistar and Sky might be fighting each other with the team ranking so close. Movistar closed the gap to just over a minute now. If Sky are in the break Movistar will be too. Neither of them are worried about helping Dumoulin so will play the card that works for them.
    ,
    10/1 the field of course here and I would lay Valverde at the 11/1 on offer insanely low odds on this day. Movistar dominate the top 3 in the market reflecting there interest in doing well here. The market is really tight for this one but two men at 150/1 are good enough to get involved. While Monfort is 200/1.
    ,
    Bets:
    .15pt Stephen Cummings 150/1 paddys. Durasek and Duarte can also be got at those odds.
    .1pt Pieter Serry 150/1 paddys
    ,
    2pt Bouet to beat Navarro 1.78 pinn
    2.5pts Meintjes to beat Pozzovivo 1.94 pinn
    1.5pts Roche to beat Henao 2.1 pinnacle

  19. Stage 19:
    How good was Dumoulin today, and Degenkolb provied what a weak team Giant does have for Mountains by being the last man for his team mate. Craddock was a huge let down as his last man. Serry was in the break but didn’t go with Roche who had his day in the sun, 2 from 3 on the match bets. Meintjes too tired to outsprint pozz.
    ,
    2 climbs before a short uphill finish. Dumoulin will watch Aru all day once again. The final cat 2 climb is shorter and shallower than yesterday so it would take something special to pop Dumoulin in my view. The finish is a cobbled climb (advantage DUmoulin) which means seated power will be important. Its just over a km with 5% so nothing crazy. You may remember Deignan beating Kreuziger here for a stage win. This is Dumoulins time to shine so the team will try keep it together expect them to be picky about who they let in the break. Movistar might be past carrying about Dumoulin and play for the stage win for Valverde. With that in mind Dumoulin could push Valverde close and is 5 tiems the price. Plaza and Moser are 50s so just tight enough and nothing else can take my eye as enough value.

    .2pts TOm Dumoulin 50/1 paddys
    2pts QUintna to beat Nieve 2.1 pinnacle
    1.5pts Simon to beat Van Der Sande 2.11 pinnacle
    2pts Valverde to beat Rodriguez 8/15 ladbrokes
    ,

  20. Stage 20:
    Dumoulin did win the battle from the gc back and took 3 seconds on Aru in the process. It looks like my small bet on Brambilla for top 10 at 6/1 has now failed as he tailed off in the 3rd week. A few from the break pushed into the top 20 from gaining nearly 15 minutes today.
    So onto stage 20 Dumoulin is in red he now has 6 seconds and his legs have been good and Aru took a tumble today and that arm sling from LL Sanchez probably should cost him 10-20 seconds but I am not sure they will punish it with more than a fine.
    ,
    Again Giant have no interest in stage wins etc, they want keep Dumoulin safe and stop anyone withing 20 minutes from going into the break. Other teams have been keen to pitch in and get involved in fear of losing some top 10 spots. Its 4 climbs on the day and the finish is downhill with a very short flat spot at the bottom. on the descents Dumoulin has looked superior to Aru each time. Degenkolb has been an awesome helper to Dumoulin digging in the past two days and Craddock stepped up Friday and hopefully does Saturday.
    ,
    The opening climb is10.6km at 6.3%. 11.4km at 5.4% on the 2nd climb of day is a little easier on the legs and by now its interesting see how the break gets away. Then its 9.8km at 6.7%..
    The final climb is 10km at 5.6%, the easiest of the day really and thats plays to Dumoulin hands and also most the climbs are pretty regular which suits too. Astana likely try something two climbs out due to the last climb being so suited to him. The final climb only really gets hard at the top and with the descent to follow its going be hard to gap that way. There is a final kick in the last km but they should punch it carrying the speed from the downhill.
    ,
    Movistar and Astana are likely to pace set for alot of day, both have an interest in keeping a break from winning the day out.
    ,
    1pt Alejandro Valverde 5/1 hills
    .25pts Tom Dumoulin 25/1 bet365, boylesports
    ,
    3pts Rodriguez to beat Aru 5/6 hills

  21. Stage 21:
    The sole match bet won on the day, the stage bets where poor and the break won, with Plaza having a career season. to finish a 100km day before the sprint in Madrid. So few sprinters left has meant Degenkolb is odds on but thats not for me. Instead a small bet on BMc nailing this for drucket
    ,
    .3pts jP Drucker 20/1 bet365

    no major match bets to point out.

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