Stage 14 Preview
Stage 14 wasn’t my finest hour as an iffy friday cam to light. The break took a long time to form but when it did get away it was pretty strong and it looked destined to contain the winner once they got over 3 minutes. Some teams chased including a strong chase by FDJ but it just didn’t flow as teams failed to pitch in and give the chase an even pace. Barguil the talented Argos rider is quickly putting his name up their. His strong attack got him away and he was good enough up the hill to keep Mollema and Nocentini from catching him in behind. It seems the group were afraid to work too much for Nocentini and that allowed Barguil to get away.
So the Stage 14 test for Friday is a much more testing kettle of fish and will be very difficult for the riders who are starting to feel the race in the legs the time cut could well come in to play here. The first 39km are really fast a downhill to the base of the really long Port De Envalira at 2,410m having been at 680 metres at the base. The climb has a bit of climbing before it as you enter Andorra your climbing and then you hit the climb signalled by the increased steepness. This climb alone should more than shread the field before the also take on the easier pair of cat 2 climbs and then they take on the final climb of Collada De La Gaillina in Andorra. The Port de Envalira the highest point of this years Vuelta is 26Km at 5.2% with 15% max. Collada de la Gallina is 7.2Km at 8% with 15% in parts and the steeper parts are the top of the climb it will be really interesting..
Riders will have to deal with forecast rains which are likely to make it an even nastier day in the saddle than it needed to be. The first thing that struck my mind was opposing Pinot who will not b to happy in the conditions if it rains he will be spending time in the off season getting over his descending fears. With a hard weekend planned of racing I really don’t see much happened from the main contenders till the final km the break may well have a chance if their climbing is good enough. Will Saxo use their two card threat and play Majka or Roche here to go for stag win. Horner was the king of climbing on last testing stage but watch out Pozzovivo after his magical time trial on Wednesday. Basso has been impressed me and a day like this could well play to his climbing endurance strength.
If Basso can ensure this is raced hard he could well come into play yes he doesn’t have the big kicks but he is a real grinder who could crack the othrs. Pozzovivo is a man who can kick away and like Horner they other day he could well blow this field away if repeating the level shown in the time trial. Majka of Saxo looks a bit over priced considering his placing so far.
.2pts Ivan Basso 20/1 various
.2pts Pozzovivo 20/1 betvictor
.1pts Majka 66/1 various
3pts Pozzovivo to beat Roche 1.78 pinnacle
5pts Basso to beat Pinot 4/9 hills
1pt Basso to beat Valverde 2.55 888sport
1pt Moreno to beat Sanchez 8/5 bet365, hiills
2pts Majka to bat Anton 1.833 pinnacle
2pts D.Nerz to beat Elissonde 1.83 pinnacle