Stage 15 Preview
So Stage 14 did not go as expected it was in the lap of the gods as the rain expected for part of the day was even worse than we thought it would be and it was cold too. A mega climb stuck in the middle did not help matters and lots of riders suffered. Some fought on to complete others gave in and went to sit in their team cars. In the end breakaway man Ratto took the win for Ligugas as his team leader Basso pulled out suffering with the cold. The race is now down to a 160 riders last in today was Kenny Elissonde who fought hard to stay within the limits.
|DNS||Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge|
|DNS||Sam Bewley (NZl) Orica-GreenEdge|
|DNF||Steve Chainel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|DNF||Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano|
|DNF||Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Belkin Pro Cycling Team|
|DNF||Ivan Basso (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling|
|DNF||Cyril Bessy (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits|
|DNF||Michel Kreder (Ned) Garmin-Sharp|
|DNF||Nick Nuyens (Bel) Garmin-Sharp|
|DNF||Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto Belisol|
|DNF||Jurgen Van De Walle (Bel) Lotto Belisol|
|DNF||Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol|
|DNF||Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack Leopard|
|DNF||Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Team Saxo-Tinkoff|
|DNF||Wouter Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team|
|DNF||Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team|
So the list was pretty long most notable in the list were Kreuziger, Zubledia and of course top 10 rider Basso. Majka had a horrible day he lost 23mins on the day to the winner as he dropped out of the top 20 riders. Uran himself lost over 22minutes to the stage winner. Betancur tarted show little shape as he came in 54th on the day. It was nice to see Arroyo fighting while Euskatel had 3 men do well and might threaten the team table now.
So Stage 15 will give the riders even more of a test, its got more climbing and its got them with an even longer day in the saddle too. In all their is 4 climbs on the day all considered Cat 1. In Andorra they climb the Puerto del Canto then the Puerto de la Bonalgua the highest point for day at over 2000 metres. At this point their has been nearly climbing all day then their is a super fast 69km from here as they pass into France. They climb the Porte de Bales first before heading down were they will climb the Col de Peyresourde which they got over top t conquer the Peyragudes short uphill finish. I did this climb from the west before and found it pretty manageable I am not aware of this extra hidden climb they will do at the end.
The open climb of Del Canto is long at just over 24km. the first 5km are difficult at 6-10% but then it eases up with some flat spots so I expect that it might not blow it apart that early. The 2nd climb is another long one at 20km the average is just o
ver 5-6% as their is a slight downhill a third up the climb which is then steep but otherwise its a fair climb. The 2nd last climb of De Bales really kicks of 9km in and the final 5km are much more difficult at near the 10% most the way up. With conditions horrible it wont be nice by time they reach the top. If I was planning ruling out the 2nd climb of day would be a good idea. The final climb of Peyresourde has some little steep ramps but is generally consistent. Over top they go down for short time before a finish which has little steep kick in it which any late attacks should come on.
The good news from the forecast is that most the rain should come late in day and that it should be a little warmer but its such a long day that I know i would rather be in a break for day working hard and keeping warm. Its going be one hell of a test and my hope is we might get to see some of it as like Stage 14 pictures are under threat.
Both Horner and Nibali will be fancied here as both went well today leaving the pack behind as they fought for the second place and watched other as they most likely pair to push for the red jersey. Sanchez is now coming good for the race all be it in the final week of racing. Rodriguez has Valverde and may well try crack him again tomorrow. Pinot and Pozzovivo were the best of the rest holding solid. It will take a huge effort to repeat it all again today. Nibali like in the Giro looks strong he got away from Horner at the finish and theirs no reason he won’t go and do it again. Sanchez is riding well right now getting stronger we all know his talent for winning stages and he could well attack on the downhill before the finish. Pinot is an outside shout the way he handled today he could well show up again Sunday.
.2pts Nibali 8/1 various (11.0 betfair)
.2pts S.Sanchez 20/1 hills (24.0 betfair)
.1pt T.Pinot 66/1 hills (70.0 betfair)
1pt Rodriguez to beat Valverde 2.73 pinnacle
2ptsPinot to beat Pozzovivo 4/6 ladbrokes, hills
5pts Sam Sanchez to beat Roche 1.45 888sport
2pts Majka to beat Uran 1.85 888sport, hills
1pt Arroyo to beat Konig 2.49 pinnacle
1.5pts Moreno to beat Kangert 1.95 pinnacle
2pts Nerz to beat Scarponi 1.81 pinnacle
2pts Nibali to beat Horner 1.72 888sport