Stage 8 Preview
Stage 7 again proved one for a late attack to go and grab Gilbert and Stybar too quality riders broke away from a hesitant pack. Stybar played the better card holding off on the wheels and it just paid off as he held off the world champion Gilbert by the width of his wheel. Moving into stage 8 its far from what we have seen the last 3 days of racing. The sprint for 3rd was for the field to decide. And our match bets proved strong with 3 out 3 with the stakes up higher
Stage 8 is pretty flat but the finish as with many Vuelta stages of late is the test. The riders will climb from sea level to the 980 metres at the top of the finish. Cross winds are on the menu and their will be time pressure on the main contenders and on lesser riders to give this break a a chance. Blancas is 14.5 km towards the top with an average gradient of 6.6 %. The first couple of kilometres are very steep with parts over 12 %. . The last 8 km will be testing however, here with a steady gradient of 7-8 %, illness
Valverde is the market leader for this stage but really this could be any ones to take as the riders make the transition.The run in while not steep is still climbing and a climber off the radar could sneak their name into the winners spot. One thing is for sure for the riders losing time here will be very costly to their hopes of an overall win.
Konig won a stage like this in the states. He showed in stage won by Roche he can get away and theirs no way Nibali would commit to chasing him down should he try go. He was a huge 66/1 overnight but is still 50/1 even this morning. My other pick is Mollema he broke his duck with a big win this season attacking in way that may suit this stage. He is showing ambition here to do well. Dan Martin backers should hold fire he has severe road rash from his crash on Friday.
I had also noted from yesterdays changes the route changes that were made. Some of the riskier parts of the run were altered on the day of the race not a bad move for safety if a bit annoying when predicting a winner. On Moreno he was let away early in this so he could pursue some of his ambitions but at end of day he is the right hand man for Rodriguez so he may well have his chances limited from the 2nd week on.
.2pts Leopold Konig 66/1 paddys (50/1 betvictor)
.1pt Bauke Mollema 33/1 various
1.5pts Uran to beat Moreno 2.22 pinnacle
3pt Barguil to beat Santaromita 29/20 hills
2pts Mollema to beat Roche 8/11 ladbrokes
2pts Konig to beat Pinot 2.23 pinnacle