Eneco Tour 2014 Preview
Always an interesting race post tour de france we had to the Eneco Tour for some good racing from Belgium. The profile of winners have been to be strong in the time trial but also a good all rounder racer. Stybar was a shock 100/1 win for this very blog last season tipped up as a lively outsider. He fought tooth and nail with Dumoulin with Grivko in 3rd. All riders can handle testing conditions and hills with a solid time trial the same is said of 2012 top 3, sprint classic pedigree is ideal. Over the race the riders will go over 53 official climbs, while its not the Alpes it is a test of a riders all round talents.
Eneco Tour will start off with two flattish days on the Monday easing the riders into the race. Stage 3 then takes in a time trial in an unusual choice of format for the race. At 9.6km the gaps will not be big but those with talent for the shorter tests will do well here and target a stage win here. The 4th stage is then back to a sprint type day of course these days can easily see chances lost as mistakes are very much punished on these narrow roads. Stage 5 looks a belter and anyone should be looking to get to the tv on Friday. The stage as 14 climbs in all. But they go over some twice as they will do a lap at the end. It is a hill top finish with a little flat on the top.
Then we have stage 6. It features 10 different climbs with most of those repeated. It barely has a flat road all day and is going be another testing day. The final climb is quiet short but I expect a pretty limited field at that stage. The final stage 7 looks a demon. The riders go over 17 different climbs in all, with a lap for the finish. The difference last year came on sprint days when Stybar outsmarted Dumoulin but with a change in the lay out of the race Dumoulin could excel. The change in time trial will play to the hands of a polished time trial rider over last years so that is a plus for Dumoulin here. Stybar of course has a very strong supporting guest notable Boonen and Terpstra are both here.
Lars Boom won the cobbled stage in the Tour but how much is in the tank now and we all know he has had the habit of finding a bad day. Is Roelandts the best hope for Lotto its hard to see who else they have to challenge. We also see Dennis turn out for BMC after his mid season switch both Gilbert and Van Avermaet will want to do well here. The market has Cancellara to lead Trek but by his high standards 2014 has been very much a failure for him. It isn’t a race he has podiumed in before and I am sure it really suits him all that well these days. Sagan is here for cannondale and we know how good he can be and a short sprint might help his chances. But with other things on his mind and coming off a Tour he might lack the cutting edge.
Sky have a duel threat of past winner Boasssen Hagen but also commonwealth champion Thomas who is looking in top shape right now. Grivko is back with Astana here again, and they have plenty talent for the easier days. Movistar have Ivan Gutierrez who has enjoyed success here a few years ago but isn’t quiet the same level now. I will be back with a detail of bets for now I had added in Tom Dumoulin at 6/1+ but that price is quickly gone so for the blog I will review my suggested bets
Eneco Tour 2014 Bets:
1.25pts Tom Dumoulin 6/1 william hill
.5pts Geraint Thomas 14/1 hills
3pts Thomas to beat Boom 19/20 hills
1pt Keukeleire to beat Breschel 11/10 bet365