At last we hit the hills!
The climbs are:
2.Cote de Halembaye
3.Cote de Foret – 3.1km at 5.5%
4.Cote de Banneux – 1.7km at 3.8%
5.Cote de La Redoute – 1.7km at 9.5%
6.Cote de Chambralles – 1.6km at 9.2%
7.Cote de Niaster – 2.3km at 6.5%
To put in into context the iconic Mur de Huy(La Flèche Wallonne) is 1.3km at 9.3%,so this climb is slightly longer and harder.
For a rider to succeed here they must have experience of doing well in either Fleche or Leige.
That narrows it down quite considerably.
Philippe Gilbert won both Leige and Fleche in 2011 and and finished 7th and 15th again this year.This should really be his stage,but his odds are a bit tight for me at 2/1.
Maxim Iglinskiy won Leige in 2012 and finished 21st this year.
Both these riders stand out because of their previous form.
Moreno Moser won the hilly Strade Bianchi this year,so I think he has to be viewed as a serious contender.His odds are more generous,so looks quite an attractive bet.
Belgians usually go well in these types of races,so I had to try and identify another Belgian(already got Gilbert) to do well.I’ve went for Jurgen Roelandts.He has worked hard for Greipel this week,so has good legs.He didn’t ride Leige but finished 3rd in Flanders this year,so good form.His DS had this to say before the Tour started,
“Our second goal is a good general classification of Jürgen Roelandts, with the time trial and arriving at La Redoute will not be evident. The trial is not long. Jürgen If in doing good is he sure can handle and should limit the damage. We are aiming for a place in the top ten in the standings. rides to La Redoute and Grammont are very difficult and there remains considerable shift in the standings. ”
I also have a soft spot for Bob Jungels.He is an excellent young rider.He doesn’t have form in the classics I’ve mentioned but he is from the low countries and climbs well.His initial odds of 125/1 made it impossible for me not to bet!
Iglinksiy 2 points at 15/1
Moser 1 point at 33/1
Roelandts 1 point at 40/1
Jungels 0.5 points e/w at 125/1
Gilbert to beat Chavanel 10 points at 1.474(just under 1/2!)