La Vuelta – King of the Mountains Pick

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If you take a close look at this classification,you will see that an overall contender doesn’t win it.

The reason behind this is the lack of double points on mountaintop finishes.

For 2 consecutive years 63 points has won the jersey,Simon Clarke in 2012 and David Moncoutie in 2011.

In 2012,Joaquim Rodriguez finished 3rd with 36 points.He was the closest of the GC riders.

In 2011,Juan Jose Cobo(winner of GC) finished in 3rd with 42 points.

In 2010,Moncoutie won with 51 points and Ezequiel Mosquera(2nd in GC) was 3rd with 36 points.

The GC riders don’t win this jersey!

Quite why the bookies have Rodriguez,Valverde and Nibali favourites is beyond me.

Moncoutie won the jersey 4 years running,during that spell he finished 8th,27th,14th and 37th in the GC.

The 2013 route has a lot of mountains!

We have 2 Especial finishes(15 points for a win) and 6 cat 1 finishes(10 points for a win).

This will increase the chances of a GC rider contending,but not enough.

A GC rider doesn’t usually dominate the Vuelta and win all these stages,they are usually spread out,and some of these stages will finish in a breakaway win.

During the stages there are 6 cat 2 climbs,6 cat 1 climbs and 1 Especial climb and the Alberto Fernadez(the highest climb) which nets 25 points.

The winner of the jersey will probably be the 1st over this climb.If we take 60 points as a winning total,they then require 35 more points,which is very achievable given the climbs that feature during stages.

Stage 15 has 4 cat 1 climbs,and 3 of them will be won by a break.Get over those 1st and that’s 30 points.

My selection is Amets Txurruka of Caja Rural.He is a breakaway specialist that climbs extremely well.

This is his 1st season since moving from Euskaltel and he is doing very well.

He won the mountains classification at the Tour of the Basque Country,was in numerous breaks at the Giro del Trentino,finished 3rd in the mountains classification at the Tour of Norway and won the mountains jersey at the Vuelta a Burgos.

He was quoted in an interview as saying he wouldn’t rule out going for the jersey at the Vuelta,and that’s good enough for me!

I have placed a bet on him at 15/1 each-way and you can still get him at 12/1,If you don’t like him then take a look at the other non GC riders.

His team will also want as much coverage as possible,so he will hopefully be ordered to go for this jersey!


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