Stage 2 travels 177.7km from Pontevedra to Baiona.
The final climb is 11km long at an average gradient of 5.6%,with a maximum of 10%.It has a very hard first 5km and then a tough final 1.5km.This will show the climbers that are in form and those that are trying to build towards the final week.This climb will not win or lose the Vuelta for a rider but the main GC contenders won’t want to lose too much time.
It could be a chance for a climber that isn’t a real GC threat,or one that’s in form right now,but will fade during the race.
I’m thinking of a few riders with current form:De Weert(15th in Eneco),LL Sanchez(2nd Tour de l’Ain),Pinot(6th Tour de l’Ain) and Poels(8th Tour de l’Ain).
With a large section on the sea front,we could also see a team trying to create echelons.However,none of the teams seem to have strong enough riders to do so.
I would favour a rider that is in top form right now and will fall away over the 3 weeks.
Maybe Pinot or Ellisonde,Sami Sanchez or even LL Sanchez as the climb isn’t too difficult.I don’t see it being won by a top 3 GC rider,it will probably be a large group coming to the end for a sprint.
The GC riders are all about coming good in the final week of this brutal race,so they shouldn’t have the form to go and win this stage.
Luis Leon Sanchez just won stage 3 of the Tour de l’Ain and finished 2nd overall,he has recent form and makes his way into my picks.
Wout Poels won stage 4 of the same race,a stage that included the climb of the Grand Colombier.I wouldn’t expect him to threaten overall but a stage win is well within his grasp.
Roman Kreuziger finished 3rd at the recent San Sebastian race and seems to have maintained his form from the Tour,but nobody really seems to know who Saxo are riding for,so only a small bet on him.
In my match bets,I’m betting heavily against Betancur.He had the flu in the build-up to the race and lost contact with his team towards the end of stage 1.
If you read the article you see that he even doubts his condition and is here to try and get in shape for the World Championships,both riders I’ve chosen against him will be there at the end of the stage,I doubt he will.
Pozzovivo is the leader of AG2R,and he is riding for a good place on GC.De Gendt did the Tour and finished well down on his team in stage 1,this should be an easy win for the Italian.
Stage win – LL Sanchez 1 point e/w at 66/1
Poels 1 point e/w at 125/1
Kreuziger 0.4 points at 33/1
10 points on Kreuziger v Betancur at 3/5
10 points on Henao v Betancur at 4/9
10 points on Pozzovivo v De Gendt at 4/9
After losing 4 points on stage 1 I need to make up some ground and these bets look perfect for me.
- Pozzovivo hoping for top five overall in Vuelta a España (velonation.com)
- Pinot fired up to recover from Tour disappointment with strong Vuelta a España ride (velonation.com)