La Vuelta – Stage 8 Preview

The riders head down to holiday town!

Screen Shot 2013-08-16 at 22.53.36They travel 166.6km from Jerez de la Frontera to Estepona.As we have a section on the seafront the wind could have an impact on the stage,it is expected to be a cross/cross-head wind on the final climb and the road into the bottom of it.This should help the peloton bring back the break,but could also form echelons in the peloton as the speed will be high as we approach the climb.

Screen Shot 2013-08-16 at 22.55.32The stage is very straight forward until the last 14km,but the GC boys have been resting(not all of them!) since stage 1,so it’s about time they got going.

Screen Shot 2013-08-16 at 22.56.51The climb is 14.5km at an average of 6.6%,so it’s going to hurt some of the riders.

The 1st half varies a lot but the 2nd half sticks to a constant 6-7%,so should suit an Ivan Basso.

You can see the steepest sections of the climb come at the very beginning.If the climb is approached with speed,there could be carnage on the lower slopes and massive time gaps.

It’ll be very interesting to see how Astana approach the race.In the final week contain many tough stages and I’m not sure they’ll want to push their riders too hard in this stage.I have a feeling that the morning break might just make it all the way.All eyes will be on Movistar to see if they hit the front and want the stage,with the bonus seconds available.

My bets are split into 2.If a break stays away then,Amets Txurruka(my man for the KOTM) should be the winner.I’ve backed him at 33/1,he lost around 4 minutes today and is far enough down on GC to be allowed to get in the break.

The opening odds on Nibali were far too generous at 15/1.He has been in a climbing class of his own this season and has looked very strong this week.

Bauke Mollema has also been excellent this week and I’ve backed him at 40/1 each way.If a group of 10 reach the end of the stage,he has a very fast finish.Remember he finished 5th on stage 4 and 6th on stage 3,where he was up against the sprinters.

Dario Cataldo is an interesting rider for this stage.Sky might want to send a rider in the break and he climbs well.He won the brutal stage 16 of the Vuelta in 2012 and performed fairly well in Vuelta a Burgos.He lost some time earlier in the week and is not a threat on GC,so would be allowed to get away.

Recommended bets:

2 points on Nibali at 15/1

1 point e/w on Mollema at 40/1

1 point on Txurruka at 33/1

0.5 points on Cataldo at 250/1

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