La Vuelta – Stage 9 Preview

Screen Shot 2013-08-16 at 23.00.38The riders head inland from Antequera to Valdepenas de Jaen.Again it’s quite a short stage at 163.7km.

Screen Shot 2013-08-16 at 23.01.57Another tough day,with lots of uphill kilometres.The 2nd cat climb will take care of the pure sprinters and we have another uphill finish.The cat 2 climb is 6.2km at 5.8%.

Screen Shot 2013-08-16 at 23.04.25The finishing climb is brutal and is becoming a favourite of the Vuelta,despite only being used 3 times before.

In 2010 Igor Anton won,with Nibali 2nd,Velits 3rd and Rodriguez 4th.

In 2011 Rodriguez won with Poels 2nd,Moreno 3rd,Mollema 4th and Nibali was down in 11th.

It wasn’t used in the 2012 Vuelta.

The final 1km has an average of 10%,with sections of 25-30%.

We can expect the usual candidates to be present again.Rodriguez and Moreno are brilliant on this climb and it was the attack of Moreno that helped Rodriguez win in 2011.I wonder who will be Katusha’s main man in the stage.

Nibali has performed well on this climb before and it’ll be very interesting to see how he goes.

Igor Anton was looking good in stage 8 and he won here in 2010.

Gilbert is getting close to his top form and this climb is the Muur of Spain.As we know Gilbert is brilliant on this type of finish and I think he’ll end the curse of the rainbow jersey and take his 1st win of the season.

I have discounted Poels(2nd in 2011) as he is looking out of shape and Mollema(4th in 2011) as he lost lots of ground today.If Poels has long odds I may be tempted to have a little bet on him.

Could the in-form Stybar have a say in the stage too?The cyclocross King won’t be afraid of the steep gradient involved in this final climb.

Recommended bets:

Gilbert – 1 point e/w at 22/1

Anton – 1 point at 18/1

Stybar – 1 point e/w at 33/1

Both Rodriguez and Moreno have very short odds,so I might wait and see if they lengthen.


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