La Vuelta – King of the Mountains Update

Well,it’s been very quiet in this classification so far in the race.

There has been a lack of days with multiple climbs and we haven’t really seen any of the riders lay claim to the jersey.In fact,with the mountaintop finishes we have seen the GC riders dominate.The current standings are:

1.Horner – 18 points

2.Roche – 15 points

3.Konig – 12 points

4.Moreno – 12 points

5.Edet – 11 points

6.Ulissi – 10 points

7.Nibali – 10 points

8.Valverde – 9 points

9.Marczynski – 6 points

10.Ancona – 5 points

My pick,Amets Txurruka,hasn’t picked up a single point yet but don’t worry!

Lets take a look at the upcoming stages:

Stage 13 – 1 cat 3 and 1 cat 1

Stage 14 – An Especial climb(highest climb in the race),2 cat 2s and finishing on a cat 1

Stage 15 – 3 cat 1s and finishes on a cat 1

Stage 16 – 1 cat 3,1 cat 2 and finishes on a cat 1

Stage 17 – 2 cat 3s

Stage 18 – 3 cat 3s,1 cat 2 and finishes on a cat 1

Stage 19 – 2 cat 3s and finishes on a cat 2

Stage 20 – 1 cat 3,1 cat 2,1 cat 1 and finishes on an especial.

I spoke before the tour about 60 points being enough to win the jersey.The GC riders will only be in contention to take points on the finishes,not during the race.Breakaways will win some of these stages,at least 2 I think.We can discount stage 19 as the points for the cat 2 finish aren’t great,that leaves 5 mountaintop finishes and I think the GC riders will win 3 of these.Stage 20 will be one of them and with it 15 points.Remember you get 15 for the especial climb but 25 points for the highest climb of the race which comes on stage 14 and will be taken by a break.

After stage 14,stage 15 has 36 points on offer for the break.If a rider takes the top points on both these stages they will win the jersey.Horner is on 18 points,will he win another 3/4 stages to get to 60 points? ….. not a chance!

The bookies still have the GC riders as favourites and that’s a big mistake.

My man Txurruka is still more than capable of doing it and I have faith in him,but I’ve taken a look at a few other riders.

Nicolas Edet is sitting 5th in the classification with 11 points.He won 5 points in a break on stage 5 and was very clever on stage 9.As the peloton approached the cat 2 climb he nipped out and claimed 3 points.This was a clear indication that he is going for the polka dot jersey.

He finished 5th in the 2013 Tour of Turkey and 17th in Vuelta a Burgos.He also won the mountains jersey in Rhone-Alpes Isere Tour.The boy can climb.

The bookies have been sleeping though and I’ve had to contact them and request odds for him.Bet365 gave me 15/1,which was very poor and bet Victor 25/1.I was expecting more but decided to have a bet at these odds.Boylesports had the cheek to offer 10/1,4th favourite.If you haven’t quoted him,how can you possibly justify making hime 4th favourite?

Others that could go for the jersey are Simon Clarke,Diego Ulissi,Tomasz Marczynski and maybe Winner Ancona,but with the classification still wide open quite a few riders will fancy making it into the break on stages 14 and 15.

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