Well here it goes,my last grand tour preview of 2013.
The riders travel 109.6km from Leganes to Madrid.
The finish suits a big,powerful sprinter.
Degenkolb won in 2012,Sagan in 2011 and Farrar in 2010.
Last year Argos had a great lead-out for Degenkolb.They had 2 men left to drive home the final 1 kilometre.
Sagan’s win was from a very messy sprint.
Farrar seems to surprise Cavendish back in 2010.
If a team can lead going into the slight bend in the road with 400 metres to go,they stand a good chance of winning.The problem is most teams don’t have many riders left!
Boasson Hagen is favourite but he rarely wins these types of sprints,so I’ll discount him immediately.
Richeze has been very consistent with 4 top 3s but he struggles to win and hasn’t won all season long.I can see him placing again but not winning.
Farrar seems over the hill and can’t keep up anymore.
I think it has to be between Matthews and Meersman.
Matthews has looked good in the Vuelta,but he only has 4 teammates left.After his win on stage 5 he hasn’t featured.I have a feeling that they’ve achieved their goal of a stage win and won’t be too bothered if he doesn’t win another.
That brings me onto Gianni Meersman.Before the race I thought he was capable of winning 5 stages,like Degenkolb did last year.He has been a bit of a let down with a 3rd,4th and 5th place on 3 stages.I was very impressed with his 25th place on stage 19.It doesn’t sound much but remember the GC boys raced up the last 2km.It is a clear indication that his form is returning.
Earlier this season he won 2 stages in Catalunya and 2 stages in Romandie.He had 3 top 3s at the Dauphine and won the prologue in the Tour de l’Ain.
He is yet to win a stage in a grand tour but I think the end of the stage could be perfect for him.One problem is that he only has 3 teammates left but his wins this season have been with very little help and he seems to have the ability to scrap for himself.
He is available at 12/1 with bet365 and this seems to be an excellent bet.
Hopefully you’ve enjoyed my previews!