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Vuelta a España 2011 (20.08 - 11.09)

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    Vuelta a España 2011 (20.08 - 11.09)


    Can Igor Anton finally fulfil his dream of winning the Vuelta?

    It looked like last year was finally Igor Anton's year. With the golden jersey on his possession, Igor Anton fell and had to withdraw when he looked to be the rider to beat in the Vuelta. Vincenzo Nibali took advantage of that and eventually won the race. Now, these two riders are coming back to the Spanish race ready to fight for the win once again. We may have in fact seen better rosters for this race in previous years, but I don't think excitement will be lacking with such race profile.

    Race Profile:

    Check every stage profile in detail in here

    Well, this is the Vuelta a España, so obviously the profile is suiting the climbers, as always. Six stages end in mountain climbs of 1st category. Seven stages end in very hard uphill roads or have very tough mountains in the middle of the stage. There is also one team time trial and one individual time trial, while only six stages are flat and should end in mass sprints. The same number of mountain finish stages. I guess this says it all. The Vuelta starts with a team time trial around Benidorm and that is following by two flat stages where the riders should struggle with the heat. The fourth stage brings immediately the first mountain finish in Serra Nevada. That is followed by a hilly stage which ends in Valdepeñas de Jaén, where the riders will face a final km with a ridiculous inclination (25% at some point!). The next stage should be tricky as well, with a 2nd category mountain with just 20km to go. That stage is followed by a flat stage and a very hilly and tough stage which will end in San Lorenzo de El Escorial. Stage 9 is the second mountain stage of the race and it ends in La Covatilla. That stage is followed by the ITT around Salamanca and after the time trial, the riders have finally their first rest day.

    In stage 11, the riders have another mountain finish, this time in Galiza, in the winter resort of Manzaneda (where I have spent some very nice vacations, haha). That stage is followed by a flat stage, until stage 13 gives us another hilly stage, with a tough 1st category in the middle of the stage. In the following stage, the mountains come back, with the stage ending in La Farrapona. That stage is followed by the queen stage of the race, which ends in the most feared mountain in Spain: El Alto de L'Angliru. After the ridiculous effort that the riders will have their second rest day.

    The riders will ride a flat stage in stage 16, but in the following stage, they have another mountain stage, with it ending in Peña Cabarga. Then, the race is almost over, but there's still time for three very tricky stages until we get to Madrid, with lots of 1st and 2nd category mountains in the middle of the stages, which will be ridden in the Basque Country. The final stage is the typical flat stage around Madrid, just to crown the winner of the race.

    Bottom line, this race will full of mountains, ready to make gaps between the team leaders. And even if they can't create a lot of differences between them in the first mountain stages, there's always the Angliru to solve everything. The sprinters will have a very tough time with few flat stages for them to sprint and lots of mountains for them to climb, so I don't see many of them finishing the race, with a flat profile in the world championships waiting for them two weeks later.

    Teams & Riders

    Check the whole updated entry list & backnumbers in here


    Their team leader is obviously last year's winner Nibali. They have some talent to help him in the mountains, especially Agnoli and Capecchi, however none of them will be there to help Nibali when things get really tough in the mountains. Liguigas is also bringing their massive talent Sagan and he should surely sneak one or two of those hilly stages as well.

    AG2R La Mondiale

    Their leader will obviously be Nicolas Roche, who was 7th last year. The lineup is clearly poor and besides the veteran Dessel and time trialist Champion, the other riders aren't exactly quality ones. Mondory will be the team's sprinter supposedly, but he is nowhere near the level required to win a stage in a race like this one. One of the weakest teams in the race for sure.

    Andalucia - Caja Granada

    They will surely fight a lot, attack like mad men, but their lineup is simply too poor. Their leader is veteran climber David Bernabeu and he's nowhere near his level at his prime and he was never a rider good enough to be even in the Top 10 of a Grand Tour. I predict their riders to try to escape a lot, but they won't show anything else really.


    Still on a hangover from winning the Tour de France with Cadel Evans, BMC isn't coming with a lot of expectations for this race. While they bring nobody good enough for an interesting placing in the general classification, Greg Van Avermaet can be a real outsider for the points classification, considering how he sprints well and he is also a very good rider in hilly profiles. The other riders should try to enter some escapes, but nothing else really.


    Basically they are bringing Moncoutie and Taaramae plus seven helpers. Moncoutie will try to once again win the king of the mountains competition, something he has achieved over the last three editions of the race. On the other side, Taaramae is coming from a 12th placing in the Tour de France, so if he has still some form left, he should be good enough for a Top 10 placing, however that may be asking too much for a 24 years old rider. Still, Moncoutie should show the sponsers of the team a lot of time in the television during the race.

    Euskaltel Euskadi

    The team's leader is obviously Igor Anton, who is in my opinion the biggest contender for the overall win. To help him, Euskaltel is bringing Nieve, Verdugo, Martinez and Txurruka, so things should be really okay for them in terms of mountain help for Anton. They will be focusing in helping Anton as much as possible and they have a strong enough lineup to do it. Even without Sanchez, they will seem to be the strongest team in the mountains on paper.


    They have bringing both Menchov and Sastre, so they are immediately a team to take in account. The main problem is that Sastre has done absolutely nothing this season and he is on the verge of retirement. Menchov was 8th in the Giro, but he never looked comfortable the whole race and he has done nothing since that race. Other riders like Ardilla, Blanco and Cobo make them a very strong team on paper, but results have been quite poor. Even with so many good names, I don't see them being a very impressive team during the race.

    HTC - Highroad

    Last year, Peter Velits was surprisingly 3rd in the overall, but he isn't riding the Vuelta this season. So, the team will focus on helping Cavendish getting some wins on the few flat stages that this race has. Besides the regular sprint helpers, they are also bringing Tony Martin (who will probably focus on winning the time trial and nothing else) and Kanstantsin Sivtsov, who was 10th in the Giro this season and may try to repeat a Top 10 placing in this race.


    After that all-Russian nonsense from the Tour de France, the team is bringing a good squad to this race and they have a general classification contender in Joaquim Rodriguez. He will have a strong support in Moreno, Karpets and Horrach, while Paolini may try something in the sprints and in the hilly stages. This is obviously a good team thanks to their leader and they should do much better than they did in the Tour de France.


    This is another very strong team with Scarponi as their leader. After being 2nd in the Giro behind Contador, I believe that if he regains his form, he should also a very strong contender for the overall win. Niemiec should help him a lot in the mountains and these Lampre duo should cause havoc in the climbs. They are also bringing Petacchi and his helpers to this race, expecting to do much better than they did in the sprints in the Tour de France.

    Leopard Trek

    Their lineup is incredibly poor for this race. Sure Cancellara may win the time trial, but Bennati isn't the sprinter he once was, while Zaugg and Monfort aren't good enough to be team leaders on a Grand Tour. Basically, they should appear on the television very much during the race.


    For a top Spanish team, their lineup looks poor. But after the tragedies with Tondo and Soler, they can't do much better than bringing Bruseghin, hoping he finally shows something positive once again, and a couple of decent climbers like Lopez Garcia or Intxausti, hoping for a stage win in the mountains. They will try a lot during the race, but I don't see them achieving anything remarkable.

    Omega Pharma - Lotto

    They are bringing Jurgen Van Den Broeck, but I don't see him being at 100%, after such a fall in the Tour de France. A collapsed lung is no joke! Besides that, the team is pretty weak. No climbers, no sprinters, just a bunch a decent combative riders. Either Van Den Broeck is capable of showing some of his climbing skills or nobody will notice them in the race.


    They got Kaschechkin from Lampre and they are bringing some climbing talent to the race, even if they have no strong leader. But with climbers like Kessiakoff, Kiserlovski and Jufre, they should appear in the mountain stages. They are also bringing Gasparotto, so they have also a good rider for the hilly stages. Even if they won't be a top team in the race, they won't be that bad neither.


    After a very bad Tour de France, they are bringing Boonen, Chavanel and some climbing talent like Seeldrayers and De Weert to try to do something. But honestly, more than a stage win would shock me. They simply aren't a very strong anymore and they won't do very well in this race neither. However, they should appear in the escapes quite often.


    With Barredo, Leon Sanchez, Garate, Kruijswijk and Mollema on the roster, at least one of them should make the Top 10 at the end of the race. They have a decent team for the mountains, with no top riders, but a lot of decent riders who can help each other. They are also bringing Freire and Breschel, so this is surely a top team for the hilly stages with so many options. Now, let's just hope they don't bomb like they did in the Tour de France. If they don't, they will be a very strong team in this race.

    Saxo Bank

    Another extremely poor team. Chris Sorensen may appear once in a while in the mountains, but barring that, nobody will notice them. Nick Nuyens is obviously a very good rider, but for the classics, however he may try to do well in one or two hilly stages. Besides that, nobody will notice them in the race.

    Skil - Shimano

    Surely a poor team as always in the Grand Tours, however Marcel Kittel won four stages in the Tour de Pologne, so he is in excellent form to contest the sprints. The main problem is called Cavendish... However, expect them to try to help Kittel in the sprints as much as possible, while trying to put riders in every single escape.


    They are bringing Bradley Wiggins, but this is not a race for Wiggins, as he will die in the Angliru, as every tempo climber dies. He will surely be very well supported with Lovkvist, Zandio and Cioni, but I simply don't see him even being in the Top 10 at the end of the race. Chris Sutton is also coming to the Vuelta, so Sky may have a chance to do some decent placing in the sprints as well. Besides that, the team won't do very much in this race.

    Garmin Cervelo

    They will have a strong leader for the overall in Daniel Martin, let's see if he can finally do well on a Grand Tour, after good results in other important stage races. Besides that, the team is bringing their armada of sprinters and Farrar should once again be in the discussion for the sprints and sneak a stage win somewhere. If that happens, the team will have to consider this race as a positive one.


    They are bringing Brajkovic and Kloden, so they have immediately two leaders for the overall classification. Also Zubeldia is in very good form, while Machado is very talented and may cause a surprise in this race. Other riders like Paulinho, Irizar or Lequatre are good helpers and so, this team has surely quality to have a good race. Let's see if bad luck doesn't kill their chances as it happened in the Tour de France. If that doesn't happen, they should have a chance of doing a very good race.


    With Mosquera not riding due to his doping affair from last year, the team has no leader for the overall. Riders like Carrara and Devolder will do well in the hilly stages, but they shouldn't be able to do anything else neither in the mountains or the sprints. This should be another poor race for them, like the Tour de France was.

    The Contenders

    For the win: Igor Anton & Vincenzo Nibali

    For the podium: Joaquim Rodriguez, Michele Scarponi, Denis Menchov

    For the green jersey: Mark Cavendish, Tylar Farrar, Alessandro Petacchi, Igor Anton, Vincenzo Nibali, Greg Van Avermaeat, Peter Sagan, Joaquim Rodriguez

    For the polka dot jersey: David Moncoutie, Amets Txurruka, Joaquim Rodriguez, Igor Anton, Vincenzo Nibali, Michele Scarponi

    For the white jersey: Daniel Martin, Steven Kruijswijk, Rein Taaramae

    Note: My Future Bets for the race coming soon!

    Made it sticky, as I hope there will be a lot of interest in this thread/your picks.

    Good luck mate!


      Future Bets:

      Vuelta a Espana Outright Betting – General Classification Winner

      At these odds, Igor Anton is surely value to finally win the Vuelta. Not only he is the best pure climber present in a race full of mountains, as he has the best team from the contenders, in terms of the mountain helpers. Nibali will get a bit of time on him in the time trial, but Anton is a bit better climber than him and he can get time on Nibali, especially in the Angliru, as Anton loves these high inclination mountains, as seen on the Zoncolan this year. From the other contenders, Rodriguez eventually ends up having a bad day somewhere in every race and he is a horrible time trialist, while Scarponi will also struggle in the Angliru, as his high gear kind of climbing isn’t adequate to climb high inclinations. Menchov is dangerous, but he won’t cope with Anton’s mountain accelerations. Basically, Anton has an edge somewhere against every contender and so, I expect him to win. Let’s hope he doesn’t fall this time.

      Pick: 1 unit on Igor Anton @4,00 on Bet365

      Vuelta a Espana Outright Betting – General Classification Top 10

      In case you don’t know him, Daniel Martin is an Irish rider, who is also a cousin of Nicolas Roche. He is a very talented rider and he won Tour de Pologne last year, while he has also collected some good results this year with a 2nd place in Tour de Pologne and a 3rd place in Tour of Catalunya. After good results on 1 week World Tour races, it’s time for him to do well on a Grand Tour. The number of good climbers in the race is small and so, I don’t think D. Martin will have a lot of problems in being one of the best climbers in the race. He won’t be able to hang with Anton, Rodriguez, Nibali or Scarponi in the mountains, however besides these four climbers, I don’t see anybody who clearly should outride him in the toughest stages of the race. He will have all the support from the team, as he is clearly the team’s leader and even though he won’t have a lot of support from the team in the mountains, as his team mates aren’t exactly great climbers, he will have his cousin Nicolas Roche to give him a hand if necessary. I see a lot of talent in Daniel Martin and so, I expect him to finish the first Grand Tour as a team leader in the Top 10.

      Pick: 1 unit on Daniel Martin Top 10 @2,25 on Bet365

      Vuelta a Espana Outright Betting – General Classification Head to Head

      This is a fade play on Carlos Sastre, as I think his career as a GC contender is over. He is 36 years old and he has achieved a whole bunch of nothing this season. Sure he says that he is motivated to do well, but the truth is that his results on Grand Tours have been getting poorer every year. Also he won’t be the team’s leader this time, as Denis Menchov is surely in better position to try to win the Vuelta once again than him and that may also shorten his chances of doing well in this race even more. On the other side, Nicolas Roche is getting better with the years and he is coming from an interesting Tour de France, where he showed some form, but not good enough to make me believe that he won’t have enough energy to do well in the Vuelta also. He rode a similar Tour de France last year and then was 7th in the Vuelta and that’s the kind of result I expect him to achieve once again in this race. Sastre was 8th last season and I surely don’t expect him to improve his result this year, with his form being worse and having to help Menchov as well. Therefore, I expect Roche to outride him in this race.

      Pick: 1 unit on Nicolas Roche to beat Carlos Sastre @1,917 on Pinnacle

      Vuelta a Espana Outright Betting – General Classification Head to Head

      With Radioshack being a team with good riders but not with a real leader, Zubeldia has a free role and even though he is a veteran, he can still pull out some good results on Grand Tours, as it was seen in the Tour de France, where he was 16th. With Kloden not being at 100% and Brajkovic being a bit inconsistent, Zubeldia should have a free role in this race and I’m sure he is motivated to do well in this race, as the race is coming back to the Basque Tour, where Zubeldia always performs very well. He was 7th in San Sebastian earlier in this month and I expect him to have another good result in this race, close or even into the Top 10. On the other side, Blanco is also a veteran (two years older than Zubeldia!), who has rode almost his whole career in Portugal. He won Tour of Portugal several times, but he isn’t exactly a proven rider in Grand Tours. And then, there’s the fact that he will have Menchov, Sastre and Cobo higher than him in the hierarchy of the team and so, he will need to take care of his leaders first and not think about his individual results. Blanco is a passable climber, but not exactly a pure climber and he won’t be able to do as well as Zubeldia in the mountains. I expect the Basque rider to outride Blanco and so, I’ll take him in here.

      Pick: 1 unit on Haimar Zubeldia to beat David Blanco @1,735 on Pinnacle


        Stage 1:

        Stage 1 – Geox vs Movistar

        This stage is a team time trial around Benidorm and I believe Geox has all the conditions to outride Movistar. Menchov is a top time trialist, while Sastre, Cobo, Brandle and Blanco are passable against the clock as well. Also explosive riders like Duarte and Ardilla can help a lot in this kind of effort, so they should be okay in this kind of stage, especially as most teams don’t have better line ups than them. Movistar is one of these cases. Brushegin is in theory a good time trialist, but he has been out of form for years. In fact, Konovalovas is the only rider that I’m sure that he will ride well for the team. Intxausti is in theory a good time trialist as well, but his form has been average at best lately. Erviti is a passable time trialist, but then Garcia Acosta, Lastras, Lopez Garcia, Pardilla and Madrazo will be hopeless in this kind of effort and they will prevent the team from having a good time. Geox will have more positive contributions in the team time trial than Movistar, as they have also the best time trialist in Menchov. Considering this, I don’t see why Geox is the underdog in this matchup and so, I’ll take them.

        Pick: 1 unit on Geox to beat Movistar @2,29 on Pinnacle

        Stage 1 – Team Sky vs Leopard Trek

        Leopard Trek is getting overrated because they have Cancellara. Sure he is the best time trialist in the world, but not only he can’t win team time trials on his own, as he is currently sick and just looking for his best form for the world championships. Barring him, Fuglsang and Monfort are good time trialists, but then the other ones are completely hopeless in this kind of effort. On the other side, Team Sky not only brings Wiggins and Lovkvist, who are two very good time trialists, as they bring a lot of decent time trialists like Froome, Cioni, Stannard and Arvesen to support them in this effort. Even though Leopard Trek has the best time trialist in the world, Team Sky has a clearly better overall team in terms of time trialing and so, I expect them to ride very well today and outride Leopard Trek, who will have a lot of wheel suckers behind their three time trialists.

        Pick: 1 unit on Team Sky to beat Leopard Trek @2,23 on Pinnacle


          Stage 2:

          Stage 2 – Stage Winner

          I see a lot of value on the super talented youngster Sagan to win this stage. This is a flat stage, but with 250 meters of the last km having an inclination of 8%, perfect for an attack by Sagan, who has shown great form in Tour de Pologne and who is probably the only rider close to the level of Gilbert in the this kind of finishes. With Gilbert not riding the Vuelta, I don’t see anybody handling a Sagan attack in the last km, especially with Cavendish’s train not being as strong as in the Tour de France and besides that, Cavendish will actually struggle in passing this inclination in the front of the group without spending a lot of energy. The other sprinters are either in questionable form or lack a team to help them in this kind of inclination, so I expect Sagan to fly in this small inclination and then sprint for the win. At these odds, he is surely a must bet.

          Pick: 1 unit on Peter Sagan @3,50 on Bet365


            peter sagan is 4.5 almost everywhere
            so is more a must bet?


              Originally posted by kowi View Post
              peter sagan is 4.5 almost everywhere
              so is more a must bet?
              It's normal the odds raised. General bettor looked at the stage profile (where you can't look at the 250m at 8% in the final km) and saw Cavendish to win @3,00 and jumped all over it.

              Obviously the higher are the odds, the more value Sagan has.


                220 meter at 3.6%, then 280 meter at 6.8% and the last 240 meter is flat.

                So favorite here should be Peter Sagan. I layed Cavendish at Betfair.


                  Originally posted by Badeend View Post
                  220 meter at 3.6%, then 280 meter at 6.8% and the last 240 meter is flat.

                  So favorite here should be Peter Sagan. I layed Cavendish at Betfair.
                  The last km was to steep for Cavendish, he came in 158th, great! Someone matched all the bets with odds between 2.70 and 3.60 5 minutes after i layed Cav, someone who didnt check how the last km was, thanks to that person.
                  I stopped backing riders, cycling is so unpredictable in several ways. Today Boonen stopped sprinting at 300 meters and Sutton and Reynes went and became 1 and 2, if he keeps sprinting its probalby Kittel who is in his wheel who takes it. You cant predict such things, that's betting on circumstances.

                  Sagan disappointed today, but if we look at the stage of tomorrow their can only be one favorite, Sagan. Lets hope some people think Cavendish, Farrar, etc can survive that climb and we nick their money.


                    Stage 3 Degenkolb vs Breschel

                    The last climb is very steep, up to 10% in the end. Breschel climbs decent, but this is a level too high for Degenkolb i think. With his 77kg he is pretty heavy for such high percentages. Breschel was injured for a very long time and is now completely focussed to the World Championships in his home country. Yesterday he was 5th and is showing great for, Degenkolb is also in a good shape but dont see him surviving that climb

                    Breschel @1.94 Betfair 3/10 (1.91 pinnacle, 1.95 Expekt Betting)


                      Originally posted by Badeend View Post
                      Stage 3 Degenkolb vs Breschel

                      The last climb is very steep, up to 10% in the end. Breschel climbs decent, but this is a level too high for Degenkolb i think. With his 77kg he is pretty heavy for such high percentages. Breschel was injured for a very long time and is now completely focussed to the World Championships in his home country. Yesterday he was 5th and is showing great for, Degenkolb is also in a good shape but dont see him surviving that climb

                      Breschel @1.94 Betfair 3/10 (1.91 pinnacle, 1.95 Expekt Betting)
                      Always nice to have an easy win.

                      6 BRESCHEL, Matti RAB + 1' 43''
                      114 DEGENKOLB, John THR + 7' 28''

                      The menu for tomorrow, first big mountainstage!


                        Stage 4 – Igor Anton (ESP – Euskaltel Euskadi) vs Vincenzo Nibali (ITA – Liquigas)

                        This stage will be the first one of the race finishing on a mountain top: Sierra Nevada. This mountain is a quite long one, without being very steep. This kind of long & soft mountain favours much more Nibali than Anton, who will surely prefer a stage like the one finishing in the Angliru. The Italian should feel very well in this mountain which suits him perfectly, while Anton may even experiment some problems, even though I don’t expect him to lose any time to his main rivals. In the final meters of the stage, Nibali is quicker on a small group sprint than Anton and so, he should outsprint the Basque rider for the bonus seconds, in case they are still in dispute. In any case, I expect Nibali to outride Anton in this case.

                        Pick: 1 unit on Vincenzo Nibali to beat Igor Anton @1,87 on Pinnacle

                        Stage 4 – Konstantin Sivtsov (BLR – Highroad) vs Marzio Bruseghin (ITA – Movistar)

                        In a stage like this one, I surely expect Sivtsov to have a good performance. The climber from Highroad was 10th in the Giro this year and he looked very relaxed in the 3rd cat mountain in yesterday’s stage when the group was down to less than 50 riders, a sign that he is at least on decent form. Sivtsov has shown this year that he can climb very well when he is in form and so, I expect him to be in the front tomorrow, maybe even in the top 10 in the stage’s final results. On the other side, Bruseghin has done absolutely nothing since 2009 and considering that he is 37 years old, I wouldn’t be surprised if he never achieves anything else noticeable on his career. Besides that, Bruseghin was never a climber, but more a very good time trialist who could defend himself well in the mountains and so, I wouldn’t be surprised if he is one of the first well-known names to be dropped tomorrow when things start to get tough. Therefore and looking at the current moment of both riders, I’ll take Sivtsov to outrider Bruseghin in this stage.

                        Pick: 1 unit on Konstantin Sivtsov to beat Marzio Bruseghin @2,04 on Pinnacle

                        Stage 4 – David Lopez Garcia (ESP – Movistar) vs Carlos Sastre (ESP – Geox)

                        This is another fade play on Carlos Sastre, as he continues to be overrated by the sportsbooks, even though he has achieved nothing this season and has already dropped some time in stage 2, in a climb of 250 meters. Yesterday, he was able to hang on the main group when things got rough in a 3rd cat mountain, but barely, as he has once again told the media that he has been having bad feelings while climbing and so, I expect him to struggle in Sierra Nevada and get dropped early on. On the other side, David Lopez Garcia has been looked well in the first stages of the race and considering that he is a pure climber and has a free role on his team, I expect him to be well placed in this stage, as he has surely showed in the past (including this season in the Tour of the Basque Country, for example) that he can climb very well. Therefore, I expect him to have a good stage and outride a struggling Sastre in the process.

                        Pick: 1 unit on David Lopez Garcia to beat Carlos Sastre @1,99 on Pinnacle

                        Stage 4 – Steven Kruijswijk (NED – Rabobank) vs Denis Menchov (RUS – Geox)

                        Both riders lost time yesterday, however while Menchov lost time due to poor form or at least not having enough legs to handle the pace in the main group, Kruijswijk had a mechanical problem in the beginning of the climb and lost too much time replacing the bike to return to the main group. Menchov has already lost too much time between the team time trial and yesterday’s stage to be a real contender for the overall win, so his motivation to do well in here has surely lowered and with him lacking form, I expect another very struggling stage for him today. On the other side, Kruijswijk is having a very good season with a 9th place in the Giro and a 3rd place in the Tour de Suisse. He looks to be in-form and so, I expect him to have a good climb today to Sierra Nevada, outriding a poor Menchov in the process.

                        Pick: 1 unit on Steven Kruijswijk to beat Denis Menchov @2,06 on Pinnacle


                          Stage 5 – Juan Jose Cobo (ESP – Geox) vs Steven Kruijswijk (NED – Rabobank)

                          This stage ends in Valdepenas de Jaen, an incredibly tough hill, with a last km with some parts having an inclination of 26%! In this kind of stage, I expect the explosive climbers to fly in the steep parts of the climb, with the less explosive riders struggling to handle the very high inclination of the roads. Therefore, I will be taking the explosive Juan Jose Cobo, someone known for being a great hilly rider (Top 10 placing in some major hilly classics + overall win in Tour of Basque Country), who is having a good Vuelta so far, always with the favourites, over Steven Kruijswijk, a decent climber, but who lacks the explosion of someone like Cobo to be up in the front with the favourites in such a steep climb. I predict Cobo will be in the Top 10 of this stage, thanks to his acceleration and hilly riding skills, while Kruijswijk will struggle and barely make the Top 25/30 of the stage.

                          Pick: 1 unit on Juan Jose Cobo to beat Steven Kruijswijk @1,813 on Pinnacle


                            Nice to have a Vuelta thread. Dind ot noticed earlier. Today should be an interesting stage, with a very difficuly drag to the finish line. Perfect stage for Purito, he is a big favorite in this kind of finishes with his power and speed, but odds are way to short for me to bet on a stage win for him, so I will go with an underdog with obviously small stakes

                            Daniel Martin to win @ 17 Sportingbet

                            Martin is in great form, he was great in Tour de Pologne, he is also fast, explosive and powerfull, the finish should be good for him, nice odda in comparison to @2.5 for Purito so I give a try.

                            Other bets

                            Fuglsang to beat Sorensen 6 units @ 1.714 Sportingbet
                            Van Den Broeck to beat scarponi 2 units @1.95 Sportingbet
                            Nieve to beat Brajkovic 4units @ 1.65 Sportingbet
                            Last edited by sucotash; 24-08-11, 12:57.


                              Stage 6 – Enrico Gasparotto (ITA – Astana) vs Nicolas Roche (IRL – AG2R)

                              This stage finishes in Cordoba, in a tricky stage, with a very tough 2nd cat mountain with less than 20km to go. I am taking Roche to outride Gasparotto in this stage, as I expect that climb to be seriously attacked by some teams, as this type of climbs have been attacked quite strongly by teams like Liquigas and Katusha. If that happens, I expect Roche to stay in the main group, while Gasparotto will eventually get dropped, as he was in stage 5, where he lost over 16 minutes. The Italian rider is a capable hilly rider, but he struggles a bit in the mountains and I don’t believe he will be able to handle the high pace of a mountain, which has a full kilometre above 10% of inclination and a total extension of over 8 kilometres. On the other side, I expect Roche to be comfortably in the favourites group, even though it will be reduced to 30/40 riders. Looking at this, I will be taking Roche to outride Gasparotto in this stage.

                              Pick: 1 unit on Nicolas Roche to beat Enrico Gasparotto @1,813 on Pinnacle


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                              Favourite bookmakers


                              PINNACLE SPORTS
                              Great bookie, offer superb odds (low margins), very high limits, does not slash winning customers. Probably the most reliable sportsbook on the net. Well known among sports punters for their ability and will to offer a fair product. Pinnacle will not hide. If you are good, you win. OK,  I'll give Pinnacle Sports a try!