There have been some major shakeups in the general qualifications on the last two stages. Contador displayed some incredible strength in the mountains in stage 9 and really caught most of the riders (and us) by surprise. He went on the attack late and parked both Froome and Valverde behind himself and took a decent lead in the overall standings.
Many thought that this would be closed down fully by stage 10’s time trial, but again that was not to be. Obviously Tony Martin took the stage win here, but Contador showed excellent form yet again and with Froome on the defensive the Italian could easily ride in to overtake the red jersey. And to add even more to the stir through the top ranks we had a crash from Quintana which sent him right out of the top 10 and his chances of a overall win is severely hampered. He didn’t look all that sharp either so I guess it didn’t matter all that much, but it still stings for him.
Pamplona to Santuario De San Miguel De Aralar – Stage 11 Preview
Stage 9 had some exciting riding and a new contender for the overall win appeared when Winner Anacona took the stage far ahead of the other GC favourites. He has now placed himself amidst the other riders and if he can keep up this form in this stage he will be well in place to take it all. But I am guessing that Contador and Tinkoff-Saxo now are fully aware of his capabilites, and given his position he will be closely watched.
The stage we are facing tomorrow is one that looks innoxious enough, but has a grueling ending. It starts out relatively flat and you won’t find a solid climb until the riders are two-thirds into the race. This is an “easy” 3rd category hill that should be ascended with ease before they ride downhill and prepare for the tough ending up the finall hill. This is a 10km long climb with a over 7% steepness. Obviously rated a 1st category this one is gonna sap the energy out of even the toughest of riders.
Obviously there are possibilities of breaks here yet again, and given how stage 9 unfolded we might see several of them have a go at it again. Many of the GC riders are content just defending their positions it seems and are not in any kind of hurry to attack the others. It will be hard to go the distance alone with that climb at the end, but if the break is big enough we might have someone far enough in the front that they can boost themselves to the front of the GC like Anacona did the other day.
Several match-up bets are being placed today and one we especially like is the Froome-Quintana one. This is mostly a bet on Quintana who we think have had a horrible Vuelta so far. The crash yesterday does not makes things better and we do not believe his form will be better for it. Froome does not look all to sharp either, but certainly much stronger than Quintana and he still has hopes of winning this thing and will fight for that.
Navarro to beat Rubio is a simple recent form bet: Navarro has looked strong, Chaves somewhat as well, but have been faltering and looked sluggish in the TT.
Then we have two supporting riders that both are about the same strength we feel. Gesink been doing a bit better so far, but we think Nieve will up his production when he needs to pull Froome tomorrow. Taking the odds here.
Kelderman a good overall rider that can do most things well, but Moreno is a much stronger mountain climber. Definitely betting on him to place higher than the Dutchman here.
Match-Up: Chris Froome to beat Nairo Quintana, 1.72 @ Bet365
Match-Up: Daniel Navarro to beat Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio, 1.72 @ Bet365
Match-Up: Mikel Nieve to beat Robert Gesink, 2.20 @ Bet365
Match-Up: Daniel Moreno to beat Wilco Kelderman, 1.75 @ Unibet