John Degenkolb took a much deserved win after being a loyal rider and shooting his teammate Greipel to several of them in the Tour, and now it finally were his turn to nab one for himself. One would not believe he could muster all this force and win by such a landslide in the sprint after what we saw yesterday in stage 3, but he were able to pull himself together and get things on the right track again.
When it comes to the GC we still have all of the favorites close to the front. Quintana is right behind Matthews who is in the lead for the time being, but Valverd, Contador, Evans, Froome and others are all close behind. Not weird considering that we are not even 1/5th into the race and we haven’t gotten started with the big climbs yet where the wheat will be separated from the chaff.
Priego De Córdoba to Ronda – Stage 5 Preview
Another relatively flat stage is on the menu for the riders tomorrow, and now most of them seems to have become acclimated to the heat that is presented in Spain. The length of the stage is not that harsh either, but with a slight climb right before the final sputters of the stage could spell trouble for some of the power sprinters. The fact that there is a big day coming up tomorrow where there is some serious climbing to be done about halfway through up Alto de Zafarraya and at the end where we will find slopes that are well over 10%(!). Most of the GC contenders and possibly climbers might want to save as much energy as they can here, so a break is likely to stage a win here. We have already seen high willingness to attack, but the speed of the peloton has been high as well the later days, except for maybe today. I foresee a break that might take it all the way if it forms at a big enough group and they work well together.
Obviously the sprinters will be big favorites to take the stage win here, but I reckon that most of the value will lie in finding an outsider that can cling on to a break and take it from there. I have yet to find one of those good bets, so I will rather go the safe route: Bouhanni looked really strong finishing the sprint in the second stage and I believe he is hungry for another one. Should this race go to a mass sprint (I am not so sure it will), I think he wins this 90%+ of the time. The odds offered at Unibet then poses a pretty decent value bet.
We also tack on some match-ups as the French rider Mondory has looked solid in all the races so far being in the top 10 in each of them. Reynes has did get second place today, but he has also been very inconsistent. This is another one where the bookies are overreacting to a recent result. A decent rider, but Mondory is clearly the better one and more stable.
The last one is two speedsters from Colombia – Quintana, who is the favorite to take this years Vuelta, is going up against Rigoberto Uran. These have been fighting close by and are ending up about the same places around each other. There is a clear skill difference though as Quintana is the way better rider. He is likely to steer clear of him here and nab a very high position as Uran has nothing on him and will be hard pressed to keep up if the speed of the peloton gets high enough.
Stage Winner: Nacer Bouhanni, 2.85 @ Unibet
Match-Up: Lloyd Mondory to beat Vicente Reynes, 1.95 @ Unibet
Match-Up: Nairo Quintana to beat Rigoberto Uran, 1.70 @ William Hill