Finally we witnessed a solid break, and it started early, kept the lead all the way and finished in style with the Cannondale rider Alessandro De Marchi took a strong victory in a tricky stage. This is his first major triumph so this must be quite a good day for him. Although he looked really fresh, I guess he were helped by the fact that the rest of the break group did not seem to be in top form. Hesjedal, Dupont and Tschopp all had to give in when they got closer to the finish which left the Italian all on his own riding in Alcaudete.
There weren’t much change in the general qualifications and it is still as exciting as ever. I cannot remember last time there were so many strong contenders for the first place in one of the major tours. It usually ends up with 2 big favorites duking it out with a couple of outsiders, but here there are several ones that could possibly claim it. I am eager to see how this will develop, and I might sit out some rounds of betting because this has not been a good one for now.
Baeza to Albacete – Stage 8 Preview
There seems to be a good mix with stages in this Vuelta as we are now back in a flat stage after some days in the hills. It will for the most stage be straight forward, with a slight uphill climb in the middle and a slight drop for the last part of the race. This stage is also on the longer stretch of stages boasting over 200km of tarmac. It should be a fast paced ride where we can expect the sprinters sitting at the forefront.
Given how the races have panned out so far we do not expect another successful break, but we still think it has merit. Especially on such a somewhat tricky stage. Again, as long as a solid group of riders go at it there should be plenty of chances for having a run at it. But we foresee that the teams that are looking for their sprinters to claim stage wins will force the tempo up and ride hard.
We have not been good at this lately so I am not even sure I want to add these, but you play them at your own risk. Note that this is not uncommon in sports betting where there are tiny edges to be had that we can be having a losing streak. I have stretches counting months of losing before I got back in the positive and it happens. But I know I should just keep on fighting!
Two match-ups for today as there seems to be only Degenkolb or Bouhanni that can take it again, and both those have quite short odds offered. We will rather take a look at some other top riders that could make something happen and one of those is Tom Boonen. He has been hanging back lately, but showed breakout potential in stage 2. This seems to be a stage that fits him and he should have the better of Hutarovich who also would like this flat surface.
Another is a longer shot where we think Mondory has looked sluggish lately. He started off nicely in the first stages where he got up close and personal, but now he hasn’t kept up with the peloton as well. Maes is not the greatest either, but showed glimmer of prowess in the 5th and 2nd stages, he can do so again here and go for a big day.
Match-Up: Tom Boonen to beat Yauheni Hutarovich, 2.10 @ William Hill
Match-Up: Nikolas Maes to beat Lloyd Mondory, 3.00 @ Bet365