As expected Bouhanni crushed everyone else when he can ride without pressure at the end. He got a little trouble coming from Michael Matthews who seemed to be coming up on him, but he timed it just a little too short. Other big players wanted to get in the mix as Sagan and Degenkolb were not far behind, but the French-Algerian were just too strong for the second time around.
We did not see anyone breaking out and doing some work, or if you consider a 50+ rider bunch a break you might. As we closed in on the finish we saw most of the teams trying to up the speed yet again and many riders feel off because of the pace and the heat. Quintana was one who had to drop off and looks kinda weak so far. But all the sprinting cannons got in the front and it became a battle of reverse chicken: who wanted to burst out first? Bouhanni started his treck way earlier than he used to, but it paid off and gave him the second stage win.
Our betting finally got back on track. Both our bets won by clear margins as Tom Boonen looked really solid and could even had a chance at taking the stage, while Mondory was a giant disappointment. We want to give it a try to find another pair of good value bets today before the break. Hope this doesn’t have a really bad timing as once I am back in the streak I have to take a day off! 😛
Carboneras De Guadazaón to Aramón Valdelinares – Stage 9 Preview
After they had two stages to calm down after a serious climbing route (I guess it haven’t been much calm with the pace the teams have set), it is now back to the mountains. This has a some serious hills to ascend though. It starts out easy enough with a minor upward slope, then a big drop and another minor slope for the first half. Then we will find the first 3rd category climb followed by more descending, but the end has a big 2nd category climb followed by a steep 1st category that will end in Aramón Valdelinares. Looks somewhat similar to stage 6 who had a grueling ending, just as this one. Let us hope we can see some similar battles between the GC contenders. The first outing was very exciting and I hope to see that again.
The successful breaks have been far and few between and I do not foresee more shenanigans given the willingness of the teams to push the pace at times. Given how the stage is laid out will make it hard to be able to go at it alone with the climbing so I do not think we will see this happening. There is off course always someone who is willing to try, but don’t expect to see anyone claim the stage win from a break here.
What we have today are some value bets going against some of the big riders that we perceive as to bet completely out of form. Both Alberto Contador and Nairo Quintana has not shown anything to be too impressed off so we like the other riders to do well here. We believe that the front will be made up off Valverde, Froome and possibly Rodriguez as the strongest contenders. We will thus bet accordingly and put all off our bets against the Tinkoff-Saxo rider who has yet to show up.
Match-Up: Chris Froome to beat Alberto Contador, 1.61 @ William Hill
Match-Up: Alejandro Valverde to beat Alberto Contador, 1.57 @ William Hill
Match-Up: Joaquim Rodriguez to beat Alberto Contador, 1.80 @ William Hill