Tour de France 2017 Stage 15 Preview; Laissac-Sévérac l’Église -> Le Puy-en-Velay

Today’s Recap

First of all, apologies for no preview yesterday. I felt absolutely shattered and had to have another few hours sleep before work so there was no time to write anything. Feeling a bit better today but still awfully tired, I need this rest day as much as the riders just now!

Today’s stage saw a fairly strong break escape but with BMC and Sunweb not represented and working from the get go, we were always going to get one outcome. Matthews sprinted to a superb victory with van Avermaet following home in second.

DEyb0fIW0AAEjbk

Boasson Hagen rounded out the podium with a fine third place. Rather annoyingly, one of my picks for the day McCarthy flew up the hill, only to finish in 5th. He was out of shot for most of the climb so he’s clearly going well. A case of what could have been, if he was positioned better!

While we’re talking about poor positioning, Aru managed to find himself isolated and towards the back of the peloton at the bottom of the climb and managed to ship 24 seconds to Froome. It’s good in some ways for him as Astana don’t have the team to defend the jersey, but to lose that much time isn’t ideal.

Anyway, let’s have a look at what’s in store for the riders tomorrow.

The Route

A stage that looks destined to be fought out between the breakaway.

tour-de-france-2017-stage-15-1495792446

With a fairly flat start, I wouldn’t expect the break to form until we hit the first categorised climb of the day. It’s not exactly an easy climb either, as the Montée de Naves d’Aubrac averages 6.4% for 8.9km. Only climbers and very strong all-rounders should be able to make the move here! With that being said, the gradient isn’t too tough, so there is a chance we might see some odd riders up there who are on a good day.

Once over the top, we have a short descent before an inconsequential 3rd Cat climb. From there, the riders will face a long period of flat road before the intermediate sprint and an uncategorised 11km drag at ~3%.

The action part of the stage will most likely be the penultimate climb of the day: the Col de Peyra Taillade.

stage-15-col-de-peyra-taillade

The steep ramps will no doubt see a selection made in the breakaway, with the better climbers and those feeling strong pushing on. However, with there still being almost 32km to the line over the summit, it will be interesting to see if those dropped behind get back on, or of those ahead can work together to maintain an advantage.

Either way, it will be a very tactical final 45 minutes of racing as riders will be attacking the group hoping to get a gap. Maybe the Cat-4 could act as a launchpad? Luck and good legs will both play an equal part in it for the day’s winner though!

Breakaway Candidates

I am fairly confident tomorrow will be a breakaway day. In fact, it is probably the most obvious one of the race we’ve had so far. Just waiting for a reduced bunch sprint day to happen now…

There are several usual suspects that you can expect to try to make the move but as that’s no fun (and they’re all terrible odds) I’ll be naming those more eccentric picks who are further down the order.

Tony Martin.

DEf7TitXcAAXa78

He had a little hit off the front towards the end of today’s stage, stretching out the bunch so that Lammertink could launch a counter attack. During his “attack” the German looked in complete control and it seemed to be more of a tempo ride than anything else. He always seems to find himself in the breakaway on one mountain stage of a Grand Tour and he has won more testing days than tomorrow; Stage 9 in 2014 is an example of that. Now, I do think he will probably be dropped on the steeper slopes of the penultimate climb, that is unless of course he has attacked solo before. Nonetheless, he can certainly make it back in the remaining time and attack over the top. If he gets a gap, not many will be able to catch him.

Daryl Impey.

One of the riders who I backed for today’s stage (thinking a break might stay away) the South African has been very quiet so far this Tour. Considering how strong he was last year, it is a bit of a surprise to be honest! With Yates not really needing too much support tomorrow, Howson will be able to stay with him anyway, I think Impey might be given a free role. On his day, he can surprise!

Rudy Molard.

With Pinot supposedly suffering from stomach problems, Molard looks like FDJ’s best candidate for a stage like this. Strong on steep climbs, he was close to a win in the Giro but the breakaway he was in were caught 4kms from the line. I backed him then and I’m willing to do so again! He has been quiet since Démare left the race, possibly eyeing up a stage to go on the attack. With a fairly strong kick from a reduced group, he could even win the sprint!

Prediction

Impey to find his 2016 form and take a great win for Orica Scott!

2050024-42995967-2560-1440

Betting

I can see Impey and Molard coming to the line for a sprint so they could place, but Martin will have to attack from afar so with that being said;

0.4pt WIN Martin @ 125/1 with Bet365 (would take 100s)

0.4pt EW Impey @ 250/1 with PP/BF who are offering 4 places (would take 150s)

0.4pt EW Molard @ 150/1 with Bet365 (would take 100s)

 

I’m refusing to take any less than 100/1 for a day such as tomorrow!

Thanks as always for reading. Who do you think will win tomorrow? Anyway,

Those were My Two Spokes Worth.

Giro d’Italia 2017 Stage 15 Preview; Valdengo -> Bergamo

Apologies again, but this will be swift as I’ve been away out this afternoon for my Granddad’s birthday so don’t really have enough time do a massively in-depth preview. Unfortunately that means no time for the #Wongshot.

Today’s Recap

Wow, wow, wow!

I didn’t think Dumoulin would lose much time today, less than ten seconds or so but instead the Dutchman gained time on his rivals. Zakarin was closest, with a valiant Landa finishing third on the day.

DASKOTwXkAAz04y

As for Quintana, he came home fourth in the end. Maybe in hindsight it would have been better for him to sit in until around 2km to go and use his explosive kick there as he seemed to go too early, allowing for Dumoulin to TT his way back up to him.

It leaves the Dutchman in a commanding position going into the final week with tomorrow’s breakaway stage unlikely to cause any GC splits.

Let’s have a look at what’s in store for the riders.

The Route

A stage similar today in the sense that it starts relatively flat, before the majority of the climbing action happens in the final third.

The route also pays homage to Il Lombardia, with the final 50m being the same that we saw in the 2016 edition of that race.

T15_Bergamo_alt

With that being said, it is actually undulating for most of the stage tomorrow and at almost 200km long, I’m sure a lot of the riders will be looking at it and hoping for another rest day.

giro-ditalia-2017-stage-15-1493203793

The Miragolo San Salvatore is the first major obstacle of the day and the Cat-2 climb averages almost 6.9% for its 8.7km. Although that average is brought down due to an easier start, the majority of the climb is over 7.5%.

We could see an early selection from the break here.

Once over the summit there is a fast descent before the Cat-3 climb of Selvino.

giro-ditalia-2017-stage-15-1493203798

An easier climb at only 5.4% average for 6.9km. It will be ridden at a steady tempo but it will be tough to drop anyone, unless of course they’re still struggling from the pressure on the previous ascent.

The riders will then descend (although a lot less severely in some parts) to the final kicker of the day before the run in to the line.

giro-ditalia-2017-stage-15-1493203789

Short, sweet, but tough! Averaging 7.9% for 1.6km, but including a ramp at 12% and a 500m stretch at close to 10%, this is where any remaining break will explode. If you get over the summit with a few seconds then you should be able to hold it all the way to the line!

As I mentioned above, the stage isn’t difficult enough for any GC action but is too tough for the sprinters so you guessed it, time to play everyone’s favourite game…

imageedit_14_4543960943

Contenders

Like today’s stage, the quandary is that to win the stage you need to be a good climber, but to get into the break you need to be solid on the flat and also have a large slice of luck. I like to call it the breakaway cocktail! Anyway, I’ll throw a few names into the hat of riders that definitely won’t be making it into the move after I curse them.

Winner Anacona – The other Movistar Colombian looks electric right now and I have been very impressed with the power he’s been putting down at the front of the race. He even put his own team-mate Amador into difficulty today. With Quintana struggling today, Movistar will look to bounce back with a stage win tomorrow and Anacona could be that man. Far enough down on GC not to be an issue in the break, I’m not sure anyone will be able to drop him on the uphill.

Jan Hirt – I was pleasantly surprised to see the CCC rider finish in 12th place today, indiciating that he has some good form towards the end of this second week. He’s been fairly anonymous this Giro so far after a good showing in Croatia but that may be due to saving himself for stage wins. Sitting 20th on GC, he’s still far enough behind the top 10 to be given some leeway tomorrow and he could well surprise again! Can he put the Hirt on everyone else?

hirt-rozhovor-rak-1

Rudy Molard – With Pinot struggling a bit today, the FDJ DS might give the nod for a couple of their “second-tier” domestiques to chase a stage win. Molard has had a solid debut season for the French outfit after switching from rivals Cofidis at the end of last year, picking up a top 10 at Fleche and a top 20 at Liege along the way. I like his explosive kick and would fancy him to hold his own on the steep closing ramps tomorrow. Can he solo away for victory?

Sebastian Henao – There has to be a Sky rider on every list from now until the end of the race and I’ll go with my second Colombian! He lasted fairly long on the climb today, helping Landa get positioned near the front of the peloton, in fact, I think he was the last helper for the Spaniard. Small in stature, he might struggle to get into the break on the flat-lands but he was up there fighting today so I think he’ll give it another go tomorrow. It will be a massive opportunity for him to ride for his own glory for once, can he take it?

Prediction

Definite break winner, both the rider and I just have to be lucky about getting in it!

I’ll go for Movistar to bounce back and Anacona to take the win. He has looked exceptional on the climbs so far and it will be tough for anyone to beat him if he makes the move!

SDV_20161025-27_MT_Winner_Anacona_004copia2

Plus, he gives me the best “headline”!

Betting

Small punts on each of the riders (0.5pt on them all);

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 20.33.21

Would take 80/150/150/200 at the lowest price for all of them.

Right, thanks for reading as always and apologies that this is slightly more skimmed than normal. Although saying that, it is still pretty much 1000 words long! Any feedback is greatly appreciated as normal. Who do you think will take the win tomorrow? Anyway,

Those were My Two Spokes Worth.

Vuelta Stage 17 Preview: Castellón -> Llucena

Rest Day Recap

It was Drucker who ended up winning an ultimately messy sprint on stage 16, after catching Bennati within the final 200m. I didn’t manage to watch the stage, but it sounded quite dull until the finish anyway!

3543.jpg

As for the GC, Quintana, barring any incident or massive implosion, looks to have the race sealed up. The battle for the podium looks to be exciting with Contador only 5 seconds behind Chaves. In fact, we’ll definitely see some movement in and around the top 10 in this final week.

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 10.22.53

I’m hoping for some more exciting, no holds barred style racing in the coming stages. Maybe it won’t be as wild as it was on Stage 15 but I can’t see it being a defensive race (well, apart from Quintana), as everyone gives their all in the final week of the last Grand Tour of the year. Squeezing everything out the tank!

Anyway, let’s have a look what’s in store for us after this rest day.

The Route

Another classic Vuelta stage: a lot of climbing with a summit finish. At least the organisers have been kind and categorised most of the climbs for once!

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 10.28.34

The most important climbs of this stage are the two that bookend it. The Alto del Desierto de las Palmas is 7.1km long at an average of 5.4% with maximum ramps of 12%, according  to VeloViewer (see profile here). This climb is significant as this is most likely where the break of the day will be formed, or at least the riders will hope it is!

We then get two categorised climbs in the middle of the stage, but these shouldn’t change the outcome of the day. Unless of course some GC guys want to go wild early again!

This stage is therefore all about the final climb and the lead in to it. I did say things would be back to normal today, so in tradition I’ve created a Strava profile of the final 15km that you can view here.

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 10.59.17

The preamble before the main event is actually a 6km climb at Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 11.05.374%. This will certainly warm the legs up before the final ascent of the Alto Mas de la Costa. It’s another climb that typifies the Vuelta: short but bloody steep!

3.8km at 12.5% will certainly find anyone out who’s not recovered well after the rest-day, or happens just to be misfiring. Thus, some reasonable gaps can be made on a climb like this. Look back at La Camperona (Stage 8) for example, a stage with a similar final climb. That day saw a minute separating the first 10 GC riders home.

The tougher part of the climb is in the second half as well. Therefore it’s crucial for riders in contention that they don’t go out too hard and then blow up just before the top!

Looking back at those who went well on Stage 3 and 8 could give a good idea at the riders who might be in the mix here.

How will the stage pan out?

Like normal, we’re left with the age-old question of break or no break?

The day after the previous rest-day (Stage 11) saw a GC battle and a Froome stage win. However, that stage had a lot less climbing involved and was a lot easier to control for the GC teams. Saying that, as we saw on stage 15, they could go full gas from quite far out, but I think that situation is quite unlikely.

Therefore, I think we’re once again left with a break winning the stage and a GC battle behind.

Break Candidates

There are a lot of “obvious” break choices for this stage such as the two K’s at Sky (Konig & Kennaugh), Fraile, Elissonde and Brambilla. But as a guy with a penchant of choosing outsiders, I’ll be sticking to type here and naming some longer shots for the stage. Four this time round though!

Fabio Felline.

fabio-felline-paris-nice-trek-segafredo_3450799

The Italian has been climbing very well this Vuelta so far, finishing 3rd on stage 15. It’s most certainly something he’s improved on this year and looks to be getting stronger as the race goes on. He performed solidly, not outstanding, on stages 3 & 8 but I think he’ll go better tomorrow. Utilising his punchy nature, he’ll hope to put the hurt on his opponents on the steep ramps!

Bart de Clerq.

He came into this Vuelta as the main GC hope for Lotto Soudal but unfortunately crashed heavily on stage 6. This was particularly disappointing for him after a good show of form early in the race with a 12th place on Stage 3. Since then he’s been recuperating and was a feature in the break on the stage to Aubisque. He didn’t have the legs that day, but seems upbeat and that his form is returning. If he is back to his best then he will certainly be a danger man.

Rudy Molard.

05-06-2016 Criterium Du Dauphine Libere; Tappa Prologo Les Gets; 2016, Cofidis Solutions Credits; Molard, Rudy; Les Gets;

Another rider who had a great stage 3 (finishing 11th), he went a bit off the boil mid-Vuelta and lost some time on GC. However, a 16th place on the stage to Aubisque shows that the form is still there. A very consistent rider who doesn’t seem to get on the top step of the podium that often. Can he add to his one pro win here?

Maxime Bouet.

Second on the reduced bunch gallop in Bilbao was certainly a surprise! A rider who’s done a lot of work for his team-mates this race so far, he normally finds himself in a breakaway at some point during a Grand Tour. He’s not been in one yet and as a very solid all-rounder, he should be able to make the move if he’s given the all clear. The final climb will be on his limit but he did finish 26th (taking away the 12 break places) on a tough finish on stage 8 so the form is there.

Prediction

I say it’s a 70% chance that the break makes it tomorrow. With the stage being tough to control and set up for a GC rider, I think teams will instead use their resources by getting riders into the break of the day.

I’ll go for a guy who had a promising build up to the race and seems to be re-finding his feet. Bart de Clerq to win!

594332544

Betting

Small stakes on each of the break hopes:

0.3pt WIN De Clerq @ 200/1 with Betfair SB (I would take the 125/1 available if you can’t bet with BF)

0.25pt WIN Felline @ 100/1 with Skybet & Coral (Would take 80s available with B365 or Ladbrokes)

0.25pt WIN Molard @ 80/1 pretty much every bookmaker

0.2pt WIN Bouet @ 200/1 with Betfair and Paddy Power (Would take 150/1)

 

Thanks for reading! How do you think tomorrow’s stage will go? As usual, any feedback is greatly appreciated. Anyway,

Those were My Two Spokes Worth.

 

 

 

 

Vuelta Stage 10 Preview: Lugones -> Lagos de Cavadonga

Today’s Recap

In stark comparison to yesterday’s break, the move today was incredibly strong. Movistar were typical Movistar and didn’t bother to chase, even though escapee and eventual stage winner De La Cruz was only 2’36 down.

Cq9Lp4iVYAABmOz

Some will berate them, but it’s a great tactical move in my opinion. It means that their team gets another day of “rest”, yet they’re still very much in control of this Vuelta. Letting other teams have the jersey and making friends is in the interest of Movistar for later on in the race.

Anyway, let’s have a look at tomorrow’s stage.

The Route

After the past couple of stages, you’d think that it couldn’t get much harder…

But alas, we have the most amount of climbing metres so far on stage 10!

Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 14.42.33

A whole host of small un-categorised lumps punctuate the first 140km of the stage. However, this is all a pre-amble for before the closing 50km, where we have a first cat climb that whets the appetite before our first Especial Climb.

No Strava profile today, as the road book is good enough!

 

Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 14.51.37

As you can see, the Cat-1 is relatively short (6.2km) but it is tough! The average gradient (7.8%) is deceptive. Taking away the slight lump at the start, a more realistic representation of the climb is 4.7km at 10.1%. Now that’s a test! The climb itself is too far out for any GC damage, unless Contador wants to try one of his traditional long-range attacks. Instead, it will probably see the break split up, with only the strong riders cresting together. They’ll have to go over the top together, there is a long 15km or so flat section before the start of the final climb.

Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 14.59.18

tumblr_nfcd84GjRL1s2wio8o1_500

What a climb! You have to feel sorry for the riders at times; 12.2km with a 7.2% average gradient and 17.5% max kicker. Again, that average gradient is slightly lowered because there are a couple of false flats and shallow descents, so when they’re climbing it’s closer to an 8.5% gradient. The defining feature of the climb (aside from it being tough), is that it’s gradients are incredibly inconsistent. This makes finding a rhythm difficult and definitely suits some riders more than others. The last time this finish was used was back in 2014, when Niemiec just held on from the days breakaway to take the win.

How will the stage pan out?

Like normal we’re left with the age-old question of: break or no-break?

With the rest day on Tuesday, some of the GC teams may fancy their chances at controlling the break and going for a stage win. I think it’s clear from today’s performance that Movistar aren’t overly concerned with chasing for a stage win, not yet anyway, so that’s them out!

Therefore, it’s over to Tinkoff (Contador) and Sky (Froome). The former doesn’t have a very strong team in the mountains, but they do have strong rouleurs who could ride tempo on the opening part of tomorrow’s stage. Froome looked a bit tired at the end of stage 8 but looked OK today. Then again, there wasn’t much of a pace from the GC teams up the final climb, so he might not be confident of performing when the race is on.

So it’s over to Etixx to control the day and the break. They’re the type of team who will honour the jersey and chase if there is someone dangerous up the road. However, if they don’t get help from other teams then it will be a very long day for them! They’ll be hoping no-one in the top 20 goes on the attack.

Once again, I think we could see the break win. I make it a 70:30 split.

Breakaway Contenders

You know the drill by now, I’ll name 3 riders.

Larry Warbasse. (Again)

Amstel Gold Race 2016

Willing to give the American another chance. Same reasons as yesterday’s preview; fighting for contract and has been climbing well in the GC group the past few stages. He’s also far enough down to be let go.

Rudy Molard. (Again)

Molard likewise gets another chance. He’s close-ish on GC, but at 5’06 down he should be given the all clear by Etixx. He’s been climbing very well with the GC guys as of late and should not be discredited.

Tiago Machado.

tiago-machado

Without a GC rider, Katusha have to be attacking. They missed the break today so I expect them to be in it tomorrow. Machado himself was on the move earlier in the race, but that turned out to be a futile move. A strong climber on his day, he’s been rolling home the past few days. Possibly saving energy for tomorrow?

Apologies this section is slightly shorter than normal, it’s just disheartening having to write about a potential break everyday!

GC Battle Behind

I expect there to be a few fireworks behind in the GC group. Movistar/Sky/Tinkoff will all probably try to come to the front and ride tempo for their respective leaders. With it being a long and demanding climb, only the best will be left again and numbers will be key. Quintana will hope that Valverde can stay with them for as long as possible, the same goes for Froome with Konig. Contador unfortunately will have to fly solo, but he’s been used to that in this race.

I expect Valverde to attack at some point, hoping to draw the others out, meaning that Quintana can get an easier ride. Orica could possibly try something similar with Yates & Chaves.

If all three of the main GC guys are on form, it could be a great stage and this well could be the image we see throughout the Vuelta.

chris-froome-nairo-quintana-alberto-contador_3773833

However, going off what we saw on Saturday and partly because I’m a big Quintana fan, I think the Colombian can put in a stinging attack tomorrow and dishearten his opponents. He looked so comfortable on the final climb on that day,with his jersey zipped all the way to the top, as the other contenders had theirs agape. He could possibly gain another 20-30 seconds on a very good day, and that would give him a very nice buffer going into the rest day!

Prediction

The break stays away and Molard wins.

05-06-2016 Criterium Du Dauphine Libere; Tappa Prologo Les Gets; 2016, Cofidis Solutions Credits; Molard, Rudy; Les Gets;

Behind we get some GC fireworks.

Betting

Even if you think it’s a GC day there’s no point backing them pre-stage, so another selection of raffle tickets for me:

Molard 0.25pt @ 100/1 (B365)

Warbasse 0.125pt @ 100/1 (B365)

Machado 0.125pt @ 100/1 (PP)

KONIG v Moreno; TALANSKY v Scarponi; YATES v Atapuma (H2H treble) 3.5pts at 3.03/1 (b365)

As normal, hunt around for better prices later.

 

Thanks again for reading, how do you think the stage will pan out tomorrow? I hope it’s an exciting stage after today’s relatively damp squib. As usual, any feedback is greatly appreciated! Anyway,

Those were My Two Spokes Worth.

Vuelta Stage 9 Preview: Cistierna -> Oviedo

Today’s Recap

A disgustingly average break was let away early on and they fought it out for the stage. Not to take anything away from the riders, they still had to dig incredibly deep and it was Sergey Lagutin who took a gruelling win. The Vuelta does love a surprise winner!

La Vuelta Cycling Tour

Behind there were big GC gaps, with Quintana coming off the best, gaining 25 seconds on Contador & 33 on Froome. I’m happy to see the Colombian going well after many were calling for his head after the Tour. Chaves was the biggest disappointment losing 57 seconds to Quintana! One of the blog’s break selections performed excellently in the shape of Sergio Pardilla who came home on the same time as Froome. Whereas, Romain Hardy finished in a solid 28th, a respectable 1’10 behind Quintana. What could have been!

Anyway, moving on to tomorrow’s stage.

The Route

After today’s monster finish, the riders might be glad to see a stage with more descending than ascending. Unfortunately for them, that doesn’t mean it will be any easier!

Screen Shot 2016-08-27 at 10.21.12

This will be another very fest start to the day as the riders look to get into the break. The uphill start will aid the climbers, going off the road book, it looks to be 7km at 3.4% (from km 3-10). Although, I doubt the break will be gone by then. It will probably be made on the long false flat afterwards! The first Cat-2 will be another sting in the legs, and the riders will be looking forward to the long, gradual descent from 60-105km.

As usual, I’ve made a Strava profile for the final 60km that can be viewed here.

Screen Shot 2016-08-27 at 10.53.12

It’s a very demanding end to the race. The first climb, Alto de Santo Emilliano is 7km long, averaging 4.3%. Not overly tough, but the second half of the climb is much steeper. Follows is a reasonably long descent and bit of flat before the real action starts!

The Alto de San Tirso starts the fireworks off. 5.3km long at 3.9% average gradient, this is the easiest of the final climbs. The next uncategorised ascent comes it at 3km long at 5.6%. It’s much steeper at the start of the climb, but it should be manageable and I’d expect any break to still be together here.

Where a move may be made is on the Alto de la Manzaneda (4km at 5.6%). However, those figures include the false flat/plateau at the summit. The main bulk of the climb is 3km at 7.1%. Those who don’t want to wait until the final climb will have to attack here!

The final climb itself out of Oviedo is a classic climb in this area, 5km at 6.8%. However, it is very irregular! There are a couple of 500m sections where the gradient goes above 10%. With all of the climbing that’s came beforehand, I would expect the winner here to be a good climber. Then again, it is the Vuelta and riders often surprise. Lindeman’s win last year comes to mind!

How will the stage pan out?

Break. 100%.

break1

Movistar are now in control of the red jersey and will be able to ride more defensively. After what still was a big GC effort today, the riders will probably be saving themselves for Monday, where bigger time gaps can be made. Movistar won’t want to put any extra effort in, chasing for the stage win as there are bigger tests to come!

Therefore, anyone that’s not a threat on GC will be able to go. This probably stands for anyone who’s over 4 minutes down on Quintana, so those just outside the top 20 could sneak into the move.

Like normal, I’ll nominate three riders who could give it a pop!

Tobias Ludvigsson.

Tobias_Ludvigsson_profiel-600x594

A bit of a left-field pick this one but I’m a big fan of Big T. Looking through the results today and I was pleasantly surprised to see that he finished 47th, a mere 6 seconds behind red jersey wearing Atapuma. A rider very much in the mould of his team-mate Dumoulin, his strength is his time trialling ability. With the climbs tomorrow not being that severe in gradient, he could use his big engine to solo away before the final climb, a la Dumoulin at the Tour, and hold on for the stage win.

Larry Warbasse.

The rangy American performed very well on today’s stage, finishing in 27th. Clearly he enjoyed the conditions and is showing some good form. A solid all-round domestique, it would be good form him to get in the break and put on a good display. Especially considering that he’s still out of contract for next season as far as I’m aware. Finishing 7th on GC at the Tour de Pologne earlier the year, he certainly has the potential, it’s just a case of him showing it!

Rudy Molard.

05-06-2016 Criterium Du Dauphine Libere; Tappa Prologo Les Gets; 2016, Cofidis Solutions Credits; Molard, Rudy; Les Gets;

Another Cofidis rider who is quietly going about their business and is performing well. He’s someone who always rides solidly but never seems to be in the position to win something. Sitting in 27th on GC, if he makes the break tomorrow he would be a rider to worry about, especially on his current form.

Prediction

Break wins, obviously.

I’ll go with the American Larry Warbasse to take the stage. I really like the attacking spirit of IAM and it would be nice to see him get his first pro win and with it manage to secure a contract next year!

Amstel Gold Race 2016

Betting

Same staking plan as today;

Warbasse 0.25pt EW 125/1 Bet365

Ludvigsson 0.125pt EW ?

Molard 0.125pt EW 80/1 Bet365

As usual shop around for better price later. I’m away out this evening so getting the preview out early. If you spot any price for Big T later then please let me know (on twitter preferably @JamieHaughey). I’m not sure he’ll be priced up anywhere Paddies/Betfair best hope. Or a better price for any of these guys!

Thanks for reading again! Who do you think will win the break lottery? I hope we’re in for an exciting, attacking stage. As usual, any feedback is greatly appreciated. Anyway,

Those were My Two Spokes Worth.