Our Cycling Journo has run his eye of the giro and given his betting pointers for the first grand tour of 2013.
The Giro d’Italia starts in Naples on Saturday and finishes in Milan three weeks later. It promisses to be the big show down between Vicenzo Nibali (Team Astana) and Bradley Wiggins (Team SKY). Wiggins raced the Giro five times before, the highest final ranking being 40th. That shouldn’t be seen a big factor as all his former participations were before he transformed himself from a track rider to a stage race rider. It’s a weird fella, Wiggins, once he gets something in his head, there’s no stopping. He prepared meticulously for last year’s Tour de France and Olympic Games and both goals were met. On the look out for new challenges, he set his eyes on the Giro trophy. The long 55k time trial suits him, during which he’ll put minutes to the other contenders and he is to limit his losses in the high mountains.
He’s 11/10 for the win at best, better be watched.
His main opponent is Nibali, also a former grand tour winner, has a decent time trial, strong in the mountains, well equiped team at his disposal and ready to challenge Wiggins. At 2/1 he’s slightly more interesting, but then, a three weeks’ wait is a long time for such short odds to land. I’ll rather look elsewhere.
Assuming Wiggins and Nibali will likely occupy the first two spots on the podium, barring accidents, there’s little room left for the other contenders to land on the 3rd step of the podium. Last year’s surprise winner Ryder Hesjedal has a fair shot (8/1 for the outright win), so has Michele Scarponi, Robert Gesink, Cadel Evans or Samuel Sanchez. Hesjedal is worth an EW bet.
I do wish to make a case for a young Basque rider, Benat Intxausti of Team Movistar. His palmares isn’t impressive yet, but has recorded decent results in smaller stage races. The Giro is his big season goal, just like last year, when he stood in 6th position five days before the last stage, and then he got sick and dropped down to 34th or something like that. I expect a similar result -if not better- without the sickness. He has leadership role appointed to him and he’s a protected rider. He’s 100/1 for the outright win at a few places. Worth a small EW bet.
There’s other markets as well this time. Betfair has a top6 market and there’s a few top10 markets at some bookies. Intxausti is 6/5 at the latter. Top6 is 3/1 at BF at the moment, which is decent price.
Points Classification, Mark Cavendish, 14/1 at places (!) 1p paddy power william hill