One last chance for the sprinters - or will it be a repeat of 2015 when Iljo Keise & Luke Durbridge held off the pack to deny the sprinters in Milan. can he do it again? Let's review the odds inside.
Must Check SBR's 2016 Tour De France Betting Guide
Giro d'Italia Stage 21 - Cuneo to Torino, 163kms,
It was another crazy day in the Giro today. To say I was disappointed with how today turned out would be an understatement. To have two of your picks in the first three as they headed towards the final part of the race, with a large enough lead to mean they were fighting for the stage, and for them to finish 2nd and 3rd to a Katusha rider who has done nothing the whole race, well, that was very frustrating. I am delighted for Dombrowski of course, we have waited and agonised as he failed to deliver, but then, true to his word he went for it today. And he gave us a hell of a run for our money, he was looking so strong at times.
Nieve also did the business for us with the KOM bet, he went for it from the 1st kilometre and kept at it until he had it wrapped up – a brilliant bit of riding from him. And the first matchbet won, the second was just bust my Majka managing to blow it and finish behind Uran by two places.
Not a lot to say about this route, it's the usual end-of-a-Grand-Tour procession, but this year they finish in Turin. They start in Cuneo, do a little loop to the south and then head north on an almost straight road, descending gently for 84kms until they reach Villastellone, where the road flattens out.
Shortly after they arrive in to Torino where they start on eight laps of a finishing circuit. The 7.5-km circuit runs almost entirely along the right bank of the Po River. After passing over the finish line, the route runs around the Chiesa della Gran Madre and then tackles the only short climb of the stage, leading to Villa della Regina. Next, a fast-running descent leads into Corso Moncalieri, and then to the other bank of River Po. Here, the route passes under Ponte Balbis, enters Parco del Valentino and runs across the park up to the red flag. In the last kilometre, they go through two bends before and after the Ponte Umberto which lead into the 600m long home stretch.
For the 41st time in the Giro d'Italia history, Torino will be stage finish of the Corsa Rosa.
Can Nizzolo finally do it? Can Modolo get up to nab enough points to finish in the top 3 in the Points competition? Can any of the other sprinters get up to beat Nizzodolo? Can a break hold them off? To make things more interesting rain is forecast for the afternoon so it's something to bear in mind for the sprinters. They will have a headwind all day though and as it's quite a long stage we could see a very slow and boring start to the stage. It should come alive as they enter the circuits though and we should finally see some action.
We saw in stage 17 that the sprinters teams are a mess at this point in the race, they were all over the place and the sprinter were left to their own devices and Kluge held off Nizzolo. Can Trek finally get it right and give Nizzolo the win he craves so much? I think he has to have a great chance again and I think we will finally see him land his first Giro stage win after nine 2nd places.
He doesn't have a great team left with him but I think they will do enough to keep the race under control with Lampre-Merida (and possibly Dimension Data, Katusha and Giant-Alpecin. Lampre should take over lead-out duties near the finish as they have a stronger squad left, but I think Nizzolo will be on their wheels and pounce late to outsprint Modolo.
I gave Modolo a chance in stage 17 and he was terrible, it was like he didn't know what to do with 300m to go - he started a sprint, then stopped and pulled to the right, was passed and blocked off by a number of riders and by the time he got out and got sprinting it was too late and he finished 4th. If he does anything like that tomorrow, Nizzolo will destroy him. It is a tricky finishing circuit and it could be wet, and that suits Nizzolo more than most.
Giant Alpecin could work hard to get Arndt in to position, he has been riding really well lately, including 3rd on stage 17 and 5th on stage 18. With so few sprinters left in the race, it might pay to go with form riders who have a lot of power, and that's Arndt. at +1400 betting odds might be worth a bet e/w.
Alexander Porsev could have a chance again, but he seems to be a 5th to 10th place man too many times. Of course we could get the late attacks from the likes of Daniel Oss, Ramunas Navardauskas, Roger Kluge, Stefan Kung and maybe even Adam Hansen, who I can't recall seeing once in this whole race. Maybe he's been waiting for this stage.
Matteo Trentin will have to win the stage and Nizzolo will have to score less than 7 points in order for Trentin to take the jersey off him. Of course Trentin will be in with a chance in the sprint too, and we may even see him try to get off the front in the closing kilometres in a small group to try to nick the stage and the jersey. I think though that the sprinters teams will keep the race together at the end in time for a sprint and for one my Sport Picks I think that Nizzolo will finally get the win to crown that red jersey he has now more or less won.
3pts on Giacomo Nizzolo at +194 on Betfair
0.5pts each-way on Nik Arndt at +1400 with Bet365
Arndt to beat Porsev - 2pts at +110 with Bet365
Nizzolo to beat Modolo and Trentin to beat Navardauskas - 2pts at +100 with Paddy Power