Stage 4 of the Giro d' Italia 100th edition is set for Tuesday after a "rest day" since competitors had to move from Sardinia to Sicily. Expert capper has all the information to put you up to date with the competition.
So we are just three days into the 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia and we’re already on a rest day... well it’s a ‘rest day’ to facilitate the transfer from Sardinia to Sicily from where the race continues with stage 4 on Tuesday.
A quick wrap-up of what we’ve seen so far. Well, nothing much has happened really with regards the General Classification and over winners market, Nairo Quintana is still around the even money favorite with Vincenzo Nibali and Steven Kruijswijk still at the same prices they started at too. The only rider who really has made any positive moves in the GC is Bob Jungels of QuickStep Floors, who gained 13” on his rivals, on top of helping his team-mate Fernando Gaviria win stage 3 with some fantastic riding to split the race in the wild cross-winds of Sardinia.
There has been stage wins for Lukas Postlberger and Andre Greipel, also for the second time in the Giro’s history, we had three different stage winners and three different wearers of the leaders’ pink jersey.
The race step-stones its way from Sardinia to Sicily moving to stage 4, where they will spend two days, before crossing the straits of Messina and on to the toe of Italy. The first stage on Sicily is a brute though, no easing back into it, as they tackle the volcanic mountain of Mount Etna on a day where they will climb over 4,000m in total. It could be the day that we see the first real showdown between the top GC contenders – Thibaut Pinot +450 followed by Nairo Quintana +600 and Vincenzo Nibali +650 all betting odds can be found at SBR's top sportsbooks. I’m not a backer of Pinot at just +450, and I think Quintana may keep his powder dry until later in the race.
Nibali would dearly love to win the stage and take the race lead so he car rode into his hometown of Messina the next day with the pink jersey on his shoulders, but I can’t see it happening. Instead, I like the look of Adam Yates for a late attack at +800 or Rui Costa to hang in there and sprint to the stage win at a tasty +2800.
Wednesday sees them spend their first day on the mainland and it should see another sprint stage, but the break might have a chance too as some teams might be tired after the previous day’s exertions on Etna. If it does end in a sprint, Caleb Ewan might finally get his stage win after a couple of unlucky days, although Greipel and Gaviria will be very close too, they both have a stage win to their name and are both sprinting really well. But watch out also for another Sicilian Giovanni Visconti to try something on home soil.
Thursday’s stage 6 has an interesting uphill sprint finish for the ‘puncheurs’, with the last 700m averaging 8% gradient. Look for the likes of Jasper Stuyven, Geraint Thomas, Tom Dumoulin, Rui Costa, Michael Woods, Hugh Carthy and Nathan Haas.
Friday sees them tackle a long stage at 224kms, but it’s pretty flat and should end in another sprint, watch out for Gaviria, Greipel, Ewan and maybe Sam Bennett too if he has got over his illness. Saturday’s stage 8 could be a lot wilder than it looks on paper, with a lot of the day spent on the windy Adriatic coast, followed by a number of lumpy hills and an uphill sprint finish. This could well be one for the break, if not, look to the riders who finished in the top 10 on Stage 6.Make Sure To Check Out Free Picks From Top Handicappers
Sunday’s stage could be one of the key stages of the race, with a vertical finish that climbs to over 1600m in Blockhaus, averaging 8% for 13kms. Riders may not win the Giro here, but some could lose it, it’s going to be a tough day in the saddle. Look to the likes of Nairo Quintana to start to make his mark in this race, but Domenico Pozzovivo, Steven Kruijswijk, and Mikel Landa could all be big dangers on this finish too.
Come Sunday evening the riders will be looking forward to their next rest day and the GC will have a very different look to what we have on this first rest day. Who knows, Quintana could practically have one hand on the trophy already. I think Giacomo Nizzolo can still make a run at the Points Competition and should be backed each-way +900.
Come back next week for the next rest day update.