Tom Dumoulin marginally shaded favoritism at +175 over Cancellara who was +187.50. Cancellara came out on Twitter with a stomach flu. How will this affect your betting picks?
Giro D'Italia Stage 1 - Apeldoorn to Apeldoorn
Friday 6th May, 9.8kms ITT
The Giro d’Italia kicks off with a 9.8km individual time trial around the streets of Apeldoorn, a small town of 159,000 inhabitants in the middle of Holland. Home favorites Tom Dumoulin, Jos Van Emden, Steven Kruijswijk and Martin Tjallingi will be going all out to make it a day to remember for the home fans and Dumoulin will be looking to take the pink jersey ahead of the next two stages in the Dutch countryside.
The route is dead flat on wide roads all within the centre of the city. After 2kms they turn sharp right and go along the canal Noord, then with 6kms to go turn left and go over the bridge, then sharp left again to head back down the other side of the canal and past the intermediate split with just under 5kms to go. The last 5kms are mostly on wide roads with just a few tight bends to negotiate, but there are roundabouts, speed bumps and street furniture to contend with along the way too.
Analysis and Picks
A two-horse-race? The top two in the sports betting odds made up 71% of the book with Paddy Power when they came out with their prices about a week ago. Tom Dumoulin marginally shaded favouritism at +175 over Cancellara who was +187.50 early on and there really wasn't anything in it to start with. Then Cancellara shortened to around +150 and Dumoulin drifted out to +200 as money came for Cancellara.
But that was before the tweet by Cancellara on Thursday morning threw the market up in the air. "Bad luck hit me yesterday after training,stomach flu/Fever put me in bed.full rest today and stay positive for tomorrow" - that's not good news if you are on Cancellara, a stomach bug will leave you weak for a day or two and could seriously jeopardize his chances. It may be mind games, but he was pretty specific and is saying he's resting today.
Tom Dumoulin has been in action last week in the Tour of Romandie, but finished twice in both of the time trials - 2nd in the opening prologue to Ion Izagirre, beaten by 6", 2nd in the longer 15km TT on Friday over the hill, beaten by Thibaut Pinot by 2". This TT is completely different to the TTs in Romandie though, it's flat and fast and at just under 10kms, just long enough for him to get the power down and really motor it around the course. It's also starting in the Netherlands, so if he can't get motivated and lifted on that day, he never will! The crowd will be screaming him home and is probably good for a few seconds advantage!
Fabian Cancellara hasn't raced since the disaster of his crash in Paris-Roubaix a month ago, a race he was favorite to win. He had a good Classics season, but although he was the brilliant winner of Strade Bianche he will probably consider this campaign a disappointment. 4th in E3, 4th in Gent-Wevelgem, 2nd in Flanders, a race he really wanted to win and he crashed out of contention in PR.
He has entered two ITTs this year, the first in the Volta ao Algarve, beating Tony Martin by 5" and Ion Izagirre by 37" for comparison purposes against Dumoulin. The second was in the final stage of Tirreno-Adriatico over 10kms, where he destroyed the field, beating Johan le Bon by 13", Martin by 15" and Geniez by 18". Up until his tweet he looked to me to have the edge over Dumoulin and I had picked him as my selection.
Bob Jungels has also been in action in Romandie and has been going really well - hauling the EQS team around to set up the sprint for Kittel, then led the second time trial for quite a while until Pinot and Dumoulin came and beat him. He didn't go so great in the opening prologue, finishing down in 45th place, but like Dumoulin he wouldn't have had time to get the diesel engine running. The Luxembourg TT champion is sure to have lots of supporters come over to cheer him on and he could put in a big ride on the day too.
Stefan Kung burst on to the scene with victories in both the U23 road and ITT championships in 2014, and has since added to his medal haul by being part of the victorious BMC team in the Worlds' TTT last year. He has hardly raced at all this year so far, he has only raced 1600kms this year, almost exactly half of what Bob Jungels has done.
Next we have two interesting riders in Matthias Brandle and Jos Van Emden and both of them have outside chances here of causing an upset - in fact I'd give them more of a chance than Kung. Matthias Brandle of IAM Cycling has finished 3rd, 8th and 11th in ITTs this year, and last year he won the prologue over 6.8kms in the Belgium Tour ahead of Rohan Dennis and finished 7th in the prologue of the TDF in Utrecht last year also. If he's on a really good day he could notch a podium spot.
Jos Van Emden led that prologue in Utrecht last year for a long time before the big guns came out and pushed him down to 5th by the end. He finished 2nd in the TT in Qatar at the start of the season and he has also won the TT in the Eneco Tour last year over 14kms, with Malori in 3rd and Brandle in 5th.
Van Emden has done a lot of work with the Van Karmen Institute of Fluid Dynamics in their wind tunnel recently though in search of ways to save seconds and he has said that he is aiming for a podium spot in the TT. He was +3300 with PaddyPower when they opened, but they were offering win only. Skybet were offering each-way betting but he was +2200. I thought that was a decent each-way bet and backed him at that a few days ago, he’s now just +1100 best price, but with Cancellara ill he is still worth a shot.
Katusha have a lively outsider too in Anton Vorobyev, he is a former Russian ITT champion and has been pulling off some good rides lately, including winning the TT over 6.8kms at the Circuit Cycliste Sarthe a month ago, beating Coppel and Brandle by 1". After that it's hard to see anyone else winning this - Alexandre Geniez could come in to the reckoning after finishing 12th in the first TT in Romandie and 3rd in the 7km TT in the Criterium International a month ago. He might interest some as their betting pick at +8000.
Manuel Quinziato, Michael Hepburn, Jack Bobridge, Moreno Moser, Manuele Boaro and Pavel Brutt could all go well too. I was originally siding with Cancellara and was pretty confident he’d win this, but his sickness changes everything and now Dumoulin looks like the one to beat.
2pts win on Tom Dumoulin at +125.00 or better
0.5pts each-way on Jos Van Emden at +1100 with various