Today marks the second rest day of the Giro with nine stages now chalked off. The break provides a good opportunity to study the outright markets and the form of the contenders in the opening encounters.
Pre-race favourite Chris Froome has really struggled, giving this market a very different complection compared to ten days ago. Of course, it’s too early to rule someone of Froome’s class out completely. He does not, however, look worth a punt given his performance so far, even at his now inflated price of 9/1.
Froome’s successors at the top of the market are also unappealing at current prices.
For such a short priced favourite, Tom Dumoulin, at 11/10, looked unnervingly vulnerable in the mountains. Second favourite Simon Yates has so far been the class act of the race, and the spring campaign as a whole for that matter, but those exertions will have to take their toll eventually.
Compared to his teammate Esteban Chaves and Thibaut Pinot, who have both had less grueling seasons and have contended nicely so far, the risk is Yates could taper off as the stages grind on.
Of these latter two, Ernesto Chaves is my current pick of the prices. His solo ride up Mount Etna was very impressive and he has looked comfortable on the hill top finishes of the weekend.
Usually being the teammate of the race leader would mean sacrificing your own chances, but given the strength of the Mitchelton-Scott team at this race they have been able to isolate the other team leaders without straining Chaves.
This gives freedom to both Yates and Chavez to race for outright victory.
Chaves sits poised in third place at the moment, and his current price of 12/1 really appeals as an each way bet given how few realistic contenders there are.
King of the Mountains
This market is currently dominated by riders hoping for a high General Classification finish. For me, this is not the type of rider you should look at. Generally the winner of the mountain crown is a talented climber who has already lost his chance of a high overall finish.
Last year’s winner Mikel Landa, for example, took it as a consolation prize for Team Sky after they’d lost their leader Geraint Thomas, and they may approach this year’s tour in the same way if Froome’s slump continues.
Several of their riders fit this profile and appeal at huge prices. Kenny Elissonde at 100/1 may be the pick of the bunch.
Not quite as talented as Landa, he ticks all the other boxes, and may just be the best value in a market where any number of riders outside of the leaders can make a strong case.
Outright Winner: Esteban Chaves – 12/1 E/W
King of the Mountains: Kenny Elissonde – 100/1 E/W
*All odds correct at time of posting