UCI World Road Race – Cycling Value

Cycling, UCI World Championship Road Race (Mens)
Nibali @ 18/1, best value and main selection. An awesome tactician and one day racer this is HIS chance to win the Worlds. If he gets away over the last climb he will fancy taking more time on the technical descent to the finish. Secondary picks: Alaphilippe @ 5/1, most likely to win and 5/1 a fair price given amount of winning he’s been doing over super hilly parcours! Roglic @ 18/1 this guys not really under the radar anymore but fact he’s avoided the TT speaks volumes.  Should be a brutal, fascinating race. From a small group Nibali could get away, from a bigger group Alaphilippe could go clear or win in a sprint.

£5 Nibali @ 18/1 Skybet
£5 Alaphilippe @ 5/1 Coral/Lads/Betfred
£3 Roglic @ 18/1 BetVic

Cycling Value – Paris Roubaix

Bit of a stray away from the norm this morning with a look at the Paris-Roubaix on Sunday.
The team that has been totally dominant in the Spring Classics this season is unsurprisingly Quick Step Floors. Now they are without Tom Boonen the other teams don’t really know who to mark and they have been sharing the spoils between them with brilliant teamwork after getting more riders into the finale’s of races than any other teams. So whilst Sagan or Van Avermaet might be individually stronger their team mates are tending to get out numbered by quick step and unable to cover or make as many moves.
The difficulty is finding the value within the Quick Step team as they are as short as 2.10 to win with any rider.
I’m going to side with Philippe Gilbert who won the Tour of Flanders last year at about 20/1 and could be about to repeat the trick in this years Queen of the Classics, Paris Roubaix. This has been his focus since the turn of the year and his stated aim of winning all five monuments before retirement would have to include this race along with Milan San Remo, which was earlier in the year. He is on form having done a lot of work in the Tour of Flanders last weekend for his team mates and they could be about to return the favour this weekend.
He is as short as 6/1 with Unibet but you can get 12/1 Ladbrokes which I’ve used a boost to get 14/1 which I think is a nice price.
£5 Philippe Gilbert to win Paris Roubaix @ 14/1 Ladbrokes (boosted)

Tour de France Stage 20

Today is the penultimate stage of the Tour, that will effectively decide the top 10 positions, with only Sunday’s procession to Paris to come. I have had the privilege of riding today’s stage (minus the Col de la Ramaz) a couple of weeks ago at the Etape, and I can tell you that the final climb up the Joux Plane is every bit as bad as they are making out. Looking at the weather  its not looking good, with rain on the cards anything could happen on the descents – that’s probably why Nibali is a shorter price today. However if they all stay upright it’s my belief that the best climber in the tour will win this stage. It doesn’t finish on the summit but it will take a very good descender to reel a gap created on the climb which could be significant. The bookies have priced it up like they have no idea of what’s going to happen making Valverde and Nibali tentative favourites at 8/1. I think we could see a similar scenario as yesterday however with the breakaway not allowed much leeway as GC teams seek to keep the pace high across all four Cols. If the break is within striking distance at the base of the Joux Plane then it will likely be a GC rider winning the day. To my eyes this is a similar stage to the penultimate stage in 2013 up the Semnoz, a mountain that saw Quintana and Froome duke it out with the pure climbing ability of Quintana winning the stage.
Again those two are regarded as the best two climbers in the race and I’m surprised to see both at 25/1+.
Froome did crash yesterday and will be sore, but he is hard as they come and I cannot see him being far from the front at any point today, he is by far the strongest rider this year and may want to stamp a final seal on this race by winning another stage. Quintana has suffered in recent days and doesn’t look at his absolute peak, but even so is not very far off on GC. He has experience on this climb; in the 2012 Critérium du Dauphiné, the Colombian claimed his first victory at WorldTour level as he descended at perfection after he rode away up to Joux-Plane. A victory here would put a shine on an otherwise below par Tour for him. I think this finale will really whittle down the best of the best and at big prices Froome and Quintana look worth a small involvement. I’m going Froome e/w as he cannot really sprint but is likely to close to whoever wins today.

Stage 20
£2 Froome @ 34.0 Betfair
£2 Quintana @ 44.0 Betfair
£2 Froome top 3 @ 6.7 Betfair

Today’s Tour Stage

Not much joy on the Acca last night with Celtic going down at odds of 1-10 in Gibraltar.
That looked a night worth a bet and there may be more opportunities, but obviously I’ll look to keep the risk small with the form not established.
Today is another Spint stage on the Tour. It looks as likely a bunch finish as you’ll get, crosswinds aside, nothing is likely to stop the sprinters duelling it out at the finish. The market has it about right with the top two, Cavendish and Kittel look closely matched this year. Perhaps Cav @ 9/4 isn’t a bad bet, given he’s came out on top three times already and has a long history of picking up multiple stage wins. I wouldn’t put you off that but I’m happy with a small bet at a bigger price on Kiwi born Brit Dan McLay. He’s been mixing it where he’s no right to be this year, his sprint finish form reading 9973 thus far. So the 28/1 each way, giving us 7/1 on the top 3 looks decent. Especially given the confidence the rider will have gained from his first Grand Tour top 3 finish.
£2.50 e/w Dan McLay @ 28/1 Bet365


Tour de France Stage 1

Saturday sees the start of the 103rd Tour de France and I see a little bit of value in betting on the winner of the first stage.
Typically a sprint stage the opening stage is again very flat this year and looks every unlikely to be anything other than a bunch sprint. The best sprinter in the peleton nowadays is without doubt German Marcel Kittel. He won the opening stage in ’13 & ’14 and despite having a torrid 2015 due to illness and luck, he looks back to his best this year. He’s got a very strong lead out train with Etixx-Quick-Step and he is rightfully favourite to win this. For me, the main concern is crashes, which do happen early on in the Tour, but if he’s thereabouts with his lead out in the finale without any hold ups the 6/4 will look a very tasty price indeed.
He’s closer to Even money elsewhere and I reckon could go odds-on come the day.
£15 Kittel to win stage 1 @ 6/4 Coral