Goodbye Tom Dumoulin; it was the right decision to leave this year’s Giro. It was a miserable day in northern Italy won by a not-so-miserable Pascal Ackermann. It won’t be another stage for the (new) big German tomorrow as the tough uphill finish hands the stage over to the puncheurs.
The Just Profile
We start in the wonderful little town of Cassino. Riders tackle three unclassified climb before the Coppa Casarinelle arrives 30km from the line. It’s unlikely to force a GC day (famous last words) but should stop our tired sprinters from even thinking about surviving (no Michael Mathews this year, unfortunately). The peloton will crest another unclassified peak soon after, before a short descent to the final kilometre.
Launch a Fiver – Bob Jungels 28/1
I don’t think we’ll get a GC day tomorrow but if the break is weak again (sorry Bardiani) I can imagine things coming back together on the Casarinelle. If so, a rider like Bob Jungels could slip away on the short descent, or even win a very reduced bunch sprint. After all, Jungels loves this race.
Launch a Fiver – Valerio Conti 33/1
UAE’s Valerio Conti is far better value than stage favourite Diego Ulissi tomorrow. Recent history suggests Ulissi will leave it late and back himself to win from a bunch (a tactic which has been largely unsuccessful). Conti is likely to be given more wriggle room and the final 20km are perfect for a wriggler. He’ll be desperate to finish any opportunity that comes his way. I’m back on the Conti train!
Launch a Fiver – Mattia Cattaneo 40/1
This is the first of many days that I will be backing Mattia Cattaneo. He could get in the early break but he is one of the most talented Androni riders and may wait in the peloton alongside the GC riders. Nevertheless, he’s quick enough to steal this one if he gets a chance.
Any Other Business
Primoz Roglic is 16/1. That could prove to be a huge price, and make a lot of us look silly
Cassino was valuable for it’s naturally high position in the famous, brutal, Battle of Monte Cassino in the Second World War. I’ve heard many a story first hand – courtesy of my grandad.