Article submitted by twitter user @cyclingbolar

This is the first time this circuit is used in the race. With over 3000m of climbing, this is a hard stage. Depending on how it is ridden, it could come down to a small bunch sprint or a small group/solo win.

The last incline on the circuit is a 600m climb @ 9% before a 1.8km descent to the finish.

Let’s look at the contenders.

Peter Sagan $3.25/$1.60 – Sagan won here last year. He deserves to be favourite as an in form Sagan would win this stage, but I’m not convinced he’s anywhere near form, so I am dismissing him.

Daryl Impey $6/$2 – Impey is looking in good shape. If Sagan isn’t there at the end, Impey should be and should be favourite for this stage. Second last year, he will look to win. If he wants to win the Tour Down Under, he needs to win this stage. Otherwise I think it’s over for him.

Michael Valgren $11/$3.50 – Valgren is a good classics rider and that is what this stage is designed for. However, he has Ben O’Connor and Tom-Jelte Slagter for the overall to worry about it. If all 3 are there at the end and the latter two are safe, then Valgren may be given the green light to go for the stage win.

Jay McCarthy – $11/$3.50 – If Sagan and Impey are not there, and this comes down to a small group, McCarthy should be there and if he is, he is the fastest finisher. Big threat.

Patrick Bevin $13/$4 – Similar to McCarthy, Bevin has a good sprint on him. He will be feeling confident he can get a second win and outsprinting everyone. Genuine chance.

Luis Leon Sanchez $13/$4 – Lulu loves this race and looks to be in good shape. He had an early go for it yesterday but couldn’t hang on. He will be attacking today and will be attacking late. If he can arrive without McCarthy and Bevin and Haas, he will be liking his chances of a stage win.

Nathan Haas $17/$6 – Haas has a good sprint on him and will like his chances against anyone other than Sagan and Impey.

Heinrich Haussler $17/$6 – Haussler is in good form and if he’s there at the end, he packs a fast enough sprint to beat everyone. I don’t think he will be as he has leaders he needs to work for.

Caleb Ewan $34/$11 – I don’t think this circuit is that much tougher than Stirling, and if Lotto Soudal can control this, then Ewan is a good chance. Being outsprinted by Bevin yesterday would have hurt Ewan. He will come out pumped. If he’s there at the end, he wins.

Rohan Dennis $41/$13 – No one is really mentioning Dennis. That is wrong. Dennis will be suited to this circuit and he is going to go for it. If you give him an inch, he is capable of getting away and time trialing to the line considering it’s only 1.8km from the top of the final climb to the finish. If he arrives with one or two other riders, depending on who they are, he could probably beat them.

Odds found at Bet Easy

Tips & Prediction

So betting wise, I am going to take 3 riders.

Rohan Dennis @ $41/$13 (1)
Caleb Ewan @ $34/$11 (1)
Daryl Impey @ $6 (1)

I think Dennis will win this stage. I have taken Ewan because he is over the odds and just in case this stage is controlled like Stirling. And I’ve taken Impey because I think he will definitely be there if a group of 5-15 sprint for it.

Head to Heads

Dries Devenyns over Heinrich Haussler @ $2.02 (5) – I think Haussler will be on team duties and Devenyns is flying at the moment and I expect top 10 by him today.

Jay McCarthy over Nathan Haas @ $1.88 (5) – Both will be there at the end and McCarthy is faster based on current form.

Prediction

As mentioned, Dennis solos this. Impey will lead the group from behind with McCarthy in third.

  1. Rohan Dennis
  2. Daryl Impey
  3. Jay McCarthy