Article submitted by twitter user @cyclingbolar
Here we go, the final day where the riders finish on Richie Porte Hill. Porte has won this stage for the last 5 years, always putting in two timely attacks which no one can react to. He is going to have a corner named after him after he retires one would think – most likely the one where he launches his brutal attacks.
So GC is wide open. Paddy Bevin is starting the stage, but it is pretty much over for him. Bruised rips, hips and whatever else he has – he is going to find it hard to stay with the big boys on Willunga. It is a shame because he probably would have held on to win too.
So this changes things.
In regards to the GC,
Porte and the other climbers are currently 10 seconds behind Luis Leon Sanchez, 19 seconds behind Daryl Impey and 26 seconds behind Paddy Bevin. If one of them were to win the stage, then with the 10 second time bonus, they would need Impey to come in 10 seconds down or more, outside of the top 3. They would need Bevin to come in 17 seconds behind, which I am going to say will happen because I can’t see him surviving the first ascent.
For Luis Leon Sanchez to win, all he needs to do is come top 3 on the stage and hope that he can finish less than the time bonus second he gets behind the winner. Impey doesn’t finish within a couple of seconds and likewise Bevin within 10 seconds.
Sanchez is going to find that difficult. Ever since the race finished on the climb, his worst result was 48 seconds behind Porte and his best was 19 seconds. He is going to need to really hang on and beat his best from last year should he win.
For Impey to win, he needs to hang on like he did last year and he has great support to make that happen.
As you can see, it is wide open. It is advantage Impey at the moment. He has the team to keep him close. But he needs a rider from his team to guide him to the line because there is going to be headwind today.
Headwind is going to make it difficult for the big climbers to get away unless they are in a group, so the chances of Porte remaining King of Porte Hill are slim. But you can never count out Porte. He will give it his all to the end.
Odds found at Bet Easy
Richie Porte $1.90 – As we know, Porte dominates this climb. The only way he can win this race is solo. With the head wind, he is going to find it hard, but never count him out. This is his hill after all. He owns it.
Michael Woods $3.50 – All he needs to do is match Porte’s accelleration. No one has in the past but Woods is on form and he is probably the only one in this race that can. If he stays with Porte, he will outsprint him.
George Bennett $9 – Bennett really doesn’t love this climb but he is going to be super motivated more than normal. After seeing his countryman crash and most likely lose, he is going to fly the Kiwi banner and aim to be the first Kiwi to win this race.
Wout Poels $11 – Poels launched the first attack on Corkscrew and the three above him all went with him. He looked like he was struggling to hang on. Sky will try and set a brutal tempo up the climbs to help Poels win. All he needs to do is finish with Porte and Woods and possibly Bennett and he has a sprint on him that can take this stage.
Luis Leon Sanchez $17 – Pretty much the same as Poels and Woods. If he can stay with the big climbers, he will outsprint them.
Diego Ulissi $34 – UAE Team Emirates will be buoyed by their win on stage 5. They have Tadej Pogacar and Jan Polanc to help bring him to the line, or one of those two to attack. I expect UAE to be one of the main instigators on this stage. How it ends up for them is anyone’s guess.
So I currently have Impey and Poels to win overall, so the smart money would be to back Porte or Woods, but which one? Slagter is 11 seconds ahead of Valgren and I expect that to stay that way, so should end up being good.
As for the stage itself, I can’t go past Porte. Yes, there is going to be a head wind, but, his top level is better than the other climbers in this race and he is in pretty good form. Porte will take the solo win, his 6th, but it won’t be a big margin.
I have been impressed with Luis Leon Sanchez. He is winding back the clock. I am going to go against the grain, and say that he might initially get dropped from the big climbers, but he will grind his way back and then outsprint whoever he is with to get 2nd or 3rd on the stage, which may be enough to take the jersey.
Stage Win: Porte @ $2.20 (5)
Overall Win: Luis Leon Sanchez @ $10 (1)
Head to Heads taken at Bet365
Wout Poels over George Bennett @ $1.80 (5)
Poels has the better sprint and they should arrive together.
Dries Devenyns over Diego Ulissi @ $2.10 (4)
Devenyns beat out Ulissi last year on this climb. They finished in the same group and this year Devenyns looks better. He has been training up this climb a bit too.