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05 Jun 14 01:37
Date Joined: 05 Apr 05
| Topic/replies: 28,704 | Blogger: marychain1's blog
Looking forward to this, should be interesting from a viewing point of view. I haven't been able to find a way in to it from a betting angle yet.
Pause Switch to Standard View Criterium du Dauphine 2014
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Report SwingingPick June 5, 2014 8:52 AM BST
The Criterium du Dauphine is an eight-day mini GT race with plenty of climbing, but with essentially three main mountain stages and a short 10.5km ITT to get things underway.

Whilst in 2011 Cadel Evans effectively used this prestigious race as an important recon for the Tour, primarily the ITT, which later helped him to secure his Tour victory -- it’s now used more as a serious competition tune-up for the Tour (with the winner going on to win the Tour for the past two years), and will be used as such this year, since none of the stages correspond with stages of the Tour, in fact they’ll be going in the opposite direction.

Froome hasn’t had the best of seasons, injury and illness have conspired to limit his riding and competition form has been difficult to find for him. However, on paper, his Oman and Tour de Romandie wins of last year correspond well, and after a successful training camp recently, I believe we’ll see an even much stronger rider.

Indeed, this must be nothing short of a true test for Froome, he cannot afford to hold anything back so close to the start of the Tour. He has to build on Romandie. In the past week, Froome has been on Tour recon in Yorkshire and on the pave, and all appears set for a tough hit-out for him here, in order that he may springboard into the Tour as the in-form rider. The last thing the team would want is endless questions and scrutiny surrounding his poor season, and indeed a strong winning performance here will allow him to reject some of the pressure of defending his Tour title.

The match race between Contador and Froome didn’t eventuate in the Tour of Catalunya, however Froome wasn’t that far behind Bertie nor even winner Purito (on time), whilst he was considerably behind in terms of form.

Alberto Contador looks on best career form this season and is a dangerous Tour contender, and he therefore cannot be discounted here. Nibali will require lots more riding than this race can offer to find his best.

*** Chris Froome. WIN ONLY 11/8 (****) On an upward form curve after his successful Tour de Romandie defence. Coming into this at the right time. Strong claims.

* Wilco Kelderman. E/W 150/1 (paddypower). Looks to be his last ride prior to a long rest and then the beginning of his Vuelta campaign, so he will be out to confirm his good Giro form after a Top-10 finish on GC. Has sound podium prospects. Value.

Good luck to all,
Report marychain1 June 6, 2014 9:45 PM BST
Still had no bet on this. Think Froome is the most likely winner, but can't pull the trigger, even more now he has shortened. Had a look through the prices for stage 1 as well and not got involved. Think G is a likely winner but 2/1 is pretty short.
Report marychain1 June 7, 2014 5:26 PM BST
Geraint Thomas 5/1 with Paddy Power for Stage 1. That will do me.
Report marychain1 June 7, 2014 5:31 PM BST
Had a little dabble on Jack Bobridge at 200/1 as well
Report Happybacker June 7, 2014 9:36 PM BST
Hi guys great to see the new cycling forum, a testament to your hard work MC.

Agree with the view that Froome is the man to beat to beat and its very hard to see anyone beating him, looked in good form last time out, will be even fitter now, and has a strong team to support him. But wont be backing him now having missed the bigger prices and now that he is trading at evens.

So have decided to try to find some value for the podium, this looks a very strong field and there at least 10 or 11 riders that will be thinking they have a realistic chance of getting on the podium here. Outside of froome, the 2 obvious contenders are Contador and Nibali, but i don't think they will beat Froome, so they offer no each way value at their prices.
To me the rider who offers the best each way value is Tejay Van Garderen at 40/1, he looked very good in Oman and Catalunya, when making the podium at both and climbing very well. He subsequently dissapointed at Romandie due to an illness, but has said to have had a really strong block of training the last 4 weeks. He should be fully fit again now and hopefully be back to his early season form, which should see him mounting a really serious challenge here.

For stage 1 think it will probably be one of the first three in the betting Kwiatowski, Thomas or Chavanel, and with Chavanel being the biggest at 7/1 that has to be the bet for me.
Also had a very small ew on Bodnar at 66/1, he won the TT at De Panne recently so is obviously in good shape to have a crack at this.
Report OnTheChase June 8, 2014 6:52 AM BST
Why is Froome 15/1 for Stage 1 ?  Not suited by short distance ?  Anyway, backing Froome and TJ.
Report cedarmaster June 8, 2014 12:16 PM BST
Thomas looks a good price can only get 4/1 now and a saver on Vorobev @ 16/1 whi is riding well
Report marychain1 June 9, 2014 9:42 AM BST
Well done on Froome. That was an impressive performance, and from Contador. They both look in amazing form, which probably means today's stage is between the two of them.
Report marychain1 June 9, 2014 6:15 PM BST
Didn't get to see today's stage, will look forward to watching the highlights though - sounds like a cracker
Report CJ70 June 9, 2014 9:59 PM BST
Just watched the highlights myself, wont comment on what/who actually happened just in case MC hasn't had the chance and stumbles upon the reply.

But that was seriously impressive by a couple of young riders. One of them could quickly become a favourite.
Report marychain1 June 9, 2014 10:47 PM BST
I presume you're talking about Fuglsang and Zubeldia? Silly

Excellent rides by Yates (still a neo-pro Shocked) and Reichenbach. Also young Kenny Elissonde who I think will be a cracking climber.

A bit worrying how quickly Porte folded today. Maybe there's time for Wiggo in the Tour team yet...
Report ekbalko June 9, 2014 11:47 PM BST
Brilliant stuff.Cycling could be about to enter a classic era I for one certainly hope so,making the bent yank a distant memory.
Report marychain1 June 9, 2014 11:53 PM BST
Really fancy Demare tomorrow. Haven't got as much as I liked matched, hoping to get some 2/1 or 3/1 in running
Report CJ70 June 10, 2014 2:56 AM BST

Jun 9, 2014 -- 10:47PM, marychain1 wrote:

I presume you're talking about Fuglsang and Zubeldia? Excellent rides by Yates (still a neo-pro ) and Reichenbach. Also young Kenny Elissonde who I think will be a cracking climber.A bit worrying how quickly Porte folded today. Maybe there's time for Wiggo in the Tour team yet...

Zubeldia is older than I am and that is saying something :P

Quite like Fuglsang though. So I'll let you off ;)

Kelderman and Yates(2) were my choices, not quite off the radar but what those two are producing this year is exceptional.

Not sure I'm to keen on this Froome v Bertie thing as we all know how it ends.

Report marychain1 June 10, 2014 1:59 PM BST
Had to take a smaller price on Demare, im matched at 2.2 average
Report marychain1 June 10, 2014 2:31 PM BST
A 1-3 for Giant there I think, Ardnt and Van Rensburg. Demare started from too far back Cry
Report marychain1 June 10, 2014 2:38 PM BST
That was a stupidly messy finish for a sprint stage. How many turns, chicanes, roundabouts were there? Demare was trying to get further forward for the last 1.5km but just couldn't due to the amount of road furniture. I hope that means we get a big price for him at some point down the road. I'm convinced he's by far the quickest sprinter in the race.
Report cruso June 10, 2014 5:08 PM BST
Wasn't watching it but the the last price matched on Ardnt  was 15 &  Demare 1.66
Did Betfair suspend early?
Report bb66 June 10, 2014 8:59 PM BST
if you have to rely on ES coverage it has a BIG delayCry
Report marychain1 June 10, 2014 9:47 PM BST
I didn't notice when it was suspended but saw people were still trying to back Demare at 1.6x
Report marychain1 June 10, 2014 9:49 PM BST
Cat 2 climb, descent and then a small flat to the line. Should be a sprint from a reduced bunch and I can see why Kwiatowski is being backed but not Contador and Froome.

I think this is a stage for people like Gallopin and Gerrans and have backed them both with PP at 16/1 and 22/1.
Report marychain1 June 11, 2014 8:44 AM BST
Break normally stays out when we come into Gap. Could be a strong break too today because everyone knows its a legitimate chance of a stage win. May try and add a couple in play today.
Report SwingingPick June 11, 2014 9:23 AM BST
This year’s stage 4 is very similar to both the 2011 and 2013 Tour de France stages 16, when the riders do a lap of the Col de Manse above the town of Gap after climbing gradually for the most part of the day. In 2013 Rui Costa claimed the first of his magnificent two Tour stage wins, with a cunning breakaway move on the early section to hold a 40+sec winning margin, holding off a four-man chasing group. In 2011, it was a tag-team two-on-one Norwegian move, with EBH wearing out Ryder Hesjedal, for his fellow countryman Hushovd to claim the stage.

Surprisingly, Nibali opened-up as the 5/1 favourite with paddypower, and whilst he ticks a lot of the boxes for the stage win, he will never be allowed to get into the breakaway move. And understanding the breakaway is the key to understanding how this stage might be ridden. A long-range attack will be dangerous if it numbers such riders as Navardauskas, GVA, Geraint Thomas, Bakelandts, Westra, Chavanel, and perhaps even Gerrans, although he is not riding well. Any one of those riders has the strength to attack on the Col de Manse and hold a break-winning move to the finish. On the other hand, if the long-range attack is brought back by the start of the Col de Manse, or thereabouts, then I would be looking more at riders such as Gallopin, Reichenbach, and Fuglsang.

I tend to think the peloton is here at this race for a tough hit-out, we saw that yesterday, and so I think that if an attack were to hold it will come from the peloton on the Col de Manse.

Chavanel looks in similar form to his ride in the 4 Days of Dunkirk, where after starting slowly he was everywhere, trying everything. He finished 2nd on GC and got a win in stage 3. The climb over the Col de Manse does look like it might fatigue him a little too much. He is known for some fair climbing heroics, he looked good on a similar climb of Paris-Nice, but ultimately faded badly, and so he would need to be feeling very strong to win this. Advantaged by winning from a long-range attack, or from an attack on the final climb. 14/1 is too short. Reasonable showing expected. May surprise with the win. Take on trust.

* Fuglsang hasn’t won for a while, but he has been threatening to have a good season this year. He has ridden quite smartly in this race, and I think he has a good performance in him. He has shorted from 66/1 into 50/1. The only concern is his close position on GC, so he could only get away with a late break near the top of the Col de Manse, and historically that type of move doesn’t hold. Has some prospects. Good E/W value. Take on trust.

Gallopin looks full-of-riding. After a solid spring campaign, which included a podium in the notoriously difficult Brabant Arrow, he is looking to get a win in a suitable stage. He will have put this stage down on paper as a likely place to attack if feeling strong. He opened at 16/1 but has drifted to 25/1, which is at least closer to where he should be. Suited. Go close.

Voeckler looked very poor on the stage 2 final climb. Nevertheless, he is one who will be salivating for today’s stage and should he have the legs, he’ll be in this for a long way. Handy type. Question marks over form. Steady at 25/1. May be one to keep safe.

Sebastien Reichenbach. The 25yo Swis rider is only in his second year with IAM and he has already got a win in the Trofeo Matteotti over 188kms last year. His characteristics look suitable for today’s stage, but he would only attack late on the climb, which narrows his options. He opened as a 100/1 shot and has narrowed to 50/1 so there may be some money around for him. Interesting proposition. Wait to see.

Good luck to all,
Report SwingingPick June 11, 2014 4:55 PM BST
Some interesting aspects to today’s stage in that SKY were stretched on the front attempting to bring the break back, and were doing all of the heavy-lifting until Froome got a flat, whereby they went back to bring him back into the race, which disrupted the chase at a crucial time before TCS finally picked-up the slack and drove the peloton forward, knowing that Maxime Bouet was a joker in the GC pack. However, by that stage it was clear the front thirteen-man group, or rather some riders from it were going to stay clear, and unfortunately it wasn’t Bakelants, who I backed IR. That was Trofimov’s first race win since 2009, so the Russian veteran took me -- and many I believe -- by surprise. After the race, in contradiction to what was evident on the road, I learned that apparently Froome wanted Maxime Bouet to claim the Yellow Jersey, in order to save his team a little for the mountain stages to come, which suggests – as it appears – that SKY are looking a little weak, and their dialogue is not consistent with their on-road actions. Interesting to look into that further. Gallopin didn't have it when he followed the expected Voeckler move on the final climb. Old Tommy-boy confirmed that he is out of sorts, actually. SP
Report Dope June 11, 2014 5:54 PM BST
"In 2011, it was a tag-team two-on-one Norwegian move, with EBH wearing out Ryder Hesjedal, for his fellow countryman Hushovd to claim the stage."

I suggest you watch this one again, you do know Thor and Hesjedal were on the same team, right?

It was a Thor & Hesjedal two-on-one (team mates) against EBH. It was definitely not a "Norwegian tag-team" as neither of them would need any help to beat Hesjedal in a sprint anyway.
Report SwingingPick June 11, 2014 9:41 PM BST
Good to hear from you, mate. My apologies, I was mainly working from memory on this one, and knew it was a tag-team effort of two riders conspiring against the third, but clearly it's as you say, they were team-mates not fellow countrymen. And of course Hesjedal has never been a noted sprinter, and a long-range move would only ever be his best option against such quality sprinting opposition.

Hope to get your thoughts on the Tour, I think Valverde forgoing the Dauphine (not the Tour de Suisse as I believe I may initially stated) in favour of the Route de Sud looks an interesting move after his brilliant season, and the fact he hasn't raced since LBL, but especially because it's such serious recon in a low-key race? Also, do you have access to any long-range weather forecasts?
Report marychain1 June 11, 2014 11:57 PM BST
Right, tomorrow's stage looks at first glance like it's primed for a breakaway to stay out. There's no big HCs or Cat 1s to contend with, and if we look at the bookies prices all the breakaway contenders are to the fore. Voeckler, Chavanel, Bardet et al. The other big clue that this can be considered as breakaway territory is **** are going 5 places. Their marketing team seem to be doing this for all these "lottery" stages. They may have made a miscalculation tomorrow though.

But there are some serious climbs tomorrow, and after 4 hard days in the sun we are going to see a tired bunch of riders. If Sky or anyone else put the hammer down we could see this being fought out by the climbers and GC men.

I've backed Froome and Contador, taking a chance with the 40s and 50s each way. There's a flat run-in but the Manse, Morte and Laffrey in these conditions will certainly take some getting over, so I'll take my chances despite the 10k of descent and flat at the end of the stage.
Report SwingingPick June 12, 2014 7:16 AM BST
With SKY inferring the weakness of their team through Froome's comments post stage yesterday, the two mountain stages still to come, and this being the second-longest stage of the race with three cat.2s and three cat.3s – it is indeed highly likely that another breakaway holds this one to the finish. However, I'm resisting any early plays as several factors make it quite difficult to select riders at ante-post, 1.) the difficulty of the climbing on offer, 2.) selecting a rider with climbing credentials, and 3.) the question of whether or not SKY will honestly give-up Yellow by not chasing down a GC joker, in order to rest the team for stages 7 and 8 as Froome indicated in a contradictory statement in an interview? Given the great confusion surrounding what Froome has said and what SKY did yesterday, I am willing to take my chances against the big odds on offer for the top two, since it's more likely that Contador and Froome will want to fight this out on the final two stages  of the race, and I will therefore look for an IR selection on a likely candidate in the break. At 13kms the descent from the Cat.2 Col de la Morte, appears decidedly steep and long, and it does not present as an opportunity for Froome and Contador to take all-out risks down it for little more than bragging rights, there'll be time for such talk later.

Good luck to all,
Report marychain1 June 12, 2014 1:23 PM BST
Cracking effort by Contador to shake Sky up, thought his escape had a chance for a bit there. Kudos to Porte who did a lot of work pulling that back.
Report SwingingPick June 12, 2014 4:30 PM BST
In the same manner Froome is testing himself for the Tour, Porte toiling on the front for SKY is him testing himself for the Tour, just in a different role, his workhorse role. This is what this stage race is all about for SKY, who are imo playing catch-up, at least to their very high standard of last year. I would say that I saw some unnecessary signs of panic in SKY when Contador attacked, but they'll have learn from that, which is promising signs from them.

I never for a moment thought Contador was going clear to the line, but agree that he really animated the stage and made it exciting. Precisely because SKY panicked and Porte raised his tempo, and the gap quickly became fixed, was the reason that Contador was never going to make his move stick. The calculating SKY team of old, riding in-form and already ticking over nicely with a complete understanding within the team, would have let Contador fry out there on the front for as long as possible, regardless of the assistance he was getting from Vichot and Caruso, knowing full-well that this move would eventually catch-up with him later in the race, and thus advantage Froome. But they went nuts a bit.

Katusha two wins in a row, didn't see that coming, however Spilak had an excellent ride in Romandie and he was on the radar for a stage win here. His inconsistency makes him a poor GC rider, though.

I need to go back to the tape, but there were some interesting rides on this stage to consider.

Report marychain1 June 13, 2014 2:51 AM BST
Gallopin? Keukeleire?
Report SwingingPick June 13, 2014 9:17 AM BST
The breakaway will look to make it three wins in a row on a stage which suits the puncheur-type of rider. Keukeleire is a promising young rider from Belgium, but he would be running on empty in the finale against riders who'll likely be stronger than him, should he make the break. For instance, Gallopin, in a straight-out fist-fight would have the best of the OGE rider nine times out of ten, if not ten out of ten. I don't see the value in either rider in ante-post at those prices, given that neither has impressed with much promise.

Impey, not taking for granted his likely inclusion in the OGE team for the Tour, is being publicly vocal about impressing management to make the Tour team, that means impressing in this race, and I would prefer him over team-mate Keukeleire, but will wait for an IR opportunity on account of so many potential options. Laying Gerrans to pay for an IR bet, he is off his game.

Good luck to all,
Report SwingingPick June 14, 2014 3:22 AM BST
Excellent win by Bakelants. Westra seems to have become quite a tough rider, now in his 30s, so it's surprising he had such a poor Ardennes. He abandoned the Tour of the Basque Country, however I don't think it was due to illness or injury as he was training pretty-much the next day. Good work by Stybar, in disrupting the chase for his team-mate. Keukeleire made the break as MC thought he might, but it was pretty evident that he was barely holding on, and lost out in the sprint for third. SP
Report SwingingPick June 14, 2014 3:31 AM BST
Stage 7 preview.

Contador opened up as the favourite with the Books, which is not that much of a surprise given his impressive surprise attack on stage 5, his overall excellent form, and Froome’s crash late in stage 6, yesterday. I had a good look at Froome when he was coming to the line at the head of the peloton, and he didn’t appear in any “racing” discomfort, in terms of a shoulder or hip injury which has changed his position on the bike in order to cope with the pain. He was cut-up quite badly on his left side, however the pain will likely be the hot burning variety which comes from being grazed, and unless he has a really bad night I don’t think it’ll be that much of an issue.

Froome has shed some of the pressure of expectation for the stage, by saying that it’s up to his rivals to attack, and I perceived an inference that he might not feel well for the start of the stage and therefore has that as an excuse should he fail. I think he might be in pain this morning, but it’s unlikely to be such a pain which will impede his normal function and performance on the bike. Therefore, I think he should cover any attacks on the final climb, but may not have the devastating prolonged attack which he showed during the final climb of stage 2. Moreover, I think he’ll be satisfied with staying with his rivals on the line, and won’t be looking for the stage win. Why? He has already achieved what he came for in this race in building on his Romandie ride, and while he’ll want to win the race, he won’t want to do it at the expense of flogging his team.

On the other hand, Contador looks to be improving and will see an opportunity to attack Froome for the victory. I am not familiar with the final cat.HC climb up to Emosson, but from Hinaut it’s 10km long at an average of 8% with some sections in excess of 9%, and with the final few hundred metres angling up to a staggering 28%. Knowing this, I think most of the rivals will wait, buying their time to attack on this final section and any leaders on the road might blow-up and come back to the chasers quite quickly, there.

I do think it’ll be between Bertie and Froome, perhaps also Kelderman, but it will be interesting to see if Bertie can be patient, because if he can leave his attack to this final steep section to the finish line, then I think he can move into Yellow with a stage win. Bertie for me for interest, but I’d want 2/1.

Good luck to all,
Report SwingingPick June 15, 2014 8:20 AM BST
From what I can tell, the last time a French pro-cycle race finished in the uber-rich winter resort of Courchevel, was in stage 10 of the 2005 Tour, when Valverde won. That doesn't really help us much for the 8th and last stage of this race, though.

Need the tape to fully review yesterday's stage --  Westra amazing -- but the Books can't split Froome and Contador for today's, with backers appearing to be evenly divided and going on personal preference. Think SKY look good, but Contador will be with Froome by the finale and has shown he has the zip regardless of a strong pace for much of the climbing.

However, looking back over the race and what Froome has indicated, I think this is the way he would have liked it, of course he would have ultimately liked not to have had Yellow prior to yesterday's stage even, but today, without the responsibility of having to control the race, I think he might attempt to get his own back on Contador, if feeling good. Nevertheless, Froome looked a little tender in the GC finale yesterday, while Contador looked even stronger than I anticipated. Contador is sending a message here to Froome prior to the Tour, and he'll want to do it authoritatively, which means a stage win and more time on Froome.

No bets for me since much of my concentration will be on Kelderman -- hoping he can get time back on Talansky and reclaim the podium position.

Good luck to all,
Report CJ70 June 15, 2014 2:46 PM BST
Far more exciting than I was expected. Contador is throwing this away by refusing to work in the jersey.

Talansky looking really good at the moment.
Report CJ70 June 15, 2014 2:51 PM BST
Report CJ70 June 15, 2014 3:12 PM BST
Dutched the contenders in the front group but not looking good now as Bertie is doing a Tirreno.
Report CJ70 June 15, 2014 3:47 PM BST
Absolutely amazing finish. Don't want to put a spoiler up, but worth watching if you didn't catch the live.
Report marychain1 June 15, 2014 5:04 PM BST
Didn't get a chance to watch today. Was doing my own race, the 103 mile Etape Eryri through Snowdonia. Astonished the two favs both lost, how was such a strong and dangerous group allowed away, were they just marking each other?
Report CJ70 June 15, 2014 5:20 PM BST
Worth watching the highlights. But briefly.. SKY put men up the road in several groups and several top 10 went with them as Saxo refused to work, Froome bridged taking the remaining favourites with him. Contador refused to work with SKY in the second group and held back with SKY/Froome while the rest of the favourites rode ahead taking a minute or so. Contador then attacked the Froome group and did a solo TT Tirreno style for the last 20k while Froome popped.

Talansky was amazing footage at the end and will bring joy to any cycling fan.
Report cedarmaster June 15, 2014 6:48 PM BST
Really fantastic last stage of a mini tour that has delivered nearly every day and been one of the best mini tours of recent years even if it ended in a bookies benefit. from the cyclist enthusiasts stand point it has been gripping.

Has this opened up the TDF? there might not be so much between the top dozen riders as the betting would suggest. maybe there is real value outside of Froome/Contador

And now the Tour De Suisse, it gets more thrilling every day
Report SwingingPick June 16, 2014 5:40 AM BST
Kelderman 4th by just 8secs...Cry Think the Giro kms found him out in the end. Great stage, great racing. SP
Report bb66 June 16, 2014 2:44 PM BST
How much of the Froome failure was due to his fall on Friday, or where there other problems? That's probably the crucial question for the TdF
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