Looks likely that we'll see a bunch sprint today. We're in the Veneto region, close to Venice, up in the North East of Italy. We start in Noale and head South towards Venice before heading through Mestre and Treviso. The route is very flat as they follow a route through the Riviera del Brenta on largely wide, straight roads. The biggest complications are street furniture as they pass through towns. Finish
There's an 8 miles circuit (twice taken) in Bibione. There's a number of bends but the roads are largely wide and straight. No doubt we'll get a group of morning chancers and possibly even late attackers on this urban circuit but this looks perfect for another bunch sprint. We've lost a few of the faster men like Kittel, Viviani and Pelucchi but there are still enough here for the sprint to be well contested. Andre Greipel is the obvious favourite. He's already won two stages and he's the fastest man here. Without a GC threat, Lotto can prioritise Greipel's train. Greipel did loads of work towards the end on Wednesday and his team mates will be desperate to repay that effort. Arnaud Demare has also impressed in the sprints with two 2nd places finishes so far. With Geniez abandoned FDJ can also focus on him. Modolo has two 3rd place finishes so far and Lampre's tactic of ambushing the finish with two riders to deliver him late could work with a less contested finish here. Caleb Ewan got 4th in Foligno, and his growing experience as well as the abandonment of some of the faster riders could work in his favour. Nizzolo has a 2nd and 3rd already but he has lost Van Poppel and Cancellara from his Trek train and may struggle for position. Moreno Hofland has a 4th and 5th to his name so far and his train is intact so expect him to target at least a podium here. Porsev of Katusha has three top 7 finishes in sprints and will also look for his first podium. Nikias Ardnt is worth considering. Giant's hopes of a high GC with Dumoulin have faded and now they're looking at stage wins only can focus on their train here. Leigh Howard will probably take on the spriting duties for IAM Cycling in the absence of Pelucchi and their train did look quite strong in a couple of stages, although they're two men light now. Grosu of Nippo Vini Fantini got a 5th place finish in a bunch sprint just down the coast last year and could be on the premises. No doubt Andre Greipel will be a hot favourite here, and rightly so, but I'll take another chance on Sacha Modolo. He won a sprint just down the coast in Lido Di Jesolo in the 2015 Giro and has perhaps been a little unfortunate not to have got a win yet. This pan-flat finish perhaps doesn't suit him as well as others, and he's certainly not as fast as Greipel but if the Gorilla's leadout misfunctions, as it sometimes does, I think Modolo is the man to profit, 8/1 with PP is ok but I'm hoping someone will go 9s or 10s.
Looks like chance of rain at the finish is more than 50%. Crashes are likely, the GC guys will be very nervous until 3km. Gorilla isn't the biggest fan of wet corners either which means there could definitely be some each way value. I'm happy with my Modolo bet and I'm also chancing Trentin who should inherit the Kittel/Jungels less train and also Grosu.
Modolo 1ew 9/1 Trentin .5ew 40/1 Grosu .1ew 150/1
Looks like chance of rain at the finish is more than 50%. Crashes are likely, the GC guys will be very nervous until 3km. Gorilla isn't the biggest fan of wet corners either which means there could definitely be some each way value. I'm happy with my