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18 Apr 17 16:45
Date Joined: 11 Jul 11
| Topic/replies: 5,589 | Blogger: SwingingPick's blog
** Michael Albasini After observing the price discrepancy between the leading Books after the conclusion of AGR on Sunday, it would have been foolish not to have taken advantage of SB's lapse in concentration by not availing of the 33/1 available on E/W terms.

However, that wasn't in any way a knee-jerk reaction, Alabasini has -- as mentioned on the AGR thread -- some excellent form on the Mur de Huy, with a very recent 3rd-place finish in 2015, and prior to that a 2nd-place finish in 2012, his best result, here. Was 7th in 2016 after a poor result in AGR, however he matched his 7th-place finish of 2014. So, here he has essentially gone: 7/3/7/21/2. In short, he is perfectly suited to the climb which usually decides the race winner, and he worked-away doggedly in the remnants of the race-winning breakaway to claim the 3rd-place at AGR last start, ahead of an improving Nathan Haas of DDD and the experienced JJ Rojas, who has a good turn-of-speed.

Earlier in the season he finished with the peloton in MSR, albeit for 45th. Next, he again beat JJ Rojas in the PCT-level La Rioja for 2nd. Also, won stage 2 of the Basque Country where he beat some of the riders lining up here.

As previously mentioned, he could still be found and made at 33/1 after his AGR podium, whilst B365 quickly went to as low 16/1, which in E/W terms is just short of fair value. 19/1, okay. However presently he is best with PP at 16/1.

36yo Swiss veteran near the top-of-his-game who is right up to this class. Suited by the sit-and-sprint dynamic of this race. Solid claims for the win. Worthy of very close consideration.

1/8* Alexis Vuillermoz 28yo FRA rider for ALM who wrenched a superb win on the Mur-de-bretagne, stage 8 of the Tdf in 2015, before largely going off the radar. He has not exactly "reappeared" this season in any sense of the word, however I think he might respond better here this time out -- his best result was a 6th in 2015 -- on account of being lightly-raced this season whilst approaching his prime as a rider.

Opened-up at 28/1 best with B365, and has unsurprisingly -- given his unknown quality -- drifted out to 36/1 with WH, presently best. Poor E/W value at that price, however he is as low as 20/1 with SKYBT and 22/1 with PP. 33/1 with various. Should be a 50/1 pop as a minimum, and 66/1 to suggest fairness given his poor strike-rate.

Has the right characteristics to be highly competitive here, however his last win was in September of 2015 at PCT level, and only has the four podiums since. Needs to lift. Place claims best. Take on trust.
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Report SwingingPick April 19, 2017 2:17 PM BST
60kms for a 6-man break at +2:20 for peloton...
Report SwingingPick April 19, 2017 2:40 PM BST
Break looks finished, but if MOV bring them back by around km 40, I would expect a string of attacks soon after. Breakaway win unlikely though in these conditions with some wind about. MOV have been the dominant team on the front which is not surprising given their confidence in Valverde, however ORS are organising for Albasini.
Report SwingingPick April 19, 2017 2:55 PM BST
LTS have also shown their intentions around the front, they will expect a late raid by Wellens, however at 40/1 his strike-rate doesn't match being included in such a project.
Report SwingingPick April 19, 2017 3:14 PM BST
De Marchi has got away on his second attack and he is a breakaway specialist so no surprise to see him wait for Jungels to bridge. Two very strong riders now on the front at 23kms, but MOV will get some assistance now, which plays into their hands.
Report SwingingPick April 19, 2017 3:20 PM BST
They look to be gunning, but they're hardly opening a gap, and Ardennes races are not run like those of Flanders, so they would need to find a minute soon -- unlikely.
Report SwingingPick April 19, 2017 3:28 PM BST
If ORS don't help MOV with work on the front, what do they think is going to happen? Umm... MOV will not empty themselves to close the break by themselves, whilst you are giving Albasini an armchair ride in behind, and giving your own team an easier way into the Huy with late pressure? It's nonsense, I don't get it, some DS strategy is severely missing there.
Report SwingingPick April 19, 2017 3:34 PM BST
That right there is why Jungels is going to be a dominant WT rider in the next few years, he is very fast, very strong. He has left Demarchi for dust and Jungels is looking for a minute, looking bloody good, too. This looks interesting, now.
Report SwingingPick April 19, 2017 3:35 PM BST
7kms...50secs for Jungels in the LUX jersey.
Report SwingingPick April 19, 2017 3:39 PM BST
That has hurt Jungels and even with a minute, currently 30 secs, he has put too much down there to hold on.
Report SwingingPick April 19, 2017 3:42 PM BST
Jungels should get a start in LBL on the back of this ride, much better suited in that race, however QST will expect a confirmation of their belief in Dan Martin with a strong ride out of the gates here, for LBL.
Report SwingingPick April 19, 2017 3:45 PM BST
Albasini too much work too early...argh...
Report SwingingPick April 19, 2017 3:47 PM BST
Albasini has given up on the podium there -- argh!
Report SwingingPick April 19, 2017 3:48 PM BST
Valverde unstoppable, good ride by Dan Martin.
Report SwingingPick April 19, 2017 3:56 PM BST
Albasini in 5th doesn't help the situation when he essentially stopped riding. Hoping I can turn this Ardennes campaign around in LBL. MOV mugged the peloton and the peloton were willing participants in their own mugging. Sometimes just better to take the short odds on a dominant performance. Ho-hum.
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