I’m still smarting from the result of stage 15 where one of my tips Steven Kruijswijk was beaten hundreds of a second by a 500/1 shot! A real turn up for the books. v was magnificent for the second straight day putting time into his main rivals – including a huge amount into a fading Nibali. Giro d’Italia Stage 16 remains in the mountains but is not as tough as Stages 13 & 14.
Following a rest day on Monday May 23rd, Giro d’Italia Stage 16 is shortish 132km route from Bressanone to Andalo.
The racing will be very fast but if ever a stage was made for a breakaway to succeed it is here.
The stage features two long climbs – the Passo Della Mendola starting at 43kms and peaking at 64kms; and the Fai Della Paganella a 10km climb finishing 7kms from the end of the stage.
There is a nasty little kick up to the finish line in Andalo that the riders will need to be weary of.
As the first 40kms of the stage are essentially downhill, the start will be super fast. I don’t expect a break to form properly until the lower slopes of the Passo Della Mendola. Here the mountains classification riders, the breakaway specialists and riders from teams that are not in the GC battle will attack. They should be able to build a lead and extend it on the descent from the Passo Della Mendola. If they can reach this climb with a 5 minute lead some of the break should make the finish line before the GC riders.
Like some of the earlier mountain stages, there will likely be two battles. The riders from the break going for the stage win and the GC riders some distance behind trying to take some time from each other.
I don’t expect the GC riders to seriously challenge for the stage win tomorrow. As the ITT showed yesterday, almost all of them are exhausted. I feel Stage 16 will be one to not drop time and save some energy for the more punishing mountain stages at the end of the week.
The breakaway specialists who can climb
If we’re talking breakaway and mountain stage we need to mention three riders – Diego Ulissi, Tim Wellens and Gianluca Brambilla who all have stage wins in this race on similar stages.
Ulissi and Wellens have been in multiple breaks in this Giro and I expect them to be serious challengers for Stage 16. Ulissi is currently priced at 13.0-15.0 – a super EW price. Wellens can be backed at 21.0-23.0 – again an interesting EW choice. Brambilla has longer odds – in the 30.0 range and of the three he has struggled the most in the last few days.
Mikel Nieve has a super mountain stage win in this race too. He rode strongly in the ITT in stage 15 and he too is a great EW shout at 34.0 – this price is far too big. He is no threat overall and is riding on a team searching for stage wins. If he is in the break and they have that 5 minute lead going on to the Fai Della Paganella he would be tough to bet against.
Guilio Ciccone impressively won stage 10 in the mountains beating his more heralded team leader Stefano Pirrazi in the process. Can he get a second win in Stage 16? He is priced in the 40.0 range for the stage and might be worth a small EW bet.
Of course the GC riders might really race tomorrow. Movistar and Astana might see this as a chance to test Steven Kruijswijk and his team. If they do then everything I’ve written above will have no bearing on the stage result. I just don’t think the terrain is tough enough for any major changes in the GC to develop, especially with the way Kruijswijk is riding.
Giro d’Italia Stage 16 Bets
Back Diego Ulissi to win stage 16 with a 1.0/10.0 stake EW (1/4 odds top 3) at 15.0 with Netbet
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Back Tim Wellens to win stage 16 with a 0.5/10.0 stake EW (1/4 odds top 3) at 23.0 with Netbet
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Back Mikel Nieve to win stage 16 with a 1.0/10.0 stake EW (1/4 odds top 3) at 34.0 with Paddy Power.
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