- Stage 16 of the Giro (Tuesday, October 20) is full of hills as riders begin the final week of the event
- Will a breakaway or attack win daily honors?
- It might be worth backing a big price on a route that is difficult to predict
The final week of the Giro d’Italia is here. Six stages remain, with three in the mountains, a flat stage on Friday, Sunday’s individual time trial, and Tuesday’s hilly terrain that may benefit a proactive rider.
João Almeida is 15 seconds ahead of Wilco Kelderman and one of them is likely to wear the pink jersey in Milan. Either could make a move on Tuesday, though the course sets up for a breakaway or attack to be very dangerous.
Let’s look closely at the Stage 16 odds and consider where we might find betting value.
Giro d’Italia Stage 16 Odds
|Tao Geoghegan Hart||+1800|
Odds as of Oct. 19th at DraftKings.
Sunday figured to give us an idea of where this year’s Giro was headed, and it did. Tao Geoghegan Hart won the mountain stage, kicking away in the final kilometres from Deceuninck-QuickStep’s Kelderman and Jai Hindley. The three top finishers dropped Almeida, who lost 41 seconds to Kelderman.
Almeida clings to a 15-second edge over Kelderman, but there is a lot of climbing to go. Almeida needs to survive the mountains and gain ground everywhere else. Hindley is now in third place, 2:56 back. Hart is 2:57 behind the leader, and Pello Bilbao is in fifth place, 3:10 off the pace. The only other three riders within four minutes of Almeida are Rafal Majka, Vincenzo Nibali, and Domenico Pozzovivo.
For Almeida, who is leading but knows the path to victory is difficult, understanding where he has opportunities to gain time is critical. Tuesday could be a time he can take a risk.
The longest stage thus far, 229 kilometers from Udine to San Daniele del Friuli, is full of hills. The rolling path concludes with a crazy 500-meter climb with an 18% maximum gradient, before a false flat to the finish line. The constant up-and-down is a chance for an early break, or in the case of Almeida a strategic attack to gain time.
Who are the top contenders on Tuesday?
The winner of eight Giro d’Italia stages, Diego Ulissi has reached the line first twice in 2020. He has taken two hilly stages, and his versatility should be helpful on a day where decisions will need to be made as the race develops.
Ulissi can win in a breakaway, attack, or conventionally, and his two stage victories this year make him a reasonable favorite though how short a price you want to take on a wide-open leg remains a valid question.
Ruben Guerreiro earned the Stage 11 victory this year, pretty good for someone riding in just his second grand tour.
A stage with climbing and an opportunity to attack may serve him well.
Peter Sagan is considered a sprinter. That makes sense since he has won the points classification at the Tour de France seven times and won 12 stages en route to Paris. That said, he has been consistently outsprinted this year, particularly at the Giro where Arnaud Démare has won all four flat stages. That hasn’t kept Sagan off the board.
In Stage 10 Sagan took the initiative and soloed to victory on a stage with significant climbing. A similar tactic on Tuesday, following an off day, is more than viable.
The top GC contenders, Kelderman, Hart, and Almeida need to do some serious calculus before getting on the bike Tuesday. For Kelderman, if he can stay in his current position, he should make up ground on the mountains and be in great shape come Sunday. Hart needs to find opportunities to cut into the gap, and while Almeida is in the lead, it is perilous.
Kelderman can make a statement on Tuesday. If he were to go on the offensive and win the day he could be the unquestioned favorite.
Hart won Stage 15 and it is possible that he could be the quickest climber in the field. Though his three-minute deficit is significant, he has plenty of mountains remaining. Does he continue his push Tuesday, or bide his time?
As for Almeida, expectations were not high at the start of the race yet he has been ahead for the vast majority of the event. If he is close on Sunday the time trial may work to his advantage. How can he stay in the mix? He needs to take advantage of the days that are not pure climbing.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.