Slovakia’s Peter Sagan greets fans prior to the start of stage 18 of the Tour de France cycling race over 175 kilometers (108.7 miles) from Meribel to La Roche-sur-Foron, France, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. (Christophe Petit-Tesson/Pool via AP)
- Stage 10 of the Giro d’Italia (Monday, May 17) profiles to finish with a bunch sprint
- With Caleb Ewan having dropped out of the race, is Tim Merlier the top sprinter remaining?
- In handicapping Monday’s sprint where is betting value present?
Caleb Ewan’s 2021 goal is to win a stage on each of the Grand Tours. Since he captured the Giro d’Italia’s fifth and seventh days this year, there was little reason to tax himself on the mountains Sunday. Ewan dropped out, but that makes Monday’s sprint stage an up for grabs affair.
Race favorite Egan Bernal made his move on Sunday, was best on the unpaved portion of a steep uphill finish, and both won the day and captured the pink jersey.
Bernal should be taking Monday easy, and watching the sprinters do their thing. But which ones? Stage 10 from L’Aquila to Foligno (7:55 am ET) is pretty straightforward, but without Ewan, who should you back? Oddsmakers give Peter Sagan (+400) and Tim Merlier (+450) an edge. Let’s look at the updated odds and see where value is present.
2021 Giro d’Italia Stage 10 Odds
|Rider||Odds to Win Stage||Top-3 Finish Odds at DraftKings|
Odds as of May 16th.
Monday’s route looks like so many before. There is a hill early on, and a Category 4 climb about 100km into a 130km route. Neither uphill is overly taxing, and sprinters should be able to survive and race to the finish line. There is little reason to believe top GC contenders will finish outside the peloton.
Bernal, who had never won a Grand Tour stage despite capturing the yellow jersey of the Tour de France in 2019, got the job done on Sunday. Maybe we should have seen it coming. Bernal may or may not have tried to take advantage of a precarious situation on Saturday, and then on Sunday seemed to take out his frustration. He proved to be the strongest over the final 500 meters putting distance between him and the pack and making a statement that he is the clear man to beat.
Bernal’s seven second win over Giulio Ciccone and Aleksandr Vlasov on Sunday gives him a 15 second overall lead. Remco Evenepoel is in second place, with Vlasov in third, 21 seconds behind Bernal. Six other riders are within a minute of the lead, Giulio Ciccone (36 seconds), Atilla Valter (0:43), Hugh Carthy (0:44), Damiano Caruso (0:45), Daniel Martin (0:51), and Simon Yates (0:55).
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If we’re being really open and honest, Peter Sagan has been a bad bet over the past couple of years. He was an ATM machine while winning seven Tour de France points titles and capturing 17 Grand Tour stages. This is his fourth Grand Tour since the start of 2019, and he has won exactly two stages despite often being among the favorites.
Sagan is a legend, and is still more than capable. There is some thought his work on Friday both shows his continued high level of skill, and bodes very well with Ewan now out of the Giro.
Merlier won Stage 2 this year and was leading the points race prior to breaking a chain during Stage 5. He is having a very strong year and probably is the most reasonable heir apparent to Ewan.
Merlier won the Bredene Koksijde Classic, Le Samyn, and Grote Prijs Jean-Pierre Monseré this year.
Even though Giacomo Nizzolo is 32 years old, it still feels like his time to win a stage of the Giro is coming. He finished right behind Ewan on Stage 5, and is in great form. He won the Clásica de Almería, and finished second in the Gent–Wevelgem this year.
Nizzolo has won the points classification at the Giro twice.
Yes, Fernando Gaviria had a tough go of things on Saturday. That doesn’t mean he is any less reasonable on Monday. The 26 year old has won five stages on the Giro.
He won the Points Classification at the Giro in 2017. A year later he took two stages at the Tour de France.
Dylan Groenewegen had a difficult 2020. After starting the year well, he broke his collarbone during an ugly incident in the Tour de Pologne. He was suspended until this May for causing the crash.
Regardless of the ugly situation, Groenewegen is now back. This is his first Giro, after riding in the Tour de France four times and winning four stages.
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Dave Friedman has covered professional and college sports for two decades. From ESPN to the Associated Press, Regional Sports Networks, Metro Networks, and many local outlets, he has written about and broadcast major and minor events throughout the country.