Belgium’s Remco Evenepoel competes on his way to clinch the silver medal in the men’s elite individual time trial event, at the road cycling World Championships in Harrogate, England, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
- Stage 11 of the Giro d’Italia (Wednesday, May 19) features more than 35 kilometres on gravel roads
- A dusty finish and lots of off-roading on Wednesday may benefit a specialist
- Where can we find value betting on the Giro’s wild Stage 11?
The famous cobblestones of Paris-Roubaix are always nerve racking for riders and great theater for fans. On Wednesday, Tuscany takes center stage at the Giro d’Italia, and that means gravel and dust and perhaps great drama.
While GC riders can absolutely be in the mix when Stage 11 begins (7:10 ET), specialists who navigate off-roading and have strong risk tolerance may have an advantage.
Race-leader Egan Bernal remains a heavy favorite to win this year’s Giro, and oddsmakers like his chances (+375) to win Stage 11 too. Let’s look at the odds and consider several legitimate options.
Stage 9 Giro d’Italia Odds
|Rider||Odds to Win Stage||Top-3 Finish Odds at DraftKings|
Odds as of May 17th.
Stage 11 is one of the days you circle on the calendar before the race begins. It follows the first off day, and is a complete original. The 162km route from Perugia to Montalcino is fraught with peril. The two Category 3 climbs are the least of the rider’s problems. Half of the final 70 kilometres are on gravel, and the most difficult section features averages gradients of 8.5% and tops off at 16%. The finish has a short tight climb.
Though it has been a relatively rough go for Peter Sagan during the past few years after he dominated sprints for most of a decade, he outgunned Fernando Gaviria in a burst to the line on Monday. With Caleb Ewan out of the race, Sagan may be the man to beat in the couple remaining flat stages.
There was no change in the GC standings on Monday. Bernal is 14 seconds clear of Remco Evenepoel with Aleksandr Vlasov another eight seconds back in third place. Giulio Ciccone sits in fourth position, 37 seconds behind. Atilla Valter in in fifth place, 44 ticks off the pace.
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Bernal had never won a Grand Tour stage until Sunday, but he just has a different look in his eyes this year. The former Tour de France champ seems more aggressive and willing to take risks.
On the dirt road to finish Stage 9 Bernal was the best. Now a day with lots of obstacles presents itself, and perhaps he is just the best overall rider at this juncture. If you are the race favorite, it reasons you’d excel on outlier stages.
Evenepoel came into the Giro as the most interesting rider in the Tour. The ultra talented 21 year old didn’t start pro cycling until ending his soccer career in 2017. He was having a terrific 2020 before fracturing his pelvis and suffering a right lung contusion in the Il Lombardia.
Evenepoel is a rising star and he has many big moments ahead. An unorthodox course could help a youngster who can walk on air, or hurt someone who lacks experience.
While Giulio Ciccone is best known for his work in the mountains, he is an accomplished road rider.
Ciccone is a regular riding the Giro and has won a couple of stages. The price is reasonable for one of the clear contenders on Wednesday.
You might characterize Alberto Bettiol as a puncheur. That means he excels on bumpy courses with some steep climbs. This stage isn’t exactly that, but it is different, and Bettiol is creative.
Bettiol is a strong climber, and that helped him win the Tour of Flanders. At 27 years old, he is in the prime of his career now.
If you are looking for a pro, Romain Bardet at a a juicy price is your guy. A regular in the Tour de France, he has won the Mountains Classification, Combativity Award, and three individual stages.
This year Bardet has finished among the Top 10 at the Tirreno–Adriatico and Tour of the Alps.
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.