Colombia’s Egan Bernal, center, and Britain’s Simon Yates, right, pedal during the 14th stage of the Giro D’Italia tour of Italy cycling race, from Cittadella to Monte Zoncolan, Italy, Saturday, May 22, 2021. (Tim De Waele/Pool Photo via AP)
- After a well deserved day of rest, Stage 17 of the Giro d’Italia (Wednesday, May 25) is back in the mountains
- Two Category 1 climbs in the final 40km are a major test for climbers and attacks are likely
- Where can we find betting value atop Passo di San Valentino and Sega di Ala
After Monday’s intimidating Queen Stage, the most difficult day of the Giro d’Italia, an off day on Tuesday is well deserved. They don’t exactly ease back into the race. While Wednesday doesn’t get off to an action packed start, the serious climbing at the end will be a test for everyone.
Egan Bernal won the day on Monday and is in very strong shape to wear the pink jersey into Milan on Sunday. Wednesday is one of three remaining stages in the mountains, and his closest competitors need to challenge him and crack him if they are going to pass him in the overall standings. We’ll see who attacks Bernal when Stage 17 begins (6:10 ET) and be watching his response closely.
Bernal is the favorite, not only to win the race but to take Stage 17 (+275). Let’s look at the updated odds and consider if Bernal or one of his rivals might be a good wager.
Stage 16 Giro d’Italia Odds
|Rider||Odds to Win Stage at DraftKings||Top-3 Finish Odds|
Odds as of May 24th.
Of the three remaining mountain stages, Wednesday’s 193 kilometres from Canazei to Sega di Ala is the longest remaining. That, however is a bit deceiving. There isn’t much taxing work until just before the 140km mark. An early Category 3 climb and a couple of legit descents lead up to a pair of gnarly uphills.
The Passo di San Valentino is just under 15 kilometres long with the average gradient at 7.8%. You better recover from that quickly, because shortly after the descent comes the Sega di Ala. Overall the final climb of the day is 11.2km. Eight of the kilometres come with a 15.7% gradient. The race could very easily be won or lost on these two climbs.
Bernal really made a statement on Monday. On the most difficult day of the event he flexed his muscles, passing attackers and winning the day by 27 seconds. He is in incredible shape, and may be at the point where he can’t lose the overall lead without making a major mistake.
Bernal leads the GC standings with only one rider, Damiano Caruso, within three minutes of him. Caruso is in second place, 2:24 behind Bernal. Hugh Carthy is in third position, 3:40 back. Three other riders are within five minutes of the lead. Aleksandr Vlasov is 4:18 off the pace, Simon Yates is two ticks behind Vlasov, and Giulio Ciccone sits in sixth overall, 4:31 behind Bernal.
2021 UEFA Champions League Odds Tracker
Whether it be his top notch Ineos Grenadiers team, a new more aggressive attitude, or just being the best by an increasingly large margin, this year’s Giro has been all about Bernal. The former Tour de France champion has dominated the event particularly in the key moments.
Before this year’s Giro, Bernal had never won a Grand Tour stage. Now not only has he captured a pair of them, he has won difficult mountain stages that often determine who the strongest rider is.
For 15 stages last year Joao Almeida wore the pink jersey, and eventually he finished in fourth place. This is only his second ever Grand Tour. The 22 year old would love to salvage a stage victory at some point during the final week of the race.
Almeida finished third in this year’s UAE Tour, and was among the Top 10 at the Tirreno–Adriatico and Volta a Catalunya.
Before this year’s Giro got going there was a lot of hype around Remco Evenepoel. The 21 year old former pro soccer player is incredibly talented, but maybe expectations should have been geared down since he is just returning from a fractured pelvis.
Evenepoel has an incredibly bright future. Last year he won the Volta ao Algarve, Tour de Pologne, Vuelta a Burgos, and Vuelta a San Juan. He hasn’t really been in the running to reach the podium in recent stages, and gave up a lot of time on Monday. That said, it would give him great momentum to win an individual stage, and at this point he may be able to escape in a break.
Nobody has looked up to the task of seriously competing with Bernal this year. That said, there are two more spots on the podium up for grabs. For top GC riders, there is a question of if Bernal should be attacked, or if he is long gone at this point. Regardless, if you are sitting in fourth or fifth, where do you make your move?
For about a week, after a couple of prerace favorites showed they weren’t up to the task, Simon Yates looked like the top threat to Bernal. Though he was dropped on Monday and lost significant position, he has mostly had a really good Giro and can easily still climb back into the Top 3.
Yates has earned daily victories on each Grand Tour, and while he probably isn’t going to end up in pink this year, can salvage a daily honor, and a spot on the podium.
Vlasov is in a similar situation to Yates. The top young rider in Paris–Nice this year finished just ahead of Yates in Stage 16.
Vlasov is a strong climber. He finished third at the Tour of the Alps this year. In 2020 he won the Giro dell’Emilia and Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge, while finishing on the podium in three other races too.
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.