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                  > Vuelta a España

 


 

Vuelta a España St. 10

Real Monasterio De Santa María De Veruela to Borja
Tuesday August 2nd, 36.7kms 

monasteriaStage 10 comes after the first rest day of the Vuelta, which followed the most significant stage so far in terms of the GC. The pre-race predictions were that Froome would blow away all his GC rivals in this TT, but after his performance on Sunday when he was dropped by Contador and Quintana, what can we expect? 

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Vuelta a España St. 9

Carboneras De Guadazaón to Aramón Valdelinares
Sunday August 31st, 185kms 

valdelinares signStage 9 takes the race in to Aragon and up to a mountain normally more famous for it's skiing, being a winter ski station. It's a long tough stage with three classified climbs to get over, increasing in difficulty as they near the finish, from a Cat 3 to a Cat 2 to a Cat 1 at the finish. 

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Vuelta a España St. 8

Baeza to Albacete
Saturday August 30th, 207kms 

albaceteStage 8 is back to being a sprinters stage after a few days in the hills which showed us just how well Alberto Contador and Chris Froome have recovered from their injuries, Froome in particular showed today just how much he is up for the fight, stealing 2" from Contador and co. 

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Vuelta a España St. 7

Alhendín to Alcaudete
Friday August 29th, 169kms 

vuelta14 st7 lastkmsStage 7 follows hot on the heels of our first summit finish to La Zubia with another summit finish after an up and down day in the 'medium mountains' north-west of Granada in the province of Jaen. A lumpy stage sees them going up and down all day but over only two categorised climbs and only a Cat 2 and 3 at that. 

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Vuelta a España St. 6

Benalmádena to La Zubia
Thursday August 28th, 167.1kms 

vuelta14 st6 verdesStage 6 finally gives us a real chance to see how the GC favourites match up to each other, who has good legs and who hasn't as they hit the first summit finish of the Vuelta. After a dead flat opening 50km or so it suddenly rises upwards with 5 climbs to crest (three categorised) on the way to La Zubia. 

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Vuelta a España St. 5

Priego de Córdoba to Ronda
Wednesday August 27th, 180km

RondaStage 5 sees them head back down to the south-east corner of Spain as they leave Priego de Córdoba and pass through the Parque Natural Sierras Subbéticas heading in a south-west direction to the finish in Ronda. Ronda is a spectacularly beautiful city, perched on the edge of a cliff, one of Spain's most important tourist destination. The city that's known as 'The cradle of Bullfighting' will see a fight on the roads today. 

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Vuelta a España St. 4

Mairena del Alcor to Córdoba
Tuesday August 26th, 164.7kms 

vuelta14 cordabaStage 4 takes them further inland, in to the provence of Cordoba where they face a relatively short day in the saddle at only 164.7kms. It's dead flat for about 115kms until they hit a little speedbump in the road, the Cat 3 climb of the Alto de San Jerónimo. At the 135km mark they pass through Cordoba for the first time before going off on a 30km loop around the city. 

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Vuelta a España St. 3

Cádiz to Arcos de la Frontera
Monday August 25th, 197.8kms 

vuelta14 cadizIt hasn't taken long for the Vuelta to hit the hilly roads, with only the second road stage of the race offering up a challenge to the non-climbing types. They head inland from the coastal town of Cadiz to the hills in the national park of the Sierra de Grazalema before heading back west again to the finish at Arcos de la Frontera. 

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Vuelta - Other Betting Markets 

Number of Stage Wins? Top 10 Finish?

nairoThere are not as many specialist markets as were available at the Tour but all the same there are a few that are worth considering. Bet365 and Paddy Power as usual are the best with offering a wider selection of markets, so let's take a look to see if any of them jump out at us as bets. I'll be updating this with bets as I see them so make sure to come back from time to time. 

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Vuelta a España Jerseys betting

Who'll take home the Points, KOM and Young Riders jerseys?

edet KOM vuelta

 

I'll start this off by saying that there is actually a strong possibility that Nairo Quintana could walk away from this race with all the jerseys - the winners Red Jersey, the green Jersey of the Points leader, the blue jersey of the mountains leader and the white jersey of the young riders Jersey! And if he manages that, he'll have the Combined Jersey as well of course!

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Vuelta Outsiders 

The Outsiders that could shine in Spain!

vuelta13-podiumNot only do we have a tremendous lineup at the very top of the betting with Froome, Quintana and Contador ready to do battle, but there are a whole host of others just below them who are ready to try to take their chance at glory. From former Tour winners to up and coming stars, one of them could seize their moment with so many doubts about some of the top favourites.  

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Vuelta Favourites & Contenders 

Battle Royale in the mountains of Spain!

quintafroomecontadorWhat a treat we have in store at the Vuelta this year. We get to see the showdowns that never happened this year at the Tour - Quintana Vs Froome and Contador or even just Froome Vs Contador! With only Vincenzo Nibali missing from the line-up, we are seeing, on paper at least, some of the world's best grand Tour riders go head to head for victory at the Vuelta.  

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Vuelta a España 2014 Overview

23rd August to 14th September, 3,185km

vuelta logo 2014Who could have forecast at the start of this year that we would have Nairo Quintana, Alberto Contador and Chris Froome lining up at the start line of this year's Vuelta. The cruel hand of fate may have denied us the Tour de France that we were looking forward to, but the Tour's loss is the Vuelta's gain!

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Vuelta a España St. 2

Algeciras to San Fernando 
Sunday August 24th, 174.4kms 

Vuelta14 sanfernando

 Stage 2 sees the riders hit a Cat 3 climb inside the first 6kms, but after that it is almost entirely flat for the rest of the day and should be a stage for the sprinters to do battle, one of only five potential stages for the fast men so the pressure will be on their teams to drag back the break of the day before the finish. 

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Vuelta a España Stage1

Jerez de la Frontera to Jerez de la Frontera 
Saturday August 23rd, 12.6kms 

jerez picThe opening stage of the 2014 Vuelta a España takes place on Saturday afternoon with a Team Time Trial over 12.6kms in the town of Jerez de la Frontera. It's shouldn't create too big a time gap between all of the main contenders, but we will get our first red jersey wearer of the race, the question is, who will it be?

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Eneco Tour

11th to 17th August, 1067.4kms

eneco-logo

The Eneco Tour kicks off in Terneuzen in the Netherlands on Monday and it will be an exciting week of racing across Holland and Belgium with some fantastic classic-like stages and a TT thrown in early enough in the race to ensure the last few days are super-competitive. 

There's a quality line-up this year, with defending champion Stybar back to try to fend off the likes of Dumoulin, Cancellara, Boom, Gilbert, Van Avermaet and Thomas. 

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Tour of Poland

3rd to the 9th August

pologne-logo-big

Hot on the heels of an excellent Tour de France we have the Tour de Pologne, a handy filler for riders preparing for the Vuelta or looking for somewhere to carry good form from the Tour. A mixed course makes it a very open race with local hero Rafal Majka hoping to continue his run of form following his memorable TDF where he took two stages and the KOM jersey.  

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Clasica San Sebastian

San Sebastian, Spain
Saturday 2nd August, 219.2kms

gallopin-san-sebastianThe Clasica, or to give it its local name the Donostia-Donostia Klasikoa takes place tomorrow for the 34th time. As classics go it's a pretty new one but has built a reputation as a tough race, favoured by climbers and puncheurs. It contains a mix of riders who are tired after a hard TDF, riders in form from the TDF and fresh riders who didn't do the TDF!

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Tour de France St. 21

Évry to Paris-Champs Élysées
Sunday July 27th, 137.5kms 

kittel-wins-tour-stage3The final procession, the final sprint, the final chance of glory for the sprinters. For some, today's TT was brutally hard as they were racing for placings on the stage and in the GC. For others though, they had a nice easy day, rolling in at their leisure with tomorrow's stage in mind!

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TDF Stage 20

Bergerac to Périgueux
Saturday July 26th, 54kms ITT

tdf-stage20-profileThe second and third steps on the podium are still up for grabs and it should be a fascinating conclusion to the Tour for fans of Pinot, Peraud and Valverde. A 54km, lumpy individual Time Trial awaits them on this stage and there's going to be some tremendous battles out there on the road to Périgieux.

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TDF Stage 19

Maubourguet Pays du Val d'Adour to Bergerac
Friday July 25th, 208.5kms 

tdf-stage19-profileAfter some massive days in the mountains and some memorable performances from Tinkoff-Saxo and Nibali, the peloton finally gets some respite as the riders face a relatively easy day heading north out of Maubourguet Pays de pal d'Adour up to Bergerac.

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TDF Stage 18

Pau to Hautacam
Thursday July 24th, 145.5kms 

tdf-stage18-profilePau and Hautacam. Two names synonymous with the Tour de France.  Pau being a frequently visited town when the race is in this corner of France, and Hautacam as one of the iconic climbs of the Tour's history. Throw in the Tourmalet along the way and you have the makings of an epic stage.

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Jack's Stage 17 Preview

Jack's Preview!
Wednesday July 23rd, 124.5kms 

tdf-stage17-profileI was out on Tuesday night at a work event and my 10 year old called me on the phone. I jokingly asked him to do my preview for me as I was going to be home late. When I got home around 10.30pm, there was a word doc open on my laptop. Here is what he wrote... Enjoy!

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TDF Stage 17

Saint-Gaudens to Saint-Lary Pla d'Adet
Wednesday July 23rd, 124.5kms 

tdf-stage17-profileSo after the longest stage of the race we get the shortest stage of the race at just 124kms. On a normal day, this would take them less than 3 hours, but this isn't a normal day! The short distance of the course means that the time limit is going to be very tight and we could find a bunch of the non-climbers battling just to stay in the race. 

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TDF Stage 16

Carcassonne to Bagnères-de-Luchon
Tuesday July 22nd, 237.5kms 

tdf-stage16-lastkmsSo just six stages left and although the winner looks to be as good as crowned there is still a lot of racing to be done and a lot of places in the top 10 still to be decided. This Tour has been packed with drama right from the very first stage and it doesn't look like it will let up any time soon, with some exciting stages in the coming days. 

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