Who tipped Who?
Philippe Gilbert was the most tipped rider, with 48 people backing him to take the classic-esque finish. Michael Matthews and Simon Gerrans were next most picked with 36 and 33 tippers each.
Rider | Number of Tips
Philippe Gilbert | 48
Michael Matthews | 36
Simon Gerrans | 33
Diego Ulissi | 27
Edvald Boasson Hagen | 26
Alejandro Valverde Belmonte | 14
Zdenek Stybar | 12
Gianni Meersman | 10
Daniel Martin | 10
Woody, my partner in crime, tipped Valverde for stage 3 – which I must say was a very solid tip. The Spaniard finished second on the day and pulled in a cool 6 second time bonus. Woody is coming back from the Henao induced deficit from yesterday, and, to be frank, a long adventure in the tipping wilderness courtesy of John Degenkolb in the TdF tipping competition. Woody is in therapy and is making progress, but he’d be kidding himself if he thought he could be a contender for la Vuelta.
The InnerRing backed Diego Ulissi who finished 24th. We’re not 100% certain, but this could be the best finish by any Lampre rider in race this year.
Other heavy hitters include Fyxomatosis backing “Higgs” Boasson-Hagen and Rupert Guinness who tipped Gerro.
There were two people with the foresight to tip Horner: Heath Wade and Phil Sharron. They will be moving up the ladder courtesy of the three second gap and the ten second time bonus.
In terms of riders causing problems in the tipping peloton, the “Egg of the Day” goes to Gerro. With 33 people backing him, he finished nearly 13 minutes down due to a crash that left him out of contention. The cumulative damage he inflicted is in excess of seven hours! This could be the Egg of the Tour (aka the Spanish Omelet). Stybar finished some 6:24 down and was a popular choice with 12 backers. He caused just under 1h 20m in losses.
And we have a new leader! Thim Steen Jensen has taken over at the top, with James Fox equal on time but back in second on countback. Here is the full top 10 (same place indicates ties).
1 Thim Steen Jensen
2 James Fox
3 Peter Brann
4 Bianca Ehmke
5 Ben OMalley
6 Darren Cathie
7 Ter Culloty
8 Phil Sharron
9 Heath Wade
10 Brad Stephens
10 Alexandr Alexandrov
CyclingTips (Wade Wallace) himself has managed to sneak into the top 20 (20th place) with some excellent tipping, including a well timed default on Stage 3. Inrng.com is back in 48th. Your scribe is back in the 300′s somewhere. Westra… Argggh!
Stage 4 should be one for the sprinters, with a general downhill feel and only a few minor undulations. It finishes on the coast and there could be some excellent wind damage to the peloton before they hit the climb. Once over the Category 3 Mirador de Ezaro, it’s back to the coast for the short 30km until home.
If you’re miles back you might look to a Stybar type rider who can get over the hills and still have enough left to go from a long way out. There are relatively few pure sprinters in the race this years, so someone like Henderson might be given a chance to sprint. Alternatively look to Michael Matthews or Leigh Howard from OGE who should be given free reign. Luca Paolini might be let off team duties to have a crack at contesting the finish. Katusha have been good at allowing Paolini (Giro) and Kristoff (Tour) to have a crack at stage wins without having to worry about a GC contender. They won’t have the support, but they also shouldn’t be forced to escort Purito to the line.