Danish sprinter Nielsen can get back to last year's hot form
In-form Trentin seeking third stage success
Stage 13: Coin to Tomares
Starts 11.30am Friday, Live on Eurosport from 2pm
Thursday’s stage went to breakaway rider Tomasz Marczynski, scoring his second victory in this year’s race, but it was anything but a quiet day behind him as Chris Froome crashed twice on the final descent and had his lead cut by 20sec by Vincenzo Nibali. The gap is now 59sec.
Other incidents included Katusha rider Maxim Belkov being pushed off his bike into a ditch by a spectator on the final climb and a policeman appearing to shove a spectator into the path of a motorbike as he ran alongside a rider.
On paper Friday should be straightforward with a largely flat run inland to Seville seemingly favouring the sprinters, but there are complications. One is the heat in Andalucia, which is expected to hit 36C, and another is the 5% incline at 3km to go followed by two more ramps with 1.5km and 500m to race.
There is not much sprint form to go on, apart from Matteo Trentin’s win on stage 4. The Italian, who will be able to cope with the tricky finish, is favourite at a best-priced 15-8 as he goes for his third stage win of this year’s race.
Magnus Cort Nielsen was not involved there but he won two stages of last year’s Vuelta and his form is good, as he was second in the Ride London-Surrey Classic a month ago, splitting Alexander Kristoff and Michael Matthews. The Dane has won on finishes with a similar profile and is one of the fastest if he can hang in there up the drags.
M Cort Nielsen
1pt 12-1 general