Philippe Gilbert is in the form of his life. You don’t really need to know anything else about who might win the 2011 Liege-Bastogne-Liege, with the bookmakers pricing Gilbert as the clear favourite. Once again we are looking at Each-Way bets for a podium finish to find the value in the market. Katusha have been working hard to produce a victory but have come up against the unstoppable Gilbert. Andy Schleck has failed to produce the goods when the road has gone up at the end of recent races. Samuel Sanchez is very likely to make the podium but at odds of 16.00 (15/1) with Bet365 you won’t see much of a return.
We are tipping Nibali for a podium finish as he comes into form ahead of the Giro d’Italia at 41.00 (40/1) with PaddyPower.
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The 2010 edition of Amstel Gold was won at a canter by Omega Pharma-Lotto’s Philippe Gilbert, he even had time to celebrate 50 metres from the finish line. The bookmakers are pretty sure that there will be only one winner in 2011, and yes, you’ve guessed it, it’s Phillipe Gilbert again. He’s been in tremendous form this season and we know he loves the Amstel Gold race. At odds of just 4.00 (3/1) there is little value so we once again look for some inspired Each-Way bets for riders finishing in the first 3.
We’ve tipped Leukemans a few times this spring already but although he’s good value at 41.00 (40/1) with Bet365 we don’t think he’ll have the climbing speed of other contenders. The two Schlecks again struggle when the speed goes up by the one-day specialists on these relatively steep climbs so we are staying away from those too.
We like the look of Kolobnev for a podium finish and he’s good value at Kolobnev at 29.00 (28/1) with Bet365. Don’t forget it’s 1/4 odds for Each-Way bets. If Kolobnev times his inevitable attack on the final climb he could possible hang on for victory.
A real outside pick would be Vaconsoleil’s Marco Marcato who can be backed at at 61.00 (60/1) with Bet365
Velotips goes for an E/w bet of Kolobnev at 29.00 (28/1) with Bet365
The 2010 edition of Paris-Roubaix left many people wondering if Fabian Cancellara was superhuman given the manner in which he simply rode away from the rest of the peloton. On reflection, many now agree it was one of the greatest rides ever seen in this famous race. The Belgian press were savage in their treatment of hometown boy and three-time Roubaix winner Tom Boonen as he had no response to Cancellara’s 50km time-trial to victory.
Boonen is due better luck, better form and better support from his team-mates to counter what will no doubt be an equally touch challenge from Cancellara in the 2011 Paris-Roubaix. Throw into the mix that the newly formed Garmin-Ceervelo will have Thor Hushovd, Tyler Farrar and Heinrich Haussler all gunning for victory and 2011 looks to be a vintage year for the cobbled Classic.
***UPDATE*** Following the Tour of Flanders the bookmakers have shortened the odds for Cancellara whilst Boonen has lengthened slightly. Riders out of favour after RVV include Farrar and Eisel. Geraint Thomas’ odds have shortened. Leukemans rode well to take 7th place and on a flatter course may well be able to hang on for a podium place.
Velotips goes for an Each Way bet with Leukemans at 41.00 (40/1) with Sportingbet