The first Grand Tour of the year kicks of this weekend, with Napoli hosting the first stage of the 2013 Giro d’Italia. Tour organisers have come up with a spectacular and balanced course for the running of the 96th edition of the race. There are seven mountain top finishes planned, with a particularly bruising final week in the mountains that will eventually settle this year’s race. Though it is not going to be just a climber’s paradise, as the 88.9 kilometers of time trials will bring the specialists into play, including a tricky mountain time trial on stage 18 that might shake things up late in the race. The mountain top finishes at this year’s Giro will provide little rest for the main contenders, as within a few days of each other they will have to climb to the summit of the Galibier, the Passo Gravia and the Stelvio on the same stage, before the final murderous mountain stage that ends on the summit of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo.
Below we look at the odds for the race, and give a brief preview of the main contenders. The odds referenced below are taken from Bet365.com, the best place to have a bet on this year’s Giro d’Italia. Bet365.com will be offering comprehensive coverage of the race, with many markets to choose from throughout the race.
2013 Giro d’Italia Odds
Bet365.com is also offering each-way odds on the race, with which you will be paid out at 1/4 should your selection place in positions one to three.
Bradley Wiggins 10/11
Vincenzo Nibali 2/1
Ryder Hesjedal 7/1
Samuel Sanchez 18/1
Michele Scarponi 33/1
Cadel Evans 40/1
Sergio Luis Henao 40/1
Robert Gesink 40/1
Mauro Santambrogio 50/1
Carlos Betancour 66/1
Tracking the 3405 kilometre course from Napoli to the May 26 final stage in Brescia will be a select group of riders that will eventually decide the outcome of this year’s race. The early race favourite has to be 2012 cycling king Bradley Wiggins. Wiggins, knighted earlier this year for his achievements last year, when he won the Tour de France and the gold medal at in the Olympic individual time trial, has put his focus on the Giro d’Italia this year, perhaps aware that repeating his feats at the Tour will be considerably harder this time out. With his Team Sky behind him, he has prepared his season to be at his peak for the Giro, and with a 54-kilometre time trial lined up, he must stand a good chance of being there or thereabouts come the end of the race.
Wiggins’ biggest challenger, and the home nation’s main hope, Vincenzo Nibali, is growing with every season and has a good chance of claiming his first Giro d’Italia title this year, after already having come close to doing so last year. Nibali and Wiggins squared off at the Giro del Trentino recently, with Nibali coming out on top, but there is little to choose from between these two. Nibali was confident ahead of the race, assuring that he was in good condition, ‘The preparation has gone well, and I’m arriving at the beginning of the race as I wanted to. I know that I will have to defend myself in the time trials, especially the one in Saltara, but then come the mountains…’
Not to be counted out of contention is 2012 Canadian winner Ryder Hesjedal. Hesjedal was perhaps a surprise winner last year, but he will be closely marked this time out. The victory last year gave him a renewed outlook and he is confident going into the race, ‘I can assure you that I’m feeling better than when I won last year. I’ve had the start of the season that I wanted and I have a great team behind me.’
How To Bet
Bet365.com is the best place to have a bet on the 2013 Giro d’Italia. There you will find the best odds on the race, as they change throughout the three weeks, as well as in-play markets as the action unfolds.