On a pivotal day for the GC guys, writes Jack Houghton, expect Nibali to have one last go at Giro glory
"Nibali will be desperate to win a stage at his last Giro and this might represent his last chance..."
1 pt Back Richard Carapaz at 13.0012/1
1 pt Back Vincenzo Nibali at 60.0059/1
What's the stage like?
A 178km tour to Slovenia and back sees riders tackle the tough-looking, category one climb of Kolovrat: 10k at an average gradient of 9.2%. That climb has ramps of 15%, and riders will be fatigued by the undulating course that precedes it.
The summit finish isn't brutal, but 7km at 7.8% is no cakewalk. Although riders will naturally have their eyes on the monstrous Stage 20, there could well be significant moves here.
Who are the favourites?
It's hard to split Richard Carapaz (13.0012/1), Jai Hindley (13.0012/1) and Hugh Carthy (13.0012/1), the three riders who seem to be maintaining their form better than any others as the Giro reaches its final stages.
Given how close the battle is for the Pink Jersey, the bonus seconds available at the base of the last climb, and the desire that Carapaz will no doubt have to settle this Giro before the final time trial, expect his Team Ineos to ride aggressively on Kolovrat and seek to drop the others. Carapaz is the bet.
Who are the most likely outsiders?
There are a host of riders who have consistently inhabited the latter kilometres of these mountain stages, and a case could be made for several. Vincenzo Nibali (60.0059/1) is perhaps the best value of them all. He'll be desperate to win a stage at his last Giro and this might represent his last chance.
What effect will it have on the overall markets?
It will be pivotal. We might not be certain who will win the General Classification by stage end, but we should have a better idea.
*Odds correct at the time of writing