After an opening week that only offered up a couple of time trials to give an inclination as to who will be wearing the pink jersey on the podium in Verona on June 2, the second week of the Giro d'Italia 2019 exploded into life. Stages 13 and 14 saw two big days in the mountains, with some great racing and a re-ordering of the general classification.
Richard Carapaz stormed to the stage 14 victory and took the pink jersey, which he will carry into tomorrow's queen stage as the Ecuadorian and his GC rivals face another tough test.
Anything could happen, and who do you turn to when you're faced with the unknown and need answers? Those who are poised to make a medium-to-large amount of cash from it, the bookies, obviously.
Here's who the bookmakers think could win the Giro d'Italia 2019 with just one week of racing left.
Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) is still the man to beat, having taken valuable minutes and seconds in the two time trials and managing his rivals' attacks in the mountains. The Slovenian now sits seven seconds behind Richard Carapaz, and 1-40 ahead of Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida).
Should he manage to hold on through week three's mountains, you would think he would have enough in the final time trial to secure the overall, which is why he's valued at evens. But, with the weakest team of any GC contender, there is still a lot of racing to come.
After a stunning and determined attack to take the stage 14 win, the current pink jersey holder Richard Carapaz (Movistar) is second favourite to still be wearing the maglia rosa after the stage 21 time trial in Verona.
The Ecuadorian has just a seven second advantage over Roglič, but has odds of 2/1 to maintain his advantage in the overall classification. A strong team including the likes of Mikel Landa, who is also high up on GC, could prove crucial to Carapaz's tilt at the title.
Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) is third favourite, just 1-40 down on Roglič, meaning the Slovenian has been marking the Italian throughout the two tough mountain stages of the second week, much to the ire of the two-time Giro winner.
Despite the exchanging of words, mostly one-way traffic from Nibali talking about Roglič, the Bahrain-Merida rider is 9/2 to overhaul the Slovenian as well as Carapaz on the way to securing his third Giro title.
Carapaz's Movistar team-mate Mikel Landa is up next, despite putting in two poor time trials and sitting behind Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) on GC, the Spaniard's recent performances in the mountains have shown he could possess the legs to challenge for a podium or at the very least a podium place.
Landa's daring attack on stage 13 moved him up to fifth in the overall classification, 2-50 behind Carapaz. Whether he'll be used as a pawn in his team-mate's challenge for the win, or will be allowed the room to mount his own charge, we'll just have to wait and see. He's valued at 7/1.
Alongside Nibali, Astana's Miguel Ángel López has looked to animate the race when the road heads uphills, knowing that the other GC contenders have to dislodge Roglič before the time trial on the final stage to stand a chance of victory.
López's odds would be higher had the Colombian not suffered a disastrously-timed mechanical on stage 13 that saw him finish 1-22 behind Roglič. The Astana man is currently 5-30 down on Carapaz, which reflects his odds of 22/1 to turn it around.
Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) was one of the pre-race favourites but has struggled throughout the race, consistently losing time to his GC rivals. Despite a spirited comeback on stage 14, where the Brit dropped from the group but fought back and attacked to claw back 30 seconds, he sits 5-28 down on Carapaz and is valued at 25/1 to follow up his 2018 Vuelta a España win with a Giro victory.
Although he is fourth on GC, only 2-10 behind Carapaz, Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) is 50/1 to win the overall classification. This might come as a surprise, especially as the Pole has so far put in good time trial performances and has the pedigree of being a two-time king of the mountains winner at the Tour de France, showing he has what it takes to compete over a three week Grand Tour.
Closing out the top ten, Team Ineos' Pavel Sivakov is 125/1, Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) is 150/1 despite a superb time trial performance on stage 9, and stage 13 winner Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) is 200/1.
Regardless of the eventual winner, the third week of the Giro d'Italia 2019 is set to showcase some fantastic racing, and anything could happen between now and Verona.
Giro d’Italia 2019 odds (Winner – Oddschecker)
Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma Evens
Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar 2/1
Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 9/2
Mikel Landa (Esp) Movistar 7/1
Miguel Ángel López (Col) Astana 22/1
Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 25/1
Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 50/1
Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Team Ineos 125/1
Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 150/1
Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 200/1
All odds correct at time of publication
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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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