Tom Dumoulin and Vasil Kiryienka are the two favourites to win the stage 17 time trial at the Vuelta a España, but are there any dark horses in the field?

Tom Dumoulin heads into the stage 17 time trial at the Vuelta a España as the odds-on favourite to take the stage, with a strong chance he could take the red jersey at the same time.

Joaquim Rodriguez and Fabio Aru, who are separated by just a second at the top of the general classification, are not known for their ability against the clock, but with a tired field of riders and a lot on the line a strong performance from one of those could set up an exciting finish to the race.

The bookmakers have two clear favourites in a field bereft of quality time trialists, while the rest of the peloton are – quite understandably – at quite long odds.

Odds are taken from www.oddschecker.com and are correct at the time of publishing.

Favourites

Tom Dumoulin – 8/11 at Bet365
This stage is the Dutchman’s to lose, it seems, with all online bookmakers installing him as odds-on favourite.

Sitting just 1-51 behind Rodriguez, Dumloulin is widely expected to put enough time into his rivals to take control of the red jersey going into the final days of racing.

But having worked incredibly hard to stay in contention in the mountains for the last 16 stages, will he have enough in his legs to claw back enough time on the leaders?

Vasil Kiryienka – 7/4 at Coral
Team Sky could take advantage of the poor time trial field by placing well with Kiryienka.

The omens are good Kiryienka, who won the 59km time trial at the Giro d’Italia in May, as the Belarussian won the stage last time the Vuelta started in Burgos in 2013.

His Giro stage win this year saw him place above some strong riders against the clock, including Alberto Contador and Luis Leon Sanchez.

His odds, which are all around the 7/4 mark, seem quite short but Kiryienka could take the win if Dumoulin struggles.

Luis Leon Sanchez – 14/1 at PaddyPower
The fact that Sanchez is considered a favourite shows just how delapidated the field is. With Chris Froome and Tejay van Garderen out of the race with injury, Sanchez could claim a podium spot.

At 14/1 he’s probably too far out to back for the win, but with several online bookmakers offering an each-way bet for a top-two placing he could be a shout for a speculative flutter.


Dr Hutch talks us through the tactics of a long time trial


Outsiders

Nelson Oliveira – 66/1 at Boyle Sports
Already a stage winner in this year’s Vuelta, Oliveira now has the chance to show off the time trial ability that has seen him win the Portuguese championships for the last three years.

At 66/1 he’s seen as an incredibly long shot for the win, but the course may suit him in length, being the same distance as that he won the national championship in June.

Steve Cummings – 80/1 at PaddyPower
One of the dark horses in the pack, Cummings is no slouch when it comes to racing against the clock. His team pursuit background gives him good pedigree in the time trials and he claimed a top-10 in the opening stage of the Tour de France, albeit on a significantly shorter course.

This will be the longest time trial that Cummings has done since the Giro d’Italia in 2013, when he came 77th over 54km.

Unfortunately this one looks a little too long for Cummings, and with the Brit keen for his second Grand Tour stage win of the year he could keep a little in the tank today in order to be fresh for the remaining stages.

Jurgen Van Den Broeck – 200/1 at William Hill
Having been selected by Belgium for the World Championships time trial you’d assume that Van Den Broeck would be among the favourites in a weak field in Spain.

Not so.

At 200/1 he’s probably not worth backing for the win, but an inspired performance could see him nail a podium place but he’s very much an outsider for second place.