On Monday, November 2nd, the peloton will get their second rest day of this Grand Tour tour as they prepare to enter the third and final week of the 2020 Vuelta a Espana.
The first two weeks have been thrilling to watch as we’ve seen some intense battles on the bike for stage wins and the overall race lead which is represented by the red jersey. All of this cycling drama has unfolded with incredible backdrops from the beautiful country of Spain.
Perhaps, no stage embodied the suspense, tactical game of chess, and the breathtaking views of Spain than Stage 12 as the riders battled each other up the mythical Angliru. This iconic Spanish climb was painful to watch as it reached gradients as high as 23%.
Riders looked like they were in slow motion. Yet, the stage also showed who the real “men of state” were and who the pretenders were.
As we head into the final week of the Vuelta, we’re certainly going to see another shakeup in the standings come Stage 13’s individual time trial and Stage 17’s five climbs. One bad day of racing could cost a rider the red jersey or a podium finish.
Vuelta a Espana betting sites have released their updated odds for the rest of the Grand Tour. Let’s strap on our helmets, hop on our bikes and make our final predictions for the 2020 Vuelta a Espana.
The current overall standings for the General Classification (red jersey) following Stage 12:
Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) in 48:29:27
Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma) at 10s
Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling) at 32s
Daniel Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) at 35s
Enric Mas Nicolau (Movistar Team) at 1:50
Wout Poels (Barain-McLaren) 5:13
Felix Grosschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe) at 5:30
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) at 6:22
Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana Pro Team) at 6:41
Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott) 6:42
Vuelta a Espana Betting Odds
The updated odds to win the Vuelta a Espana:
Primoz Roglic (-333)
Richard Carapaz (+350)
Hugh Carthy (+750)
Daniel Martin (+2200)
Enric Mas Nicolau (+3000)
Alexander Vlasov (+27500)
Wout Poels (+27500)
Sepp Kuss (+42500)
Marc Soler (+42500)
Felix Grosschartner (+42500)
Johan Esteban Chaves (+50000)
Vuelta Betting Favorites
The following cyclists are considered the odds on favorites to win the Vuelta:
Primoz Roglic (-333)
1st Rest Day (-187)
Currently, Primoz Roglic sits 2nd overall in the red jersey competition just 10 seconds behind the race leader Richard Carapaz. These two have battled against each other for the first dozen stages and it’s been an epic duel in the final Grand Tour of the season.
Roglic started out as a +150 prerace favorite then went to -187 on the first rest day one week ago. At that time, he was sitting 4th overall at 30 seconds back.
The defending Vuelta champion not only made up the time, but he also came off the rest day and won Stage 8 and Stage 10. These wins put him in 1st overall as he took the red jersey back.
However, Carapaz outdueled Roglic up the Angliru and was able to put 10 seconds on Primoz as he took over the race lead once again.
That will all change on Stage 13 as the riders come off the second rest day and go into an individual time trial up a mountain. If you recall, this is how Roglic lost the 2020 Tour de France after failing to beat out fellow countryman Tadej Pogacar.
I expect a ferocious time trial for Roglic that will reestablish him as the red jersey wearer. Can he hold on to the jersey the rest of the Vuelta?
Richard Carapaz (+350)
1st Rest Day (+350)
I have been prasing Carapaz since the Tour de France. He could’ve finished higher if it weren’t for his efforts to help teammate Egan Bernal during the first week. Once Bernal exited, Carapaz stepped up and performed well.
Coming into the Vuelta, I felt that Carapaz was going to be the toughest competition for Roglic and he certainly hasn’t let anyone down in that regard.
Heading into both rest days, Carapaz has had the overall race lead due to strong performances on the Sundays prior in combination with Roglic cracking a bit up massive, lengthy climbs.
Carapaz started off as the third overall betting favorite at +650 odds and then went to +350 on the first rest day. He remains at +350 despite being the overall race leader.
The big reason why Carapaz’s odds aren’t lower is due to the time trial on Stage 13. Carapaz is not known for being a strong time trialist and he’s most likely going to lose time to Roglic and others.
Can the leader of Team Ineos make up the lost time in the final climbs of the Vuelta?
Hugh Carthy (+750)
1st Rest Day (+2000)
Hugh Carthy has been the biggest surprise of the Vuelta. He wasn’t even talked about in prerace previews as his odds were beyond +10000 with many online betting sites.
Yet, the British rider has shocked the sport and currently sits 3rd overall at just 32 seconds back of the race lead. Carthy showed he was one of the best climbers in the sport as he pulled away from the rest of the peloton on the Angliru and won via 16 seconds over his top red jersey rivals.
It was an impressive performance that has led to his odds dropping from +2000 on the first rest day to +750 on the second race day.
⏯ La emoción de Hugh Carthy tras ganar en el Alto de l’Angliru
Carthy has announced to the sport, and the peloton, that he’s for real and that he will compete for the red jersey all the way to Sunday’s Stage 18.
You have to admire what this 26 year old British cyclist has done over the first two weeks. Although he’s dropped one spot in the standings, and 14 seconds back from where he was on the first rest day, Carthy looks as if he’s getting better as the Vuelta goes on.
The only question mark left for EF Pro Cycling’s leader is how well he can do in the time trial.
Best Betting Value for the Vuelta a Espana
These riders offer the best betting value in the Vuelta due to their current success on the 2020 season and their current place in the overall GC standings:
Dan Martin (+2200)
1st Rest Day (+1000)
If it weren’t for Hugh Carthy, Dan Martin would be the best story in the Vuelta after two weeks. The 34 year old Irish cyclist sits 4th overall at 35 seconds back. He has finished in the Top 7 on seven of the first 12 stages and even won Stage 3 as he out-kicked Roglic and Carapaz to the line.
Martin wasn’t even considered a prerace favorite as his odds were well beyond +10000 with most sports betting websites. Yet, after the first three stages of the Vuelta, Martin proved that he was going to be a contender this year.
On the first rest day, Martin was 3rd overall at 20 seconds back and saw his betting odds drop all the way down to +1000. Despite being 35 seconds back heading into the third and final week, his odds have doubled as he’s listed at +2200 to win the red jersey.
Martin’s performance through the first two weeks has been remarkable and I wouldn’t count the veteran out from reaching the podium.
As for winning the overall race, Martin will need some luck in the final stages as he’s been unable to pull away from Roglic and Carapaz on the mountain stages. Yet, he could jump up further in the standings with a strong time trial on Stage 13.
Enric Mas Nicolau (+3000)
1st Rest Day (+650)
Enric Mas was one of the prerace favorites at +1000 odds. He’s the leader of Movistar Team which is one of the best teams in the peloton. In fact, they lead the Team Standings by 89 seconds ahead of Team Jumbo-Visma and have a good shot at winning this competition.
Mas currently sits 5th overall at 1:50 back of Carapaz. He animated the race on Stage 12 with an epic performance up the Angliru, but was beat out in the final meters by Carthy.
Mas was only 67 seconds back from Carapaz on the first rest day and saw his odds as low as +650 heading into the second week of racing. Although he’s still 5th in the standings, his odds have ballooned to +3000.
🎙️ “Estoy contento en global, pero no con el resultado final. Salíamos a ganar, el equipo ha estado otra vez de 10” @EnricMasNicolau
Enric has showed that he can hang with the top GC contenders in this race. I expect a strong performance in the time trial on Tuesday, which should help him put time on his rivals. In fact, he could make up ground on everyone in the Top 5, but Roglic.
Don’t count out the Spaniard when it comes to making the podium. His teammate Marc Soler is also a solid time trialist and could make a dramatic leap up the standings as well. Currently, Soler sits 19th at 17:01 back. He could make a run at the Top 10 after the time trial.
Who Will Win the 2020 Vuelta a Espana?
Primoz Roglic has been my pick all along. And, despite a concerning finish on Stage 12, Roglic will win the Vuelta this year as long as he doesn’t crash out or have a major crack in the mountains on Stage 17.
If we look at the Tour de France’s time trial on Stage 20, we can get some clarity on what to expect for Stage 13 of the Vuelta as the riders do an uphill time trial that’s similar to what most of them faced in the TDF.
Roglic beat Mas by 49 seconds, Dan Martin by almost four minutes, and Richard Carapaz by nearly six minutes in the TDF time trial.
I’m not predicting those exact results for this week’s TT, but it’s safe to say that Roglic will put up a time that has him finishing at least a minute or two up on Martin and Carapaz.
The real battle will be between Mas, Carapaz, Carthy and Martin. I like Mas to come out of Stage 13 having moved ahead of Martin and Carthy in the standings, but just slightly behind Carapaz.
Either way, by time it’s all said and done, I still believe the Vuelta podium will be Primoz Roglic, Richard Carapaz and Enric Mas as I have predicted all along.
Who Wins the 2020 Vuelta a Espana?Primoz Roglic (-333)
What About the Other Jersey Competitions?
In addition to the red jersey, there are three other individual competitions that will also be rewarded at the end of the Vuelta. Let’s take a look at these classifications and see how they will shake out during the final week of racing:
The White Jersey Competition
The White Jersey represents the best young rider in the Vuelta. And, right now, Enric Mas has a near five minute lead over second place Aleksandr Vlasov. Prior to the first stage of the Vuelta, I made the following prediction for this competition:
“I see Mas being a GC contender, which will help him run away with this white jersey competition. In fact, of all the individual competitions in this year’s Vuelta, the best young rider classification is the easiest one to predict.”
As you can see, with a five minute lead heading into the final week, only a crash can prevent Mas from winning this jersey for the second time in three years.
The King of the Mountains
This competition was the hardest to predict heading into the Vuelta. In fact, Guillaume Martin, the current KOTM leader, wasn’t even a serious contender for this competition. Yet, he has a 46 point lead over Richard Carapaz heading into the final week.
I see Martin holding on to this lead as he’s made it perfectly clear that this is his main goal for the Vuelta. Martin sits 16th overall in the standings at 12:25 back. He’s not a threat to crack the Top 10 and should be able to get into breakaways to capture more KOTM points.
Carapaz or 3rd place Sepp Kuss could close the gap on Martin by the end of the week, but I like the French rider to hold on to this jersey. My prerace pick of Angel Madrazo, and the prerace betting favorite to win this jersey, isn’t even in the Top 50.
The Points Classification
Other than the red jersey battle, the points classification competition has been the most enjoyable one to watch as this jersey has been passed back and forth between the top contenders.
Currently, Primoz Roglic has a 43 point lead over 2nd place Richard Carapaz and a 47 point lead over 3rd place Dan Martin. Both men have worn this jersey at one point in the first two weeks of the Vuelta.
The best sprinter Sam Bennett, who was the 2nd overall prerace betting favorite to win this competition, sits 29th overall in this classification.
I predicted Roglic to win this competition as well as the red jersey competition and I see no reason to change it. Roglic will extend his lead after Stage 13’s time trial and should get more points on Stage 17.
The stages in between (14-16) could see breakaways win, but nobody that’s a threat to leapfrog Roglic in the green jersey competition.
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed “King of the Blog” in his first year with the site. …