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Olympic cycling - men's road race

Welcome to the stage @wheelie1977, a former top Irish cyclist who now focuses on the betting side of professional cycling. He offers these tips for subscription first, and then makes them free a day or so later. His tips throughout recent months on the Giro D'Italia and the Tour de France have been outstanding. You can read more of his excellent work on his website - Wheeliebets.

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MEN'S ROAD RACE

I advised backing Cavendish back in early July and now his price has been swallowed right up so much so that it's almost impossible for the media to see an alternative. However it's short-sighted given the course and the distance and the lack of fire-power in any of the teams of 5 from each country. No doubt if Cavendish gets the run of the race and we see a sprint finish then it's a certainty, almost, that he'll win but if it turns into a Classics type battle, who else is there to look at?

For me the course and distance remind me of a cross between a Tour of Flanders and a Paris-Roubaix without the cobbles. The length of the race cannot be underestimated, it's 250 kilometres, in or around the length of the Monuments in Spring. Riders like Tom Boonen and Fabian Cancellara spring to mind, not to mind Lars Boom, John Degenkolb, Simon Gerrans and Alexandr Kolobnev. Is it possible that Cavendish will not get a sprint?

I watched Eurosport go over the course and the one thing they both mentioned was the cross-winds on the way out through Richmond, which they've to pass on the way out to Box Hill and going back towards town. Going out might not be so bad however on the way back it's only 20 kilometres to the finish from there to the Mall and after 230 kilometres racing, some very tired bodies will be grimly trying to hold the wheel in front of them. If its a line out driven by Cancellara or worse still they're trying to catch Cancellara, then the cross wind will blow the race to pieces.

Box Hill looks nothing once or twice around the climb, but 9 times around any hill starts to play on the mind and after a tough 3 weeks of the Tour, there will be some very tired bodies. At the likely speeds and with attacks all day long, how can the British control the race? The Classics riders will make their moves, hard and fast each time up those hills, in the hope they break the elastic. Cavendish is then relying on Wiggins and Froome to bring him back to the wheels of the likes of Boonen, Cancellara, Boassen Hagen and others. Incredibly tough racing without doubt!

So it's Tom Boonen I'm turning to for the alternative bet to Cavendish. Winner of the Ronde and Paris-Roubaix this year, Tomeke has taken it easy since, building form to this one day event. I'll be amazed if he's not involved somewhere along the line. His price is far too big with the bookmakers so I'm advising a side bet at 25/1 which is a general price available in Paddy's, BetFred, Blue Square among others.

Advised Bet

Tom Boonen
0.5pt e/w @ 25/1 (1/4 odds Pays 1,2,3)

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