Contador is bookies' favourite for Giro
Unsurprisingly, Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank) ranks as the bookmakers' outright favourite to win the 2011 Giro d'Italia overall. The race starts this Saturday (May 7) in Turin.
With five grand tour titles to his name - Tour de France (2007, 2009, 2010), Giro d'Italia (2008) and Vuelta a Espana (2008) - it's a no brainer that the bookies' have singled out Contador as the man to beat in Italy this month.
More interesting are the odds on riders behind Contador. Unibet puts Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) in second spot behind Contador with odds of 6.00 (5/1). Nibali finished in third place at the 2010 Giro behind winner Ivan Basso, who is not riding this year's event.
The bookies' don't rate the chances of the man who came second behind Basso last year - David Arroyo (Movistar). Unibet has the Movistar leader as 150.00 (149/1) and William Hill as 125/1 (126.00).
Sky's leader, Thomas Lofkvist, has the same odds as Arroyo - 150.00 (149/1) - with Unibet.com. William Hill has Richie Porte (Saxo Bank), seventh at last year's Giro, at odds of 500/1 (501.00) and Peter Stetina (Garmin-Cervelo) at odds of 1000/1 (1001.00) to win overall.
Unibet.com also has faith in Mark Cavendish's ability to win at least one stage during the Giro. The HTC-Highroad Brit has odds of 1.18 (9/50) to win one or more stages, and 4.20 (16/5) to win no stages - similar odds are offered for Contador taking a stage win, or not.
One question we wanted clarified was what would happen if Contador won overall, but then subsequently had his victory stripped due to post-dated suspension imposed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport relating to his positive test for clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France. A decision on the case is due next month (June).
William Hill gave us its answer: "We pay out on whoever is on the podium," their spokesperson told us. "So if he won, but was then disqualified, the result would still stand".
Odds correct at time of publication, 4 May 2011
Unibet.com odds: Giro d'Italia overall classification winner
Alberto Contador 1.60
Vincenzo Nibali 6.00
Michele Scarponi 7.00
Denis Menchov 15.00
Igor Anton 17.00
Joaquin Rodriguez 20.00
Roman Kreuziger 25.00
Jose Rujano 40.00
Domenico Pozzovivo 55.00
Danilo Di Luca 65.00
David Arroyo 150.00
Thomas Lofkvist 150.00
William Hill odds: Giro d'Italia overall classification winner
Alberto Contador 8/11
Vincenzo Nibali 9/2
Michele Scarponi 7/1
Joaquin Rodriguez 14/1
Igor Anton 14/1
Denis Menchov 16/1
Roman Kreuziger 20/1
Danilo Di Luca 66/1
Emanuele Sella 66/1
Tiago Machado 66/1
Thomas Lofkvist 100/1
Richie Porte 500/1
Peter Stetina 1000/1
Last year's Giro d'Italia overall top ten (2010)
1. Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo in 87-44-01
2. David Arroyo (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne at 1-51
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo at 2-37
4. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli at 2-50
5. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing at 3-27
6. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana at 7-06
7. Richie Porte (Aus) Saxo Bank at 7-22
8. Carlos Sastre (Spa) Cervelo at 9-39
9. Marco Pinotti (Ita) HTC-Columbia at 14-20
10. Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Liquigas-Doimo at 14-51