A busy and brilliant weekend of sport ahead on Betdaq with the two Wimbledon finals, Haye v Klitschko, the heavyweight clash between So You Think and Workforce in the Eclipse plus the start of the Tour de France.
I’m still keen to lay Alberto Contador in the Tour at around 1.88 and get with Andy Schleck at 3.2. Contador insists that the lack of a final verdict in his doping case won’t affect him but I am not so sure. The French public will make their feelings clear on the road.
Second, I think the Giro d’Italia-Tour de France double is virtually impossible to pull off these days.
In contrast and in horse racing terms, Andy Schleck has been laid out for the race. The Tour has been his sole focus this year and he arrives fresh and in decent enough form, after glimpses of brilliance when he decided to stretch his legs on the Tour of Switzerland two weeks ago.
Schleck lost to Contador by just 39 seconds last year but really should have won the race having suffered two bits of bad luck. First losing his brother and right hand man Frank, who broke his collarbone, and second when he dropped his chain soon after he had Contador in trouble on the climb to Port de Bales on stage 15.
Frank is back and will have plenty of opportunity to cause chaos with his brother in the mountains. The 2011 Tour de France route is right up the Schlecks’ street as it celebrates the centenary of the first time the race climbed the Alps. A really testing third week sees the Tour return to the Galibier and Alpe d’Huez: two of its most legendary climbs. The Pyrenees also has two mountain top finishes.
It’s a dream Tour for the out and out climbers like Andy Schleck made even better by the lack of time-trialling. There’s not even a prologue, which arguably lost him last year’s race as he conceded 42 seconds to Contador. In fact there are only 64 time trial kilometres of which 23 are a team time trial, in which Leopard Trek will thrive under the mercurial Fabian Cancellara.
I’m confident Andy Schleck will get his tactics right this time and win.
I’m no boxing expert but have been canvassing opinion from the Sky Sports team in Hamburg as to who will win the big showdown on Sky Sports Box Office between David Haye and Wladimir Klitschko. Never have I known the team so split on who is going to emerge victorious and the debate continues to rage! Despite all the patriotic money, Klitschko is trading as a firm 1.6 favourite on Betdaq with Haye at 2.74.
I think Klitschko is going to be too big and strong for the Brit and will be backing him to win by KO,TKO or DQ at 2.4.
The other heavyweight showdown is at Sandown on Saturday as two of the world’s best horses go head to head. So You Think has been heavily backed all week and is now a 1.81 chance on Betdaq with Workforce at 2.88. The latter looks a backable price to me as on the formbook I think he should be favourite. Against that is the infectious confidence emanating from Ballydoyle about their charge. It was clear from his morning drift at Royal Ascot that Aidan O’Brien wasn’t totally happy with So You Think and here is his chance for redemption. I find the race too hard to call and look forward to just watching an intriguing clash.
I’m looking forward to the return of Flying Cross in the race after the Eclipse – the Marathon. Flying Cross is with John Gosden now, having shown plenty of promise in Ireland, and he’s the one horse in an ordinary looking field who could make in to a decent stayer.