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65th Vuelta a España – King of the Mountains Preview
By Chris Graetz
Date: 8/27/2010
65th Vuelta a España – King of the Mountains Preview

65th Vuelta a España – King of the Mountains Preview
Who will be the 2010 Vuelta King of the Mountains? Can Moncoutie make it three in a row? Will another rider claim the blue and white polka dot jersey?

The KOM (King of the Mountains) classification at any Tour is an intriguing contest. Winning the jersey doesn’t come easy and you need to be at your best everyday in the mountains to gather as many point as you can. Frenchman David Moncoutie has triumphed the last two years. What will happen this year?

In writing this preview, I took the odds from a bookmaker, Sportingbet Australia.

David Moncoutie
Country: France
Team: Cofidis
Age: 35
Current Odds: $4 Sportingbet Australia

Moncoutie is coming to the Vuelta to try and win his third consecutive jersey. Earlier in the year, Moncoutie rode the Giro d’Italia and struggled. He skipped the Tour de France to make the Vuelta a goal. When in form, Moncoutie is a brilliant climber.

In the recent Tour de L’Ain, Moncoutie finished third overall taking second place on the final stage. The race involved some climbing and he looked great on some of the mountains.

David Moncoutie’s second place on stage eight in 2009 earned him the KOM Jersey. He would then go on to win a stage and then wear the jersey into Madrid. ; Photo © 2009 UNIPUBLIC, S.A.

Who are Moncoutie's challengers? It's hard to call, that's what makes the KOM competition exciting over three weeks.

Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo-Galicia) – ($7), is a rider who could take the jersey. He’s looking at the overall classification but if he’s in form in the mountains, he’s always going to be at the head of the peloton and could pick up points.

Katusha’s Joaquim Rodriguez ($10), is a former winner of this classification, winning the jersey in 2005. Again, he is going for the overall classification but he has had a hard and successful year on the bike. If he falls out of contention, the jersey could be his backup plan.

Cervelo’s Carlos Sastre ($11), could focus on the KOM jersey. This is his third Grand Tour this year and having not secured a victory in the previous two, could hunt for a stage victory here. If he does, he could also pick up the points and focus his attention on the jersey.

Sastre’s team-mate, Xavier Tondo ($17), did look like he was going for the KOM jersey at the Giro. However, he might be Cervelo’s back-up plan for overall honours if Sastre falters.

Juan Manuel Garate ($26), Luis Leon Sanchez ($67) and Kanstantsin Siutsou ($81) could be other riders that might target the jersey. Siutsou will be hunting for stage wins for HTC-Columbia and the jersey may not be a target now, but could be an option as the race progresses.

As I have taken the odds from Sportingbet, I have noticed other markets they have for the Vuelta. They have a market for riders who may or may not win stages, winning margin, and have head to heads for the General Classification. They will also have markets for every stage.

Check them out at:

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