Itzulia Basque Country Preview 2023

Itzulia Basque Country Preview 2023

Not a huge fan of their logo. We're going to be honest here. That contrast of the font families, mixed with the incredibly aggressive red is not extremely appealing to our eyes.

What is appealing is this six day long stage race straddling the border between France and Spain and travelling through the Pyrenees.

Historical Note: The Basque Country term is a tad confusing, referring both to the general term to where the Basque people live and also to an autonomous community region within Spain deemed the Basque Country. The region where the Basque live includes the Basque Country autonomous region, but also Navarre in Spain, and the Northern Basque Region in France.

But let's do a preview of the betting markets. Generally there's consensus across the markets. Here's Bet365 (note the race is also known by the Spanish name of Vuelta al Pais Vasco and the markets may reflect that)

Given the course profiles (there's a decent number of Pyrenee-an climbs) these odds makes sense. The odds favour the best climbers.

We think Mas may be decent odds given the extra passion from the race being situated in Spain, and the lack of any extreme descents. Gloag has attractive odds at 126.00, and could perform well, but he's going to most likely be riding for Vingegaard - so take that into account.

 Carapaz has been coming into form nicely the past few weeks, and Bernal might finally shows his legs, but we're doubtful. We think Formolo has good value odds at 126.00

Our friendly Twitter pundit has Gaudu winning, but we think Soler finally is going to strike gold with his aggressive racing and while we think he may sometimes have to ride for Yates, we're really hoping he doesn't.

Landa we're almost always suckers for - we think he's a hard worker, but the odds just aren't value enough in our eyes.

We don't generally bet on head to heads over the General Classification battle, preferring to do head to heads for the stages themselves, but you could string together a few of the favourites and be relatively safe off (think Vingegaard over Mas & Gaudu over Yates).

We won't do a full preview of each stage, but stage one seems winnable by rouleurs and sprinters alike from our eyes. That one climb at the beginning is far too early and almost everyone should be able to get over it and catch back up to the peloton.

Stage 1 has some ludicrous odds for the head to heads - they really, really think Aranburu is going to take it. But 3.50 for Bagioli seems a little long despite the likelihood Aranburu is in the virtual podium.

Rounding out the post are the odds for Stage 1. Personally we think they've got it wrong. Hayter hasn't performed all that well in recent races and we'd be more excited about Bilbao or Fraile. But we'll see as the results roll in tomorrow.