Friday Forecast

Posted: May 30, 2014 in AFL, Cricket, Cycling, Friday Forecast, Tennis

It’s Friday, which means its time to check whats on for the weekend:

1. Cycling – The Giro Climax – Three stages to go, the last is for the sprinters but the two before will determine the podium. Currently only two seconds separates third and fifth in the general classification, so there is still plenty to race for.
Stage 19 – A 26.8km mountain time trial. The riders have 7.5km of flat terrain to find their legs before the Monte Grappa climb. A fierce climb where all the riders will suffer and anybody having a bad day will be found out.
Stage 20 – The penultimate stage of this years GIRO concludes on the infamous slopes of the Monte Zoncalan, one of the most feared climbs in Europe. 10km at an average of 12%, with pitches of 20%, says it all.
Stage 21 – Not quite the procession that the final stage of the Tour De France is, but still likely to be a stage for the sprinters as the riders reach Trieste. Nacer Bouhanni and Giacomo Nizzolo have been the strongest since Marcel Kittels early departure. I think Nizzolo will finally get the stage win he has come so close to.

Tip – Final Podium – Nairo Quintana, Pierre Rolland and Rigoberto Uran

2. Cricket – IPL Conclusion – Maybe it’s just me but I really haven’t been able to get into the IPL this season. Whether it is because it’s hard to have an affinity with any of the teams as the personnel changes so much every couple of years, or the fact the tournament stretches over more than six weeks I’m not sure. Regardless, many will tune in for the final on Sunday. Kolkata are already in the final and they will play the winner of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) versus Kings XI Punjab match. While the SCK will be aiming for their sixth final the Kings XI will be hoping to reach their first. With Glenn Maxwell on song anything is possible.

Tip – Kings XI to go all the way, overcoming CSK and then avenging their recent defeat to Kolkata with victory in the final.

3. AFL – Round 11 – A full round of action in the AFL kicked off on Thursday night with a thumping win for Sydney over Geelong. Sydney’s results have been improving after a slow start but a triple figure pasting over the ever consistent Geelong was a real statement of intent. Port Adelaide will be expected to maintain top position with a comfortable victory over a more competitive Melbourne, while the Gold Coast Suns face a stern test of their top four credentials against Adelaide, in Adelaide. Richmond and Essendon have both failed to flatter so far this season but their Annual Dreamtime at the ‘G clash is one of the biggest home and away games of the season and both sides will see it as an opportunity to kick-start a finals push.

Tips – Collingwood, Port Adelaide, Brisbane, Essendon, Adelaide, Fremantle, Hawthorn and West Coast.

Also note that the French Open continues. The first week has seen a number of upsets. In the men’s, Kei Nishikori and Stanislas Wawrinka were both early losers. While on the women’s side Serena Williams and Li Na suffered surprise losses. In doing so they created a piece of history, though not in the way either would have hoped, it was the first time since tennis turned professional that the top two women’s seeds have both failed to make the third round at a grand slam!

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