Stage 3 brings the peloton from Verviers to Longwy over 212.5KM
The pure sprinters won’t survive this stage. Well they might, but they won’t contest the finish, a 1.6km climb up Côte des Religieuses averaging 5.8%.
Expect to see Taylor Phinney in the break to keep his Polka Dot jersey or another Cannondale-Drapac rider to defend it.
The break do have a good chance to survive depending on the makeup. Sky will be happy to let go of the yellow jersey. But I expect it to finish in a reduced bunch sprint.
Peter Sagan $3.50/$1.55 is the favourite and it’s easy to see why. He relishes these finishes.
Philippe Gilbert $6.50/$2.25 is in good form but it’s not hard enough for him. He could try and go solo but it will most likely be brought back.
Michael Matthews $6.50/$2.25 is suited to this finish. He has a good team to control things but not sure if he can find the right position.
Greg Van Avermaet $8/$3 has found his spring form after a break and is a massive chance to get another win.
Arnaud Demare $10/$3.50 has had a brilliant year and won a similar finish in Paris-Nice. The big thing he has on his side is his team. They are strong enough to put him in the perfect position. Can he finally grab his first Tour stage win?
Sonny Colbrelli $12/$4 is suited to this finish. He looked insanely strong today.
Diego Ulissi $21/$6.50 needs it harder. Likewise Michael Albasini $23/$7, Michael Kwiatkowski and Dan Martin all at the same prices.
Two riders that are overpriced and can win this stage are Edvald Boasson-Hagen $26/$7 and John Degenkolb $26/$8. The stage suits their strengths. Problem is their teams.
Other riders that could figure are Fabio Felline $34/$9, Alexey Lutsenko $41/$11 and Daryl Impey $151/$41
A late attack is possible if strong enough to stick and that’s where Gilbert who was mentioned earlier comes into play as well as Zdenek Stybar $41/$13, Tim Wellens $41/$11, Michael Valgren $67/$18, Tiejs Benoot $101/$26, Alexis Vuillermoz $101/$26.
I can’t go past Demare. He has the form and team to win this. FDJ should take control and deliver him to stage victory.
- Arnaud Demare
- Peter Sagan
- Michael Matthews
- Sonny Colbrelli
- Greg Van Avermaet
- John Degenkolb
- Fabio Felline
- Daryl Impey
- Diego Ulissi
- Edvald Boasson-Hagen