Article submitted by twitter user @cyclingbolar
Looking at this stage, it is difficult to predict. You could make a case for every scenario and not know which way it goes.
The stage is undulating in the last 100km and it is on narrow roads. The finish is technical with a few twists and gradients up towards 8% with a gradual rise to the line in the final few hundred kilometres.
With the nature of the roads they are racing on, and crashes still occurring now, I expect a few crashes. Positioning is important on this stage.
Looking at the route we can rule out sprinters such as Mark Cavendish, Andre Greipel. It suits Peter Sagan, Arnaud Demare, Greg Van Avermaet, Michael Matthews, Sonny Colbrelli. Fernando Gaviria may find it too hard and has two wins already so Quick-Step Floors may opt to go for Julian Alaphilippe. The stage suits him if ridden hard enough.
Question is, who is going to help Quick-Step chase? We saw yesterday that the chase was left late. No one was really helping and letting them do all the work. Whilst it’s doubtful, they may not work to bring the break back. But there best interests is to make the race insanely hard to drop Sagan.
But with the undulating narrow roads, chasing can be hard, so if the break features the right riders, it could make it. You also can’t rule out a late attack either.
I’d say this is the likelihood.
Break surviving: 20%
Late attack: 30%
Small Group Sprint: 50%
Peter Sagan ($2.70/$1.50) – If he is at the finish, he is going to be hard to beat.
Sonny Colbrelli ($8.50/$3.20) – We saw on stage two that he nearly beat Sagan and an uphill finish is better for him. Would be close between these two again.
Michael Matthews ($5.50/$2.10) – Suits him but he hasn’t really been sprinting that well this year. Not sure he has the legs.
Greg Van Avermaet ($11/$3.50) – Hasn’t had a year like other years, but this finish does suit him.
Julian Alapahilippe ($11/$3.50) – If raced hard enough and the above riders are dropped, Alaphilippe would be equal favourite with the next rider.
Alejandro Valverde ($13/$3.75) – If Sagan and the other sprinters are gone, then it will be a race between Valverde and Alaphilippe.
Arnaud Demare ($21/$6) – Does suit him. Has had bad luck this race so far so will look to do well here.
Daryl Impey ($26/$7.50) – If allowed to sprint, this suits him. He will probably be on Adam Yates protective duty though.
Magnus Cort ($26/$7.50) – If allowed to sprint, this suits him. He will probably be on Jakob Fuglsang protective duty though.
John Degenkolb ($41/$9) – In best form, he would be a strong chance. Still a chance, but not a good one.
Jasper Stuyven ($41/$9) – If Trek ride for a sprint, they could go Degenkolb or Stuyven, but Stuyven might be better off attacking late.
Edvald Boasson-Hagen ($51/$11) – Does suit him, but he’ll need a lot of the above to not be there.
Speaking of late attackers, these riders will be the ones.
Philippe Gilbert ($15/$4.25), Bob Jungels $67/$13 – as mentioned, Quick-Step have an abundance of options. We could see a Jungels late attack like we did in Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
Soren Kragh Anderson ($81/$15), Lilian Calmejane ($101/$21), Alexis Vuillermoz ($151/$26).
If it’s raced hard and everyone is dropped, then keep an eye out for Omar Fraile $101/$21. He will be protecting Jakob Fuglsang but if it’s hard enough and a lot of riders are dropped, then he has a kick on him.
This is hard to call but I cant’ see Sagan getting dropped. If the break comes back, you can’t look past Sagan
- Peter Sagan
- Sonny Colbrelli
- Edvald Boasson-Hagen
Just the one over at Crownbet Australia
Julien Alaphilippe over Greg Van Avermaet @ $1.88 (6)
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