Article submitted by twitter user @cyclingbolar
Like yesterday, today should be another breakaway day. The break should get a handy lead early and then battle on the final climb. By that stage, someone in the break will be already on the downhill heading into the finish.
It’s not hard for teams to take it to Sky.
So we should see the usual suspects in the break again.
I’ll go team by team rather than rider v rider.
EF Education Drapac – Pierre Rolland is their best chance at a stage victory. I’m not sure he has the legs. He was in the break today. Simon Clarke will have to give this a shot.
Fortuneo Samsic – They will be all in for Warren Barguil. He has struggled thus far and I’m not sure he’s strong enough unless he is against weaker climbers and that is doubtful.
Bahrain Merida – They will definitely be represented. Gorka Izagirre tried today, and he will probably try again. If not then this is perfect for Jon Izagirre. If he can get to the top with a lead, he is going to be hard to catch. Domenico Pozzovivo is probably their other chance.
Mitchelton Scott – Has Adam Yates recovered? If he’s in the break, he is a strong chance to win. Mikel Nieve is also a chance. He showed the other day he is strong. Both legitimate chances.
Movistar – Alejandro Valverde could try and hit the break but teams will start to look at defending top 10 and he is too close of a threat to that. Marc Soler has looked incredibly strong. He will be sent up the road in case Movistar want to try something. If he is given free reign to go for a stage victory, he is the favourite.
BMC – Damiano Caruso tried today and no doubt he will try again, but not sure he is strong enough. Tejay Van Garderen could be strong enough and I think will definitely be in the break. Simon Gerrans an outside chance. Seems to be going okay.
UAE Team Emirates – They still have Dan Martin high on GC and they might send Darwin Atapuma up the road who has been in breakaways. But after Martin’s untimely puncture today, they might want to keep their best climber close to him.
Quick Step Floors – Even though he won’t lose his lead today, with a rest day tomorrow you can expect Julien Alaphilippe up there to try and pick up the 18 points. He will be dropped on the final climb I think. It’s just a bit too long for him.
Bora Hansgrohe – They should be represented with Gregor Muhlberger, Rafal Majka, Pawel Poljanski and Lukas Postlberger. Majka is probably their best bet but Muhlberger has looked good.
Astana – They will send someone up the road. After Fraile’s win today, it won’t be him. Jesper Hansen and Tanel Kangert are their best chances.
Dimension Data – It will all be for Serge Pauwels who has looked in fine form. One of the favourites for the stage if he makes the break.
Katusha – Ilnur Zakarin will probably try and get in the break again, but not sure he has the form. He is too close to top 10 on the GC and teams will start to defend it. Ian Boswell is probably their hope. Can’t see either winning.
Groupama FDJ – Rudy Molard and David Gaudu will definitely be there. Gaudu is looking good. Can he strike victory in his first Tour de France?
Lotto Soudal – Thomas De Gendt has tried and now is the time for Jelle Vanendert. I have mentioned him a few times. He is looking for stage victories and hasn’t hit a break yet. Like Omar Fraile, perhaps he is waiting for the right time when everyone else has been trying and could be fatigued. Now is the time to strike.
Direct Energie – Had 5 riders up the road today and the ones that weren’t are their best shots today. Romain Sicard is their only option. Not sure he is strong enough.
Trek Segafredo – Tried today with Michael Gogl and Jasper Stuyven, the latter unlucky after a 40km solo attempt at victory. I doubt Bauke Mollema has recovered. Can’t see any of their other riders winning. Need an easier stage and need Mollema to get over his current issues. Best chance is later in the week.
Cofidis – Jesus Herrada, David Navarro and Nicolas Edet will all try. Edet was in today’s break so I think the first two are the chance. They have threatened at times, and today could be their day finally.
Wanty Groupe-Gobert – Guillaume Martin will be their guy. In the battle for the White Jersey with Pierre Latour and Egan Bernal threatening.
Ag2r – If Martin is in the break, then so will Pierre Latour. Latour has looked better recently but I don’t think neither can win the stage.
I haven’t mentioned Team Sunweb or Sky. Sky won’t send anyone up the road and Sunweb might, but they don’t have anyone to challenge for stage victory. Lotto NL Jumbo may try a long range attack, but not sure this is the stage for it. Robert Gesink will represent them in the break. Maybe Antwan Toelhoek
Back in the peloton, we will see the GC riders come to the fore. The downhill section will be good for riders like Romain Bardet to gain time, but Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas, Primoz Roglic and Tom Dumoulin have looked brilliant and it will be hard for Bardet to get an advantage and it seemed like he struggled a bit today. Throw in Steven Kruijswijk too.
Looking at the above, you can work out who will be the strongest and who will be the weakest.
BETS – I will put on twitter later this afternoon.
- Ion Izagirre
- Daniel Navarro
- Serge Pauwels