Tour de France: Stage 10: Escaldes-Engordany – Revel

After a much-deserved rest day following an arduous three-day slog in the Pyrenees, the riders will depart from Andorra, heading north back into France.

The day’s stage will begin with a sapping category one climb before the riders will blitz down the Argie Valley on their way back to the French town of Revel.

To Win Stage
Peter Sagan 9/2 | Bryan Coquard 9/1 | Marcel Kittel 14/1 | Mark Cavendish 14/1 | Alexander Kristoff 16/1

The Contenders

Peter Sagan 9/2
This stage has Peter Sagan written all over it! The little category 3 climb, at the end, will likely mean that we won't see a bunch sprint with some of the pure sprinters falling behind a bit. He looks a big runner here.

Bryan Cocquard 9/1
Despite the best efforts of his Direct Energie teammate, Cocquard is still winless at the 2016 edition of the Tour de France. He will be desperate to claim a stage victory, and today just might be his best chance. Look for the black and yellow jersey's of his team toward the end of the stage - they'll likely do quite a bit of the pace-making at the front of the field.

Michael Matthews 18/1
I fancy Matthews to be in the mix come the end of the day. On top of that, he will be keen to add a Tour de France stage win to his two Giro stages and his three Vuelta a Espana stage wins - watch out for the Orica-BikeExchange man.

The Route
Stage 10 has quite an interesting look to it. The field departs from Escaldes-Engordany and will immediately begin the 22.6-kilometre ascent up the Port Denvalira which comes in at a 5.5% gradient.

Prior to the Grand Depart, Thierry Gouvenou, the Tour’s race director, had this to say about the stage: “How will the GC look once the action resumes after the break in Andorra? I’ll say it once again: we are too far from Paris for the Tour to have been decided. There are still too many hurdles that need to be cleared, starting with this stage that begins with the ascent of the Port D’envalira. On Paper, this is the ideal terrain for the baroudeurs – before the Côte de Saint-Ferréol, coming into Revel, delivers the final verdict.”

Thierry makes a good point here; the little category three climb right at the end of this stage means that we’re unlikely to see bunch sprint for stage victory. I’m pretty sure we’ll see someone like Peter Sagan claim victory here.

This is the perfect stage for a breakaway, and any breakaway brave enough down the descent of the first climb could gain a significant lead over the peloton. While the lead may be significant, the chasing group shouldn’t really have any trouble reeling them back in. However, if the break can survive until the final climb; they’re in with a chance of holding off the peloton until the finish line in Revel.

Verdict: Peter Sagan 9/2
If the Slovak really wants to win this stage, I feel there are few in the field who can challenge him. Back him quite confidently here at 9/2.

Value Bet: Michael Matthews 18/1
Matthews will definitely be targeting at least on stage win at this year's tour, and I feel this could be the stage for him. He offers great value at 18/1. Don't stake the rent money on him winning, but definitely worth a nibble. 

Written by Jason Dewey for @Hollywoodbets.

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