Following a rather interesting individual time trial yesterday in which Fabio Aru surprised just about everyone, the field continues through the Alps as they head toward Saint-Gervais.
Can Chris Froome and Team Sky keep a lid on things or are we going to see a successful attack from one of the other GC contenders? It’s about to get very interesting in eastern France – let’s check it out.
To Win Stage
Chris Froome 4/1 | Richie Porte 6/1 | Ilnur Zakarin 6/1 | Rafal Majka 9/1 | Fabio Aru 12/1 | Jarlnson Pantano 16/1
Chris Froome 4/1
I’m sure you’ll all sick of seeing Froome’s name here, but he’s a massive runner for today’s stage. He’s been different class on the climbs and seems able to push on and drop everyone bar Richie Porte at will. The Kenyan-born climber actually offers some decent value at 4/1 and could well win this stage if the breakaway is reeled in.
Fabio Aru 12/1
Aru has just been getting stronger and stronger as the Tour has progresses. As much was evident in yesterday’s time trial when he put in a storming ride to finish third behind Chris Froome and Tom Dumolin. Keep an eye out for him today.
Romain Bardet 22/1
The AG2R rider has been in the top ten since in the GC since stage eight. He currently sits in fifth place overall and would love grab a podium finish come Sunday. He’s a strong climber and might fancy a stage win – could find himself in the breakaway, although Sky will likely chase him down.
Stage 19 is an absolute killer as you can see from the profile above. This will be an especially tough stage considering the gruelling 17 kilometre individual time trial that the riders had to face yesterday.
It’s not very often that you see an uphill time trial in the Tour, in fact, only 17 of the official 206 individual time trials have been uphill affairs, the last of which coming in 2004 when the field had to deal with an outrageously difficult timed climb up the L’Alpe d’Huez. That stage was won by the Lance Armstrong (who has since been stripped of all professional honours following his admission to doping) who smashed his long-time rival Jan Ullrich by just over a minute.
Enough about that though, let’s look ahead to today’s stage. The field still have to contend with two more mountain stages before they fly from Morzine up to Paris to complete the three-week long race.
While the stage isn’t the longest at 146 kilometres, it’s packed full of back-breaking climbs and tricky descents. We’ll focus on the last two climbs of this stage, the category beyoned Montee de Bisanne (12.4 kilometres at 8.2%) and the category one Le Bettex (9.8 kilometres at 8%). These two climbs could well see Chris Froome secure the 2016 edition of the tour, especially with Quintana looking weaker as we near Paris.
Verdict: Fabio Aru 12/1
The Italian just keeps getting stronger and stronger as we get nearer to Paris. Expect him to be right in the mix today if the breakaway gets reeled back. He showed incredible grit and determination in yesterday's time trial and looks as though he could go on. Great value at 12/1
Value Bet: Romain Bardet 22/1
At 22/1, the Frenchman offers magnificent value at 22/1. Whether or not Sky will let him get away is a different story. He only sits around five minutes behind Froome at the moment and will need an almighty effort to close that gap.
Written by Jason Dewey for @Hollywoodbets.