Stage six presents quite an interesting challenge to the riders immediately after their first real mountain test of the Tour.
The field will depart from the beautiful commune of Arpajon-sur-Cère in the Auvergne region of south-central France where they’ll have to contend with an undulating 190.5-kilometre stage. Like yesterday, could be one for the breakaway? It’s a definite maybe! Let’s take a closer look below!
To Win Stage
Marcel Kittel 5/4 | Andre Greipel 4/1 | Mark Cavendish 9/2 | Peter Sagan 8/1 | Bryan Coquard 10/1
Mark Cavendish 9/2
Cavendish has been magnificent so far and has underlined his credentials as one of the best sprinters the world has ever seen. He'll definitely be in the mix come the end of this relatively straight-forward stage and will be banking on more solid support from his Dimension Data teammates.
Marcel Kittel 5/4
Kittel got his win after pipping Bryan Coquard on the line on in Limoges. While he's probably the most explosive sprinter in the field, he has been let down by his team once or twice already in the 2016 edition of the Tour. Expect them to try and put that right this evening.
Andre Greipel 4/1
The Gorilla will be gutted if he doesn't claim a victory today before the field heads into the Pyrenees. The Lotto-Soudal sprinter has struggled to match the exploits of Kittel, Cavendish, Sagan and Cocquard - expect a big effort from the German today.
The sprinters will be in for yet another tricky day for the sprinters following a sapping day in the saddle in which Greg van Avermaet claimed the Mailot Jaune as well as a five-minute lead in the overall lead.
The GC contenders will definitely view this as another day off before the serious work in the Pyrenees starts on Friday. The likes of Chris Froome, Nario Quintana, Fabio Aru and Thibaut Pinot will be well protected within the Peloton. We shouldn’t expect too much action from these guys until Friday, Saturday and Sunday when we get to the serious climbing.
The riders will face three categorised climb for the day, one category four and two category three climbs. While a few of the pure sprinters may get dropped on these climbs, they’ll have more than enough time to work their way back into the main group on a relatively flat final 30 kilometres or so.
There is a single intermediate sprint on the stage which the riders will pass through at the 77.5-kilometre mark. Again, there shouldn’t be too much fuss over the points here, especially seeing the field will be dealing with the Col des Estaques (2km at 6%) and the Côte d’Aubin (1.3km at 5.4%).
This should be a fairly straight-forward ride for anyone not looking to make big moves in any specific classification. Barring any crashes or mechanical failure, we’re likely in for an uneventful day until the field get into the last three of four kilometres. We can probably expect yet another bunch sprint controlled by the likes of Dimension Data, Lotto-Soudal, Ettixx-Quick-Step and Direct Energie. The field will descend slightly toward the finish line and doesn't look to be too technical, expect all of the big sprinters and their teams to be in the mix at the end.
Verdict: Mark Cavendish 9/2
While I'm tempted to back Marcel Kittel here, his Ettixx-Quick-Step train hasn't quite been as organised as that of Dimension Data's toward the back end of these sprint finishes. I'd definitely back the Cav here on an uncomplicated approach to the finish provided his train gets organised nice and early.
Value Bet: Bryan Coquard 10/1
The French sprinter will have been absolutely gutted after losing out in a photo finish to Marcel Kittel on stage four. His Direct Energie train has shown that they're more than capable of setting the pace down into the finish - definitely have a little dig here at 10/1.
Written by Jason Dewey for @Hollywoodbets.