Tour de France: Stage 12 Preview: Pau – Peyragudes

Cyclist

The battle for Yellow in the Tour de France comes alive today as the field prepare to enter the Pyrenees.  

Today is where the Tour begins in earnest for the GC contenders as we enter the mighty Pyrenees. With Chris Froome, Fabio Aru, Romain Bardet and Rigoberto Uran all in the GC mix, today will most certainly separate the men from the boys.

Froome has typically dominated stages like this in the past and will definitely look to lay down a marker today. He won’t have it all his own way, however, with the other GC contenders sure to test his mettle in mountains.

To Win Stage
Chris Froome 9/2 | Daniel Martin 9/1 | Fabio Aru 11/1 | Romain Bardet 11/1 | Warren Barguil 12/1 | Rigoberto Uran 14/1

The Contenders

Chris Froome
The Brit has had a pretty easy time of things thus far and will come into his own on a stage like today. He looked – bar a small mechanical issue – comfortable on Mont du Chat. He’ll definitely look to put a bit of time between himself and Fabio Aru in what has become an intriguing subplot thus far. Keep an eye out for the man in Yellow to lay down a marker to the rest of the field today.

Dan Martin
The Irishman will be desperate to add to his sole stage win from 2013 and a stage like today’s suits him down to the ground. He’ll definitely be thinking about an attack today, although, at just 1:44 behind Froome in the GC standings, I very much doubt he’ll be left to his own devices in a lone breakaway.

Fabio Aru
The Italian hasn’t exactly endeared himself to the rest of the field after attacking Froome – who had signalled to the support vehicle after suffering a mechanical issue – on Mont du Chat. Aru remains the biggest threat to Froome’s GC hopes and may well be lining up another attack today, whether or not he’s strong enough to put any sort of gap between himself and the current leader remains to be seen.



The Route
Today’s stage is an absolute monster with six categorised climbs staring down the field. You’ll want to keep an eye on Port de Balès, the only Beyond Category climb of the day. At 11.7 kilometres long at a gradient of 7.7%, we’ll definitely see a few splits in the group.

Following the descent, the riders will tackle two more climbs in the form of the category one Col de Peyresourde and the category two Peyragudes. This is where we’ll see an elite group of maybe five or six riders battling it out for stage honours.

The rest of the field will all be heading into survival mode as the sprinters look to come in before the cut-off. Today also sees the start of Sonny Colbrelli’s and Michael Matthews’ assault on the Green Jersey, with Kittel bound to struggle in the mountains.

Verdict: Chris Froome 9/2
Froome has displayed time and again just why he is the best Grand Tour rider out there. He breezes over even the most difficult climbs with seemingly minimal effort, blowing his competitors out of the water. If he’s feeling strong (and there’s no evidence to show that he’s taking strain) he could win this stage easily

Value Bet: Alberto Contador 25/1
The Spaniard has endured a pretty torrid tour thus far and looks to be well out of GC contention, more than five minutes off the pace. With this in mind, he’ll be looking to grab himself a stage victory at the very least. He’s a powerhouse in the mountains and could well line up a lone break in the latter stages today. Value here at 25/1.

Written by Jason Dewey for @Hollywoodbets.net

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