Tour de France: Stage 19 Preview: Embrun – Salon-de-Provence

Cyclist

The sprinters will be glad to see the back of the Alps as we near the finish in Paris in the 2017 Tour de France.

We finally leave the mountains today as what is left of the field embark from Embrun in what is the longest stage of the 2017 Tour de France.

There will no doubt be a bunch sprint at the finish of today’s stage and with Marcel Kittel having withdrawn on stage 17 after a nasty fall, there will be plenty of sprinters eyeing out a victory today.

To Win Stage
Edvald Boasson Hagen 6/1 | Dylan Groenewegen 7/1 | Michael Matthews 7/1 | Andre Greipel 7/1 | Nacer Bouhanni 12/1

The Contenders 

Edvald Boasson Hagen
The big Norwegian has finished in the top three no less than four times this year – and with Kittel having abandoned – will see today’s finish in Salon-de-Provence as the ideal opportunity to add to the two stage wins he claimed in 2011.

Dylan Groenewegen 
Groenewegen will be hoping to make it two stage wins for Lotto NL Jumbo after the heroics of Primož Roglic on stage 17. The Dutchman has been there and there about in most of the sprints so far, but a tough few days in the mountains appeared to have taken their toll on the 24-year-old – it’ll be interesting to see how much he has left in the tank.

Andre Greipel
Greipel has looked well off his best throughout this year’s Tour and looks in real danger of missing out on stage victory. He’s battled through the mountains for the chance to have a crack today and on Sunday. He will be desperate to keep his record of claiming at least one stage win on every Grand Tour he has participated in since 2008. He left it late last year after winning and Paris and won’t want to be sweating on Champs-Élysées this Sunday.

The Route
Today’s stage is pretty straight-forward in terms of the profile but at 222.5 kilometres long will be taxing on a field that has had to contend with some pretty wicked mountain stages over the last two days.

There are three category three climbs on today’s stage with the first two arriving fairly early in the piece. The first of these, the Col Lebraut which arrives at 26 kilometres into the stage, will prove to be the most challenging coming in at 4.7 kilometres at 6%. The other two are the Côte de Bréziers (2.3 kilometres at 5.8%) and the Col du Pointu (5.8 kilometres at 4.1%).

While this stage will likely see a pretty big breakaway get free in the early undulating parts of the stage, I feel that they’ll be reeled in with the teams of the sprinters smelling blood after Marcel Kittel’s abandonment earlier in the week.

Verdict: Edvald Boasson Hagen 6/1
Boasson Hagen challenged at the right end of the earlier sprints more often than not and will look to capitalise on Kittel’s withdrawal on today’s stage. He’ll be primed and ready after taking it easy in the mountains over the last two stages. 

Value Bet: Fabio Sabatini 80/1
The Italian did some fantastic work for Marcel Kittel in the earlier stages of the race. He’ll get a chance to ride for himself over the last two sprints. A very long shot here, but if he gets himself into the right sort of position in the final kilometres, he’ll definitely have a go. 

Written by Jason Dewey for @Hollywoodbets.net

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