Tour de France: Stage Four: Mondorf-les-Bains - Vittel

Cyclist

After victory on stage three, Peter Sagan will look to once again close the gap on Marcel Kittel in the points classification. 

There were no real surprises yesterday as Peter Sagan claimed the stage victory from Michael Matthews as many of the pure sprinters were content to amble up to the finish line, no doubt saving themselves for today.

Today’s stage looks pretty straightforward until we reach the final stages where a slight climb to the finish will make life tough for the usual powerhouse sprinters. It looks as though it’ll be a fascinating finish in Vittel today, let’s take a look:

To Win Stage
Marcel Kittel 9/10 | Arnaud Demare 9/2 | Andre Greipel 6/1 | Mark Cavendish 9/1 | Peter Sagan 11/1

The Contenders

Marcel Kittel
The German sprinter blew his competitors out of the water on stage two and will look to extend his lead in the Green Jersey with yet another stage win today. At 9/10 there is absolutely no value here, I’d suggest looking for a winner elsewhere.

Mark Cavendish
Cavendish has endured a disruptive start to the year having been diagnosed with glandular fever brought on by the Epstein-Barr virus. The Isle of Mann native has only had seven weeks to prepare for the Tour and by his own admission admits that he probably won’t win a stage at the Tour this year. Still, you can never really rule him out of the sort of finish. Expect him to be mixing it up come the end of this stage.

Nacer Bouhanni 
The slight incline to the finish on today’s stage will suit the fiery French sprinter down to the ground. He showed his pedigree on stage two finishing inside of the top six and will be desperate to add to his three Giro and two Vuelta stage wins. Keep your eye on the Cofidis man, he’ll be right in the mix over the last kilometre or so.



The Route
While slightly taxing, yesterday’s stage would hardly have knocked any wind out of the sprinters’ sails. Today’s stage – which sees the riders depart from Mondorf-les-Bains in Luxembourg to finish in Vittel in in the eastern part of France – is one of the flattest at this year’s tour.

There is a single category four climb on today’s stage which will no doubt be gobbled up by one of the riders in the breakaway. The Col des Trois Fontaines comes in at an average gradient of 7.4% and only measures 1.9 kilometres long.

Having said that, the stage is quite hilly, especially inside of the last 60 kilometres. Whether or not this will interrupt the rhythm of the chasing peloton remains to be seen, although I really don’t foresee a breakaway succeeding in this early stage of the race.

Verdict: Michael Matthews to finish ahead of Sonny Colbrelli (Match-ups) 11/10
The finish will suit both riders as puncheurs, however, Matthews showed his class yesterday as he accelerated late only just losing out to Peter Sagan. He’ll be in the mix again today and should finish ahead of Colbrelli. 11/10 represents top value!

Value Bet: Nacer Bouhanni 25/1
Much has been made about the finish to this stage. The slight incline to the finish will suit Bouhanni perfectly well and I expect him to make a big claim this afternoon. Whether or not he can beat out the likes of Kittel and the rest of the big sprinters remains to be seen. Definitely value here at 25/1.


Written by Jason Dewey for @Hollywoodbets.net

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