Tour de France: Stage Seven Preview: Troyes – Nuits-Saint-Georges

Cyclist

It's another day for the sprinters as the field heads from Troyes to Nuits-Saint-Georges.

The seventh stage of the 2017 Tour de France, although slightly hilly in the middle sections, will likely end in yet another bunch sprint with any breakaway likely to be reeled in.

Marcel Kittel showed just how good he is yesterday as he powered past Andre Greipel and Arnaud Demare to claim his second stage of this year’s Tour. Can he make three inside of the first week? Let’s take a look:

To Win Stage
Marcel Kittel 8/10 | Arnaud Demare 3/1 | Andre Greipel 6/1 | Dylan Groenewegen 16/1 | Alexander Kirstoff 16/1

The Contenders 

Marcel Kittel 
The German once again underlined his credentials as the single best sprinter on the Tour at the moment. His win yesterday was nothing short of sensational as he came from a long way back to grab stage victory from Demare and Greipel – make no mistake, he’ll be in the mix again today.

Arnaud Demare
The Frenchman has enjoyed a magnificent Tour thus far and will be desperate to add to his single stage win this year. Whether or not he can steal a march on Kittel remains to be seen, especially after the German came from so deep to claim yesterday’s stage. You can’t count the Frenchman out, though who will be looking for maximum sprint points in his quest for the Green Jersey.

Dylan Groenewegen
He’s not quite at a level where he can really compete against the top sprinters yet, although I can see him claiming a stage at this year’s tour. If that were to happen, he’ll need a bit of luck and a mammoth performance, however, the Dutchman is always in the mix and at 16/1, can’t be ignored.



The Route
While not completely flat, today’s stage shouldn’t provide too much of a challenge for the field. As was the case yesterday, I don’t think that a breakaway group will be allowed to go all the way to the finish. With Peter Sagan no longer around to challenge for the Green Jersey, the teams of the sprinters will be keen to see their men claim maximum points on stages like this.

The field will spend the first 103 kilometres climbing to 475 metres above sea level before a sharp descent takes them to the foot of the only categorised climb of the day – the category four Côte d'Urcy. The climb is fairly tame at 4.2% over 2.5 kilometres.

The intermediate sprint for the day occurs at the 108-kilometre mark, just after a nasty little climb out of a valley. It’ll be interesting to see who goes for the points today, I’m sure we’ll see the likes of Demare and Kittel fighting it out along with someone like Michael Mattews.

Verdict: Alexander Kristoff to finish ahead of Nacer Bouhanni (match-ups) 8/10
Kristoff and Bouhanni are two guys who find themselves outside of what you’d term the “elite” sprinters at this year’s Tour. Both are capable of stage wins, but would likely need the stronger guys to slip up a bit. That said, the battle between the two should be fascinating in itself, with Kristoff tipped to pip Bouhanni at 8/10.

Value Bet: Dylan Groenewegen 16/1
A bit of a long shot here, however, if his LottoNL-Jumbo squad can look after him a bit better, he has a slim chance at pipping some of the stronger sprinters. You won’t go broke backing him at 16/1 with a small, speculative punt. Get on!

Written by Jason Dewey for @Hollywoodbets.net

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