Tour de France: Stage Six: Vesoul - Troyes

Cyclist

We're back on the flat stuff today as the field travels from Vesoul to Troyes.

Fabio Aru claimed his first ever Tour win yesterday as he accelerated away from the likes of Chris Froome and Richie Porte over the final kilometre at La Planche des Belles Filles.

Today sees the riders tackle a far more benign stage before we hit the first real mountainous section of the 104th Tour on Saturday.

To Win Stage
Marcel Kittel 9/10 | Arnaud Demare 5/2 | Andre Greipel 6/1 | Nacer Bouhanni | Alexander Kristoff 14/1

The Contenders

Marcel Kittel 
While he looks to be worthy favourite, I really don’t think that the German – who claimed stage two of this year’s Tour – should be priced up anywhere near 9/10. He has every chance of winning this stage today but at that price, he can win without my money.

Andre Greipel
The Gorilla only managed a single stage win on last year’s Tour, claiming victory on Champs-Élysées on the final day of the race. He won’t want to leave it that late again and will fancy his chances with a strong lead out train. The absence of Mark Cavendish will boost the big German’s confidence, too. Definitely one to keep an eye out for.

Arnaud Demare
While plenty was made of his victory two days ago, you could argue he got quite lucky with Cavendish ending up in the barriers. The Isle of Man native was locked on to Demare’s wheel and had every chance of leapfrogging him into victory had he not crashed out. Still, the young Frenchman from FDJ is a force to be reckoned in the sprints, but isn’t really worth backing at 5/2.



The Route
As mentioned in our intro, this really is a benign stage. A pair of category four climbs at 69 kilometres (Côte de Langres – 1.3 kilometres at 6.3%) and at 154 kilometres (Côte de la Colline Sainte-Germaine – 3.1 kilometres at 4.4%). Neither will provide much of a test even for the outright sprinters.

These are likely to be contested by Fabio Aru and Dan Martin who currently top the KotM classification on 10 and eight points respectively. Aru is probably the more likely of the two to position himself at the head of the Peloton to claim the points on offer.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that on a flat stage like today a breakaway could theoretically get away, however, with Sagan and Cavendish out of the race the teams of the sprinters won’t allow it. Expect Lotto-Soudal, Quick-Step Floors and Cofidis to do most of the work at the head of the Peloton, affording BMC an easier day after yesterday’s exertions.

Expect a sprint at the end of today’s stage. While there will no doubt be a breakaway, there’s absolutely no chance it will survive. With the weather looking good on a pretty flat stage, expect very little drama until we enter the final few kilometres.

Verdict: Alexander Kirstoff to finish ahead of Nacer Bouhanni (Match-ups) 9/10
The Norwegian looked stronger than Bouhanni in the finish at stage four – even though the slight incline toward the finish looked to be right up the Frenchman’s alley. Kristoff should prove too good again today in a more traditional sprint and offers some decent value at 8/10 – get on!

Value Bet: Andre Greipel 6/1
The German has always been there and there about toward the end of the flat stages without really threatening. He’d love to bag a stage before we head into the mountains on Saturday and may well target today’s finish in Troyes. Good value here at 6/1.

Written by Jason Dewey for @Hollywoodbets.net

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