Expect plenty of big attacks today as field gear up for an interesting 101-kilometre stage in the Pyrenees.
Yesterday’s stage lived up to the hype as Fabio Aru claimed the Yellow Jersey after he and Romain Bardet dropped Chris Froome in the final few hundred metres of yesterday’s final climb.
Today’s stage just so happens to fall on Bastille Day, so you can be sure there will be plenty of French riders looking to claim the honours. This should be a very interesting day out for the field with Aru in Yellow and chinks appearing in Froome’s armour, let’s take a look.
To Win Stage
Daniel Martin 9/1 | Warren Barguil 12/1 | Rigoberto Uran 12/1 | Romain Bardet 14/1 | Tiesj Benoot 18/1
I have to admit I was pretty disappointed with Dan Martin on yesterday’s stage. The final 500 metres looked tailor-made for one his devastating attacks, however, he simply couldn’t keep in touch with Bardet and Aru. He will be looking for a big push today – an attack on the final climb of the day coupled with a daring descent toward the finish could see the Irishman claim his first stage of the Tour this year.
The Frenchman will be buzzing after yesterday’s stage victory after opening up a 20-second gap up on Froome over the final 400 metres. He’d dearly love to give French fans another win on Bastille Day although it looks unlikely – the finish doesn’t really suit him much and I think he’ll cross the line locked onto Fabio Aru’s wheel.
Who in their right minds wouldn’t want to see Voeckler win today’s stage in his last ever Tour de France… on Bastille Day! This stage looks ideal for him to launch one of his trademark attacks. He’ll fancy his chances if he is able to get over Mur de Péguère in the breakaway.
This is actually quite an interesting little stage. It’s only 101 kilometres long and features three pretty tough category one climbs, all of which are preceded by the intermediate sprint at 13.5 kilometres in.
As was mentioned by race director, Thierry Gouvenou, there are plenty of chances to attack on this stage. With it being so short, the chasing pack will have very little time to organise themselves should someone with the engine of Voeckler build up a decent lead.
In terms of the three category one climbs, the Col de Latrape (5.6 kilometres at 7.3%) should prove the easiest. The second two will be far more challenging with the Col d’Agnes (10 kilometres at 8.2%) and the Mur de Péguère (9.3 kilometres at 7.9%) should whittle down the peloton a bit before we descend toward the finish.
Verdict: Nairo Quintana to finish ahead of Alberto Contador (match-ups) at 7/10
Quintana – although not at his best – looks a lot stronger than Contador at the moment. He shouldn’t have too much difficulty finishing ahead of the Spaniard on today’s stage if yesterday’s stage is anything to go by. Get on at 7/10.
Value Bet: Thomas Voeckler 80/1
The gurning Frenchman is a massive fan favourite and will have the whole of France behind him today. He’s only been involved in one breakaway so far (if memory serves) and will hopefully be feeling fresh for today. I love the fact that we’re getting him at 80/1.