Woo-hoo two stage wins in a row for me! Talk about close at the finish line. Mark Cavendish just sneaked past Andre Greipel for his 2nd win in the 2016 race and an incredible 28th overall. Well done! The outcome of Stage 4 of the Tour de France 2016 will likely be very similar to the third stage.
Stage 4 is the longest of the race at 237.5kms. The stage begins in Saumur and gently climbs to a high point at the 210km point before dropping to the finish in Limoges.
The 3rd stage was exceptionally slow for a modern TDF stage. The race reached the line 20 minutes after the slowest expected time. Stage 4 might be similar, at least for the flatter first 140kms or so.
As the roads climb in the last third expect the race to increase speed. The Intermediate Sprint at 170kms and the only categorised climb at 182kms will be contested and each will see a bump in speed.
A break should reach the 182km KOTM point ahead of the bunch but not get much further. This is still sprinter terrain and the distance the break has will be closely controlled by the sprint teams. Look for those sprint teams without a stage win to be more active on Tuesday.
The finale is slightly uphill favouring the riders who featured on stage 3
Who will be Victorious in Limoges?
Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) continues to perform and amaze. It was touch-an-go with Andre Greipel in the closing stages into Angers. Cavendish used his track skills to just edge his bike in front of Greipel’s to claim the win. In early Stage 4 pricing Cavendish sits at around the 6.00 mark as third favourite. Why 3rd favourite you ask? Well the second part of the stage is lumpy and there is some thought that this might suit two of his main rivals a little better. In my eyes this has to be considered as a great EW price. I feel that Cavendish will target stage 4 as the profile for the following stage is reminiscent of Stage 2, one where he struggled.
Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) continues to lead the Green Jersey competition as well as maintaining his grip on the Maillot Jaune. Sagan was narrowly 4th behind Bryan Coquard into Angers. It is a reflection of his all round abilities that he is favourite for stage 4 victory. Early pricing has Sagan at the 4.00 mark. Arguably, this is a little short to go EW on and I might be tempted to pass on Sagan here but back him on Stage 5 instead.
Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) looks best value to me to win Stage 4. He was narrowly beaten by Cavendish on the line in stage 3 but he is probably better suited to the terrain on Tuesday. Greipel won a couple of stages that are eerily similar to this in the 2016 Giro d’Italia and I like his chances of winning stage 4. He can be backed at around 4.50-5.00
Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie) took the final podium slot on stage 3. He was impressive in the end of the stage, having enough to beat Sagan and was within reach front two. This has elevated him above Marcel Kittel (Etixx-Quickstep) in the bookies pricing. You can back Coquard at around the 7.00 mark but I think he is likely battling for 3rd place again.
Marcel Kittel disappointed once more on Monday. He never really got into the right position to really attack the line. It looks like he is not as sharp as earlier in the season. The Etixx leadout train has also faltered. That might be due to the makeup of their TDF team being weighted more towards their GC challenge than Kittel’s sprint aspirations. Kittel can be backed as high as 11.0 for Stage 4 but I cannot see him winning on Tuesday.
Tour de France Stage 6 Bets
Back Andre Greipel to win stage 4 with a 1.25/10 stake EW (1/4 the odds top 3) at odds of 5.00 with Bet365.
Back Mark Cavendish to win stage 4 with a 1.25/10 stake EW (1/4 the odds top 3) at odds of 6.50 with Paddy Power.
Back Cavendish here: