Tour de France 2017 Stage 16 on Tuesday opens the third and final week of racing at this years Tour. The Maillot Jaune is still very much up for grabs with 6 riders within 90 seconds of the lead.
Tour de France 2017 Stage 16 – Profile
Stage 16 is shorter than the last couple of days racing at 165 kms. It takes the riders from Le Puy-en-Velay to Romans-Sur-Isere in the Rhone Valley.
Previous stage finishes in the Rhona Valley have been bunch sprints. The terrain suggests this might be the case on Tuesday too.
Stage 16 is tricky for the first 65kms. This section includes the two categorised climbs of the day.
First up is the Cote de Boussoulet which starts at 16 kms. This is a category 3 climbs of 4.5 kms at 6.3%. Look for the break to form on this climb. From the peak the riders essentially stay on a plateau that culminates in the second categorised climb of the day. The Col du Rouvey is a category 4 – 2.8 kms at 5.6%. The summit marks the start of a downhill run of almost 50 kms! This will be super fast.
The final section from the 105 km mark to the line is a little lumpy but in terms of Tour terrain it is essentially fairly flat. This is where the print teams will look to bring back the break.
Tour de France 2017 Stage 16 – Profile
I’ll start with the top two in the Sprint Classification.
Marcel Kittel (Quick Step-Floors) still has a huge lead in the Green Jersey competition. He has been untouchable in bunch sprints – at least on those he has been in the right position to contest. What has impressed me most about Kittel in this race is that he has shown the best climbing of his career. There have been stages where he has stayed with the peloton for a large part of mountain stages. I think there is enough time on stage 16 for Kittel to ride the first climb carefully and re-catch the peloton if he is dropped. Odds as high as 3.0 for Kittel on an expected bunch sprint stage are unheard of!
Michael Matthews (Sunweb) has been super in the ‘hilly’ and some of the mountain stages of this race. Matthews is aiming to win the Green Jersey but faces an uphill battle. His Sunweb team may try to really push the pace of the peloton in the first 65 kms of stage 16. If they can distance Kittel then this increases Matthews chances of making the Intermediate Sprint at 121.5 kms before Kittel rejoins the front of the race. Of course, if they drop Kittel early there is a chance he doesn’t catch up again before the line. In terms of a stage win Matthews can be backed at 15.0. This has EW potential but can he beat all of the other sprinters – many of whom took the weekend easy when he didn’t?
Edvald Boasson-Hagen (Dimension Data) is second favourite for the stage at around 12.0. EBH has improved as the race has progressed and of the sprint group he is probably the second best after Matthews on this sort of terrain. He is certainly backable at those odds.
Dylan Groenewegen (Lotto NL-Jumbo) had his best results so far in the Tour towards the end of week 2. He can be backed as high as 19.0 for stage 16 and I think this has decent value too. His team is still looking for a stage win. I feel if something happens to keep Kittel from the front of the race then he is my stage favourite.
Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin) is a sprinter/classics rider that should be okay in the first 65 kms of the stage. Kristoff has been a nearly man in this race in terms of just missing the podium. He has a number of 4th and 5th place finishes already and will want to go higher. I’m not convinced he can and won’t back him at 19.0.
Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) is looking for his first stage win of the Tour. Greipel hasn’t looked at his sharpest – like a lot of the riders who also rode the Giro. He hasn’t really looked like winning a stage in the Tour so far and I think that will continue tomorrow. Odds around 19.0 look too short.
Tour de France 2017 Stage 16 – Others
The betting market is hedging its options a little as next come a group of classics/break riders.
Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) is next in the betting market at 21.0. His team had 4 riders in the break on stage 15 but came up emtpy with Nicholas Roche top placed in 6th. The team would love a stage win after a couple of 2nd places and GVA seems like a logical choice. I’m not convinced the break will make it however so I’m not tempted to back him.
John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) is also at 21.0. His team now have a stage win thanks to Bauke Mollema on Sunday. That takes some pressure off the team. For Degenkolb to win the stage I think all of the sprinters in the top group would need to be distanced. I just cannot see that happening. This is my way of saying I don’t think he can beat the pure sprinters on this stage!
Four riders can be backed at 41.0 – including Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale), Stephen Cummings (Dimension Data), Philippe Gilbert (Quick Step-Floors) and Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal). Of the four I only really like Cummings and Gilbert. Naesen has his team leader smack in the middle of the Yellow Jersey battle. I feel the team will hold him back for the mountain stages on Wednesday and Thursday. De Gendt has already been in 6 breaks including stage 15. Surely he can’t have more energy left! Cummings may attack – he hasn’t since he was chased down by Sky towards the end of last week. Gilbert came 4th on stage 14 and would love a win. He is an option if and only if Kittel gets dropped.
A couple of the other sprinters are available at higher odds – Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) at 34.0 and Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) at 51.0. You already know my thoughts on the former! Colbrelli could be an interesting pick. He was in the top 10 on the tricky finale to stage 14 and should do okay over the hillier part of stage 16. Might be worth an EW bet.
The other sprinters are at even higher odds:
- Rudiger Selig (Bora-Hansgrohe) at 81.0;
- Davide Cimolai (FDJ) at 51.0;
- Ben Swift (UAE Team Emirates) at 67.0;
- Dan McLay (Fortuno-Oscaro) at 81.0.
Of the 4 I feel Swift is the only one that could be in a break that succeeds. Were he to get in a break he would probably be the fastest in a sprint. The other three would only have a chance if Kittel were not present. However, if Kittel was dropped then I think Selig, Cimolai and Mclay would be with him rather than in the front group on the stage.
Tour de France 2017 Stage 16 – Tips
I think Kittel will win again. I also looked at the head-to-head market and there is nothing I like at decent odds.
Back Marcel Kittel to win stage 16 with a 3.0/10 stake at 3.0 with Betfair.
Bet on Dylan Groenewegen to win stage 16 with a 1.0/10 stake EW (1/4 odds top 3) at 19.0 with Betfair.
Back them both here: