Tour de France 2017 Stage 17 takes place on Wednesday 19th July. This stage along with stages 18 and 20 will decide which rider wins the race.
Tour de France 2017 Stage 17 – Profile
Stage 17 sees the race enter the Alps for two days of racing. These two stages include many of the iconic climbs associated with the race.
The stage is 183 kms in length from La Mure to Serre Chevalier. Wednesday’s terrain is essentially a series of 4 categorised climbs and the descents off them.
The climbing starts early in the stage with the Col d’Ornon starting ta 25 kms. This is 5.1 kms long at 6.7%. Look for the break to try and go away on the climb. Also don’t be surprised to see Michael Matthews on the attack. The days Intermediate Sprint point is in the next valley at the 47.5 km marker.
From here until the 155 km marker the stage is brutal. Once the riders reach the 54 km point they start the longest climb of the Tour. The Col de la Croix de Fer is 24 kms in length – yes 24 KMS! It is an HC climb due to its length and averages 5.2%. We may see the first sparring in the GC battle on this climb.
Once the Col de la Croix de Fer is peaked at 78.5 kms the riders have a long fast descent of about 30 kms. Then the stage gets really tough with two icons back-to-back. First is the category 1 Col du Télégraphe taking the riders to 1,556 metres above sea level. The Col du Télégraphe is 11.9 kms at 7.1%. A short 5 km respite and the riders start the HC – Col du Galibier. This peaks out at 2 ,642 metres above sea level and is 17.7 kms at 6.9% and its is steepest at the top. The stage does not end here – instead it ends in the valley at Serre Chevalier some 28 kms later.
If this were a 2016 stage then we could guarantee a breakaway winning with the GC battle raging behind – such was Froomes lead. This year is much different with the top 7 riders are within 2 minutes of the race lead. The consensus is the riders behind leader Froome need to be about 1 minute in front of Froome before the ITT on Saturday. This means they have to attack him on stages 17 and 18. The fact the race is so close adds extra value to the bonus seconds for winning or placing in the top 3 on these stages. Due to this I think stage 17 is going to be won by a rider at the top of the GC.
Tour de France 2017 Stage 17 – Favourites
I’m going to place the top 6 riders on GC in this section.
Chris Froome (Team Sky) is back in the ascendency at the Tour after the mechanical on Sunday looked like it would drop him down the GC. I think the recovery on stage 15 is the best that I have seen Froome ride this season. That might be an ominous thing for his rivals. As Froome has a lead and knows this should increase on stage 20 (the ITT) he has the option to follow the others. Were the opportunity to arise Froome would love to win the stage – that would make stage 18 and the remainder of the race easier for him. He can be backed at 8.0 – great for an EW bet.
Fabio Aru (Astana) has led the race for a couple of stages but handed it back to Froome two days later. That showed Aru as a cyclist to a tee – panache and speed once day then naivety and poor positioning two days later. Now he has no option but to try to attack and distance Froome and Uran (I see Uran as a better ITT threat on Saturday). I fear he may lose time on the final descent if Bardet and Froome go full gas – he can be backed as high as 15.0. Not for me.
Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) is the GC rider that has probably attacked the most so far in the race. His AG2R team were ultra aggressive in stage 15 and they almost dropped Froome when he had his mechanical (the racing was on at the time of the incident). Bardet and his team need to continue this show of power on stage 16. Ideally, I would like to see them attack on the descent from the Col de la Croix de Fer. See if they can whittle down some of their GC rivals team-mates. Then they can launch Bardet on the upper slopes of the Col du Télégraphe and see who can follow him. In reality they may try to attack at this point, but I feel AG2R will be closely marked. In this case Bardet will leave his attack until the upper slopes of the Col du Galibier. If he can break clear he has a great chance of winning the stage as he will gain time on the final descent. I’m shocked he is as high as 10.0. That is a slam dunk bet.
Rigoberto Uran (Canondale-Drapac) has an incredible stage win and is smack back in form. He is at a level I never thought I would see again. Of the GC riders Uran is probably the second best ITT rider. That means he can follow Bardet and Aru if they attack. The one rider he really needs to gain time on is Froome. I’m not convinced that is possible and I’m not keen on him winning stage 17 either at 11.0.
Dan Martin (Quick Step-Floors) lost time in the cross winds late on stage 15 dropping him on GC. Martin was excellent in the Dauphine mountain stages. When the racing has been full on here on the longer climbs Martin is the one to have dropped away a little towards the summits. I fear this may be the case again on stage 17 – especially given the time the riders will be climbing on the day. Odds at 15.0 look too short to me.
Mikel Landa (Team Sky) is the joker in the pack. Does he do the ‘team’ thing or his ‘own’ thing? Looking at stage 15 on Sunday it was definitely the former as he helped Froome back to the front group. There are rumours he is off to another team next season as he really should be a team leader. It is possible that the team use Landa as a marking rider to follow any attacks by the other GC riders. Once they are pulled back this may give Froome the chance to counter-attack. Remember Froome likes to win stages. On the other hand if Froome suffers than Landa is a great second option for the race win. Odds in the 17.0 range look okay for a small EW bet.
Tour de France 2017 Stage 17 – Others
Simon Yates (Orica-Scott) is 7th on GC and holds the Young Jersey classification lead. In the high mountain stages he has generally been distanced as those above reach the summit of the days final climb. I cannot see that being reversed on stage 17 – avoid at 34.0.
Louis Meintjes (UAE Team Emirates) has been looking really solid in the mountain stages. He is comfortably in the top 10 and still in the fight with Yates for the White Jersey. If the GC battle contests the stage then I think Meintjes gets dropped on the final climb. Meintjes is as high as 51.0 for the win on stage 17. I think he will finish in the top 10 but not challenge the top 3.
Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) is not the rider of 4 years ago. Contador is still an aggressive attacker and you feel he will try something on stage 17. He dropped out of the top 10 on GC on stage 15 losing time in the closing 15 kms. The thing is he is a danger as a multiple Grand Tour winner so I see him being marked very closely throughout the stage. He is as high as 12.0 or as low as 9.0. The thing is he has slipped away on each mountain stage when the pressure has risen. Avoid.
Warren Barguil (Sunweb) should feature in the break as he looks to shore up his lead in the KOTM classification. I think if he can gain big points on the Col de la Croix de Fer then he may drop back to the peloton. However, I don’t think he can sustain an all day break again and he doesn’t need too. I’m shocked he is favourite with some sites at 7.0.
I think a number of riders that are in the 20-40th positions on GC would love to get in Wednesday’s break. There could include (I have added their stage odds):
Emanuel Buchman (Bora Hansgrohe) – 16th on GC – odds of 126.0;
Brice Feillu (Team Fortuno-Oscaro) – 19th on GC – odds of 126.0;
Guillame Martin (Wanty Groupe-Goubert) – 18th on GC – odds of 151.0;
Tiesj Benoot (Lotto-Soudal) – 20th on GC – odds of 51.0;
Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data) – 21st on GC – odds of 51.0;
Roman Kreuziger (Orica-Scott) – 25th on GC – odds of 201.0;
Robert Kiserlovski (Katusha-Alpecin) – 37th on GC – odds of 301.0.
These are all really good riders with climbing ability – hence their GC positions. If they populated a break and the GC fight gets tactical then they would stand a chance of winning the stage.
Plus, you can also consider the riders like Thomas de Gendt (Lotto Soudal) and Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) that are always in the days breaks.
Tour de France 2017 Stage 17 – Tips
I will take two favourites and two outsiders (with small stakes to hedge my bets)
Bet on Romain Bardet to win stage 17 with a 1.0/10 stake EW (1/4 odds top 3) at 10.0 with Bet365.
PLACED – 2ND – Back Chris Froome to win stage 17 with with a 1.0/10 stake EW (1/4 odds top 3) at 8.0 with Bet365.
Bet on Guillame Martin to win stage 17 with with a 0.5/10 stake EW (1/4 odds top 3) at 151.0 with Bet365.
Back Roman Kreuziger to win stage 17 with with a 0.5/10 stake EW (1/4 odds top 3) at 201.0 with Bet365.