Tour de France 2017 Stage 19 on Friday 21st July sees the riders return to flatter roads and a probable bunch sprint.
Congratulations to Warren Barguil with his second stage win. I hyped his performance in yesterday’s preview but didn’t back him. The Yellow Jersey was also won by Chris Froome – barring accidents/mechanicals on stages 19 and 20. In many ways it is the most impressive of his successes because he is not at the level of 2016, 2015 or 2013 so far this year.
Stage 18 was another where the break failed – this has to be the theme of the 2017 race.
Tour de France 2017 Stage 19 – Profile
The 19th stage starts takes the riders over 222.5 kms of rolling terrain. Stage 19 is the longest of the race. It starts in Embrun and finishes in Salon-de-Provence.
After two days in the high Alps the stage looks like it will be much easier for the peloton. The stage features some climbing with 3 category 3 climbs on the route. Two come within the first 43 kms of the start of the stage. They are the Col Lebraut (4.7 kms at 6%) at 21 kms and Côte de Bréziers (2.3 kms at 5.8%) at 40 kms. Look for the day’s break to form and build a time gap in this section of the stage.
The next 130 kms of the stage is on rolling terrain – but the ups and downs are not steep. The final climb comes at 172 kms with the Col du Pointu (5.8 kms at 4.1%). This will be the final chance for the breakaway riders to attempt to build their time gap. From the summit at 177.5 kms there is a 45 km run to the line on mostly flat roads. If the sprint teams time it right they should catch the break inside the final 10 kms of the stage.
The one potential danger in the GC battle = cross winds are possible in that final 45 kms run to the finish.
Tour de France 2017 Stage 19 – Favourites
You could argue that the 4 best sprinters in this years race are absent following Marcel Kittel withdrawing on stage 17. That leaves the Green Jersey classification leader and a bunch of riders who are nearly men in this years race.
Michael Matthews (Sunweb) brilliantly used the hilly and mountain stages to whittle down Marcel Kittel’s huge lead in the sprint classification. Now that Kittel is out of the race all Matthews needs to do is get to Paris in one piece to win the Green Jersey. Matthews has a stage win too and looks the hungriest of the remaining sprinters in the race. Matthews can be backed at 9.0 for the stage win – he is not favourite with any bookie.
Edvald Boasson-Hagen (Dimension Data) has 4 top 3 place finishes in this years race. He will be looking to make that 5 but this time with a win on stage 20. EBH has improved as the race has progressed and he is more rested than Matthews – who has featured in lots of breaks on the mountain stages. EBH can be backed in the 6.50-9.0 range for stage 20. If you can get the 9.0 go EW.
Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) is in danger of breaking his streak of getting a win in every Grand Tour he has started since 2008. Greipel has looked way off the pace in the sprints thus far. He too is better rested than Matthews as he has been in the main body of the peloton on each mountain stage. Greipel should be in better shape to contend for the win on stage 19. I just don’t see it happening – avoid at 8.0.
Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) was involved in the crash that led to Marcel Kittel retiring from the race. He looked to have facial abrasions but seemed okay in the most part. Like Greipel, Kristoff has also been way down in most sprints. The bookies support my assertion and Kristoff is as high as 15.0.
Dylan Groenewegen (Lotto NL-Jumbo) really struggled over the last 3 days – including stage 16 where he was with Kittel in the back group all day. His team now have a stage win thanks to Primoz Roglic so that takes some pressure off Groenewegen. Before the 2nd rest day he had started to show improved sprint form – can he maintain this? Odds of 10.0 look a little short to me.
John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) is still looking for his first Tour stage win. He has a 2nd and 3rd placing on earlier stages but also failed to feature in many of the other bunch sprints. I can’t bet against history – no win for me from Degenkolb – 12.0 does have EW value however.
Tour de France 2017 Stage 19 – Outsiders
Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) is in third spot on the Sprint classification standings after winning Thursdays Intermediate Sprint. A place in this would get me a nice payout as I backed him at 51.0. I’m hopeful Colbrelli can show his early season form on stages 19 and 21 and gain some big points. Colbrelli also took the mountain stages fairly easily – hopefully with the aim of going for the stage win here and on Sunday. He might go in the break again on stage 20 – if this is the case this means he only wins the stage if the break succeeds. Too much uncertainty to back him at 29.0.
Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) – No – nothing else to say.
There are 4 riders whose chances of success from a break I really like on stage 19. Bear in mind three were in the break on stage 18 too:
Stephen Cummings (Dimension Data) chances will depend a bit on his recovery from being in the break on stage 19. If he is okay then this stage looks perfect for one of his specials. He is excellent at timing his attacks from a small break group and there is some value backing him at 29.0.
Thomas de Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) has the most break kms of any rider in the race. Every day he is out there at the front. Every day he has failed! This is his final chance of nabbing a stage win so I think he will be keen to be in the break. Not for me at 51.0
Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) has come close to a win on a couple of stages already. He is the only one of these 4 who was not in the break on Thursday. The terrain on stage 20 is reminiscent of some of the early season classics. If GVA can get into a break he should win a sprint assuming none of the elite sprinters are present. The bookies like his chances to and have him at 15.0. I like this.
Zdenek Stybar (Quick Step-Floors) is now freed of the duty of looking after Kittel. Stybar is excellent on this type of lumpy up-down roads. The team love wins and he looks the most probable rider from the team to get in a break on these type of roads. He was in the break on stage 19 but didn’t feature in the shake-up for the win. His chances are better on stage 20 and 67.0 is excellent value.
Then there are a number of others who have been consistent through the race, been in breaks already and ride for teams looking for wins:
Frederik Backaert (Wanty Groupe-Goubert) has been in a couple of breaks already and has been solid in the Tour. They may try to get multiple riders in the break. He is a big outsider at 301.0.
Maciej Bodnar (Bora-Hansgrohe) – one of only 3 teams to miss the 54 man break on stage 18. They have to be in stage 19’s break or the team management might explode! He can be backed at 101.0 – for the brave only.
Dylan Van Baarle (Canondale-Drapac) was in an earlier mountain stage break but was dropped when they reached the steep climbs. I feel this stage may be better suited for Van Baarle to go further in the stage. He is as high as 81.0 so a cheeky small bet could provide a nice return.
Jens Keukeleire (Orica-Scott) is on a team that has had a decent race but yet to grab a stage win. Keukeleire is a classics man – another with the skills to do well on stage 19. Odds of 67.0 are great for the EW bet.
Tour de France 2017 Stage 19 – Tips
WON – Bet on Edvald Boasson-Hagen to win stage 20 with a 1.0/10 stake EW (1/4 odds top 3) at 9.0 with Paddy Power.
Back Greg Van Avermaet to win stage 20 with a 1.0/10 stake EW (1/4 odds top 3) at 15.0 with Paddy Power.
PLACED – 3RD – Bet on Jens Keukeleire to win stage 20 with a 0.5/10 stake EW (1/4 odds top 3) at 67.0 with Paddy Power
Back them here:
Bet on Zdenek Stybar to win stage 20 with a 0.5/10 stake EW (1/4 odds top 3) at 67.0 with Bet365.