What's the stage like?
At first glance, another sprint stage: 214km through wine country, a breakaway to reel-in, and a bunch sprint to finish. On closer inspection, though, today may be a little more complicated for the sprint teams than Stage Six was.
First, the weather forecasters are salivating over potential crosswinds and rain, with some claiming a higher-than 50% chance of thunderstorms. The prevailing wind in this region is from the West, which would hit the peloton side-on for most of the route, making echelons and gaps in the main bunch a possibility.
Second, there are a few lumps to contest in the closing stages, and a sharp right-hander around 9km out from the finish. None of these will be significant on dry roads, but if the wet weather does come, we could see drama.
Who are the favourites?
The consistency of the sprinters in the three flat stages we've had so far has been remarkable, with the same names - apart from Peter Sagan - filling the top few spots each time. At the very top, though, have been Marcel Kittel and Arnaud Demare, with the former making the score 2-1 in stage victories so far by taking Stage Six. It's not surprising, then, that those two are at the top of the Stage Seven market at 1.85 and 5.20 respectively. What is surprising, perhaps, is the price discrepancy, because although he has the edge on stage victories, Kittel has only just had the best of Demare. At the odds, the French sprinter and current Green Jersey wearer looks better value.
Who are the most likely outsiders?
The other ever-presents in the sprint finishes so far have been Andre Greipel (8.20), Alexander Kristoff (20.00), Dylan Groenewegen (22.00) and Nacer Bouhanni (22.00). A case can be made for any of them winning, although there is a sense with Greipel that he will need something to go wrong for the main two if he is to win. The others are capable of a win, but probably not on this stage - their chance will come when the finish is more technical and with some elevation.
Those looking for an outside bet could do worse than Dan McLay (70.00). He has been improving as the Tour has gone on, securing 8th place on Stage Six, and if things were to be difficult due to wind and rain, he has the firepower to cause a surprise.
What effect will the stage have on the overall markets?
That will largely depend on the weather. If it stays dry, the GC-contenders will ride this like any transitional stage and try and do as little as possible to stay out of trouble before the race starts again proper in the Jura on Stage 8. If it's windy or rainy, however, this could be the day that ends the Tour for some of the prominent Yellow Jersey hopefuls. In that scenario, Chris Froome would be hoping to capitalise in the same way he did on the Montpellier stage last year. It would be a nervy day-out, though.
Otherwise there will be more points up-for-grabs in the race for the Green Jersey, which now looks to be a shoot-out between Demare and Kittel.
Back Arnaud Demare at 5.20
Home » Tips for betting » Tour de France 2017 Stage 7: Demare to level with Kittel
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