Stage 4: Mondorf les Bains – Vittel
207.5km – Suited to Bunch Sprint
The Wolfpack got oh so close overnight with Bling Matthews finishing runner-up to a dominant Peter Sagan in the final sprint to the line to Longwy.  If you watch the replay you’ll see just how impressive Sagan was as he actually had time to put his foot back into his cleat during his sprint and still power away from his competition.  Matthews will be ruing his positioning on the climb as he was just too far back to contest the win, however he did show his speed and power with his runner up finish. Richie Porte went on the attack with around 400m to go, a weird move in The Wolf’s eyes as this scuppered any chance of GVA taking the stage win, but the move will give him confidence heading into the first big mountain stage on Stage 5.
Stage 4
There isn’t much to write home about on Stage 4 as the riders tackle a fairly flat route into France. The Wolf will be setting his alarm for the last 10km though as we should see a decent battle amongst the main sprinters in the peloton. The final km of the route sees a slight incline and we’ll have an uphill finish which should favour some of the sprinters over others. We have a fairly technical finish with the main worry being a dodgy looking roundabout with around 1.2km to go to the finish. The main chances with be looking to their teams to put them in the mix and we could see a chaotic finish with the very real possibility of crashes.
Marcel Kittel – $1.90
Dominant winner on stage 2, the German is a heavy favourite for this stage but The Wolf thinks he’s too short to back at odds on given the gap to his rivals on 2 days ago wasn’t huge.  The Wolf didn’t see anything on that day that would suggest his rivals should be longer in the betting but that is exactly what has happened.  Quick-Step as a lead out train were very poor 2 days ago and they cannot afford to make that mistake again given the slight rise to the finish. The Wolf is happy to bet against him tonight as there is value to be found backing into one of the main rivals.
Arnaud Demare – $5.50
Demare is simply flying and probably represents the biggest challenge to Kittel here.  Again, his odds seem on the large side given how close he was to Kittel on Stage 2. He lost his lead out train on that day and if FDJ can get their act together, they have the bodies to control the srpint finish, positioning Demare in the ideal spot for the run to the line.  They came here looking for stage wins and tonight represents a huge opportunity to take one.
Andre Greipel – $8.00
3rd on Stage 2, The Wolf cannot quite believe how ‘The Gorilla’ is priced at $8 for the stage win, especially as the finish is slightly uphill and contains a long drag to the finish, playing into his strengths.  He wasn’t too far from the win on Stage 2 and he’ll be hoping that the sprint turns into a bit of a messy affair, using his vast experience to surf wheels and taking the win that would keep his Grand Tour winning streak going.  He is the Wolf’s best bet at juicy odds.
Mark Cavendish – $11.00
The Manx missile has 30 Tour wins in his career and it’s crazy to think that he can be backed at double figure odds for the win here.  True, he’s had a tough 2017 with his illness and lack of ride time but he showed on Stage 2 that there’s life in the old dog yet and you shouldn’t underestimate him.  Remember last year, he came into the race undercooked with the press declaring him to be over as a sprinter – he walked away with 4 stage wins.  His 4th place finish will have given him confidence going forward and, like Greipel, if he surf the right wheel he has a huge chance of taking the win here.
Ben Swift – $151
Since his move away from Team Sky, Swift has shown that he can mix it with the big boys and if the final sprint is interrupted by a crash or there are chaotic scenes as riders jostle for position, he could well position himself with a chance of a win at huge odds.  He has the backing of his team and a leadout train to call on and it wouldn’t shock to see him on the podium, maybe even at the top of the tree.
Recommended Bets
Best: Andre Greipel – $8.00
Value: Mark Cavendish – $11.00
Roughie: Ben Swift – $151

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