How To Bet Tour De France Stage 8

Ian O'Sullivan

Friday, July 8, 2016 11:51 PM UTC

Friday, Jul. 8, 2016 11:51 PM UTC

This is going to be a Saturday afternoon treat for viewers, not so much for the riders, with one of the hardest stages of the race. At 184kms long and with four big climbs to get over this will be one of the first chances to see which teams and riders are truly in with a chance of winning this race.

Tour de France Stage 8
This is going to be a Saturday afternoon treat for viewers, not so much for the riders, with one of the hardest stages of the race. At 184kms long and with four big climbs to get over this will be one of the first chances to see which teams and riders are truly in with a chance of winning this race.

We were unlucky/lucky with Nibali today, he got in the break, he helped split the break, but the former TDF and Giro winner was left behind by 35-year old Cummings. Luckily there were only four of them left at the front so he held on for fourth place to land the +3300 each way and a small profit on the win bets. 

On to stage 8 then and the great classic of the Pyrenees has been reconsidered for this 2016 edition of the Tour. After the Col du Tourmalet, the race will, for the first time, head up the Hourquette d'Ancizan from a different side before taking on the Col de Val-Louron-Azet and Peyresourde. A bit like yesterday's stage, we are still going to be waiting for the first real summit finish, as this stage also finishes after a downhill section, with a flat run for more than 2.5kms before they reach the line. It is a similar sort of predicament we have then to stage 7 in that an early break, a late break on the last climb, a break on the descent, or a reduced GC sprint could decide the stage


The Route
The city of Pau has been a host town for the Tour de France no fewer than sixty-seven occasions, a number only surpassed by Paris and Bordeaux. A long drag south for 67kms takes them through Lourdes and to the foot of the first climb of the day, and what a beast it is, with the legendary Tourmalet. A Haute Category climb, 19kms at  7.4% average, It takes them up to 2,115m, the highest point in this year's Tour, for which the first rider over the top wins the Souvenir Jacques Goddet prize. It's a pretty steady 7-8% for most of the way up, but it gets steeper in the last 3kms, which average over 9%. 

The descent of the Tourmalet is equally challenging, being 17kms at a similar average gradient, and at the bottom they get straight on to the Hourquette d'Ancizan, a Cat 2 climb which is 8.2kms at 4.9%. Again a quick descent takes them straight on to the next climb, the Col de Val Louron-Azet, a Cat 1 climb of 10.7kms which averages 6.8%. The descent off the Val Louron-Azet is quite narrow and dangerous, and with over 150kms in their legs by now, tired riders will need to be on their guard. 

With 25kms to go they start the final challenge of the day, the Col de Peyresourde, another legendary climb in the Tour de France. 7.1kms long at an average of 7.8%, it's a very steady climb with the last 1100m averaging 8.6%, making it a particularly hard finish to the climb. From the top, there's only 15.5kms to go,  12.5kms of which are a tricky, twisty descent.

From the bottom of the descent there's only 2.5kms of flat roads to the finish, a lone rider doesn't have very far to hang on to take the stage victory. It may not be a day that you will win the TDF, but it certainly could be a day you could lose it as the old cycling cliché goes, so the GC men will have to be on their guard all day long. 

One thing to keep in mind though is that this stage is followed by a far harder stage with a summit finish in to Andorra, so it may well be that the GC favourites keep their powder dry for Sunday's stage. The weather is going to be good but they will have a slight side/headwind over the closing kilometres.


Contenders and Favourites
It's likely we will see a break have a big chance on a stage like this again though, the parcours is perfect for breakaway riders - a flattish opening 50kms or so to get a big time gap going when the peloton decides to let them go (but it could be a big battle for 50kms if lots of guys want in...) and then four tough climbs one after another in 100kms. Also, the GC teams don't seem to care too much at all about stage wins, something that was hugely annoying in recent tours, it's all about the GC.. It makes backing the GC men a real lottery as you just don't know whether they let a break have a stage or not. 

The KOM hopefuls will be in the break, there are lots of points on offer today, someone could take a big lead into week two, a lead that they could continue to build on for the rest of the race with attacks in breaks. Guys like Thomas de Gendt - he's in the jersey, he likes a break, he could go and try to hang in there as long as possible over the first two or three climbs, maybe longer. Van Avermaet would pick up more points if he gets in the break but it's not going to be something he's able to win, and he also hinted today that he might start saving energy now for later when it's needed again. 

This is a profile that suits Ruben Plaza I think, it's a little bit like the stage in the Vuelta last year which he won, that was over 175kms with four Cat 1 climbs and a downhill finish, he landed the money for us that day at +6600. When Cummings was interviewed before today's stage he picked out guys he thought might go in the break and he mentioned 'the tall one from Orica-BikeExchange' referring to Plaza. Orica are stage hunting now, came close with Impey today, and when Paddy Power opened they had Plaza at +6600, which I took, as he was only +3300 with Bet365. And he is being backed - he's betting odds to +2800 with Bet365 now and that's still worth taking, he's only +2000 with Corals and I wouldn't go lower than that really. 

Rui Costa tried today, but despite getting about 45" at one point, they were reeled in - he clearly has an escape in mind and might try again. The problem is that the bookies are on to it too and he's pretty short at just +1400 with Ladbrokes, but he is just +1000 with others! He's worth a win-only bet at that price, he'll hopefully either come home alone or win a reduced sprint. 

Luis Leon Sanchez also attacked today and was reeled in, he might try again at a big looking +12500, and other guys like Brice Feillu, Georg Preidler and maybe even Frank Schleck, an old friend from the Vuelta last year too when he won stage 16 for us at something like +5000 (we actually landed the 1-2 that day with Torres finishing 2nd). That stage was 185kms, the same as this one, maybe he will give it a go tomorrow at a big price of +15000. 

I don't have much faith in the GC men to make a race of this tomorrow and so am reluctant to back any of them, they might be fighting for 5th or 6th place. The one rider I want to keep in the book though is Romain Bardet, he has looked frisky and keen and if there is a chance to attack over the top of the Peyresourde and on the descent to the finish, he might take it. 

Overall though, it's not a day to get stuck in big at all, I think Sunday's stage to Andorra is going to be far more exciting and more likely to see a GC battle. It's almost a 'no-bet' day, but I'm going to scatter a few beting picks around on breakaway guys, it might work like today. 


0.5pts each-way on Ruben Plaza at +2800 at Bet365

1pt win on Rui Costa at +1400 at Ladbrokes

0.25pts each-way on Frank Schleck at +15000 at Skybet paying 4 places

0.2pts each-way on Luis Leon Sanchez at +12500 at Skybet paying 4 places


Not a lot appeal as the GC men might come in together, but one that interests me is Kelderman over Mollema at odds-against. I think this was unlucky to lose today as Kelderman would have been sprinting to close down Yates, Mollema would probably not have been sprinting as much. It could be the same tomorrow as the white jersey comp is so close. 2pts at +120 at Bet365

Bardet to beat Rolland and Meintjes to beat Frank - 2pts at +110 on the double at Bet365

Costa to beat Navarro - Costa might get in the break, and if not, Navarro had a hard day today. 3pts at -150 at PaddyPower

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