Sagan Favoured for Another Green Jersey but Who is Best Pick?

Wednesday, July 4, 2018 4:28 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jul. 4, 2018 4:28 PM UTC

Peter Sagan will attempt to land the Green Jersey for a record-matching sixth time in the Tour de France, but he'll have plenty of competition. 

<p>There was a major shock in the points competition last year when the 4/7 favourite Peter Sagan was disqualified after a coming together with Mark Cavendish on stage 4. The jersey was eventually won by 16/1 shot Michael Matthews, who took advantage of Sagan’s disqualification and the abandonment of Arnaud Demare and Marcel Kittel, both of whom we backed last year, but despite both taking the jersey during the race, they found the course too tough to finish.</p><p>The Green Jersey is awarded to the leader of the points competition, with riders scoring points at stage finishes and at intermediate sprint points out on the course. The points available at the finish vary depending on the type of stage it is, with the most points being awarded for sprint stages. They award 50 points to the winner of the flat stages and 30 to the runner-up and all the way down to 15th place, whereas the winner of the mountain stages gets only 20 points.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;🌈 &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;@petosagan&lt;/a&gt;, the king for a 6th crown.&lt;br /&gt;🌈 &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;@petosagan&lt;/a&gt;, le roi pour une 6e couronne.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;💚 &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;@SkodaFrance&lt;/a&gt;&lt;a href=\";amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#TDF2018&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— Le Tour de France (@LeTour) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;July 4, 2018&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><h2>Peter Sagan: -$50 favourite</h2><p>Sagan was going for a record-equaling sixth green jersey in a row last year, but he failed in his attempt, lasting only until stage 4. But he still can equal the record number of wins if he takes his 6th jersey this year. <a href="" title="Sports Betting Odds">But what about his chances then at a silly price of -$50?</a> Well, he hasn't had a great year by Sagan's standards, winning only 5 races all year, but one of them was Paris-Roubaix, another was Gent-Wevelgem. The course is OK for him, some lumpy stages he'll score points on, and he'll get placed in lots of sprints. He'll also probably get up the road in breaks to take points on days when the other contenders won't be able to. </p><p> </p><h2>Fernando Gaviria: +$350</h2><p>If you ignore the facile wins in Colombia and Argentina earlier in the year, he's actually only won three races this year, and two of those were in California, where his only opposition was an out-of-form Ewan and Peter Sagan.  Peter Sagan, Sonny Colbrelli and Arnaud Démare each beat him in to second place on three stages in the Tour de Suisse, and really, to me, if he wants to entertain hopes of winning the Green here, he should have been beating those sorts of guys in a sprint. The team is all for Gaviria though and he probably will have the best leadout here with Richeze, Terpstra, Alaphilippe, Jungels and Declerq to power him in to position in the last 2kms. I can see him winning a stage or two if they click in to gear, but I fear he won't be consistent enough to justify backing him at such a short price.</p><p> </p><h2>Dylan Groenewegen: +$700</h2><p>With 9 wins so far this year, including Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, Groenewegen is the winning-most sprinter in the starting lineup here. He is probably the fastest sprinter at the moment in the peloton, something that a number of sprinters including Bennett and Kittel have admitted recently, but my only worry would be that the team seems to be built around a GC charge with Kruijswijk and Roglic rather than one dedicated to him winning stages like Gaviria's QuickStep. Timo Roosen is an excellent leadout man of course, and I don't foresee the lack of a strong leadout being too much of a problem here for him. I think he could win several stages, he may even be close in some of the lumpier stages and <a href="" title="Free Sports Picks">might well win the final stage in Paris again</a> and I think he could have a big chance of finishing in the top 3 here, possibly even win it. </p><p> </p><h2>Marcel Kittel: +$1100 Best Price</h2><p>Who knows what we'll get from Kittel in this race, but we could see him win 3, 4 or 5 stages, or we could see him win nothing. It is a hotch-potch team he has here, with no real focus and Katusha in general have been pretty poor all season. And none more so than Kittel, who has just two wins to his name, in the first and final road stage of Tirreno, but let's face it, he wasn't up against much there. But this is Kittel we are talking about, one of the greatest sprinters of my lifetime, if he gets a clear run and is in the first 10 coming in to the last 300m his power could just pull him to the front. But I'm doubtful he will be consistent enough to win this, he might not even finish like last year. </p><p> </p><h2>Michael Matthews: +$1200 Best Price</h2><p>Roll on 12 months and it's sort of a similar situation to last year, as Matthews hasn't raced very much - just 27 days in total and 4097kms - and no race wins at all, bar a prologue win in Romandie. Seven top 10s though, including three 2nd places shows that he is getting close, but just hasn't been able to get his nose in front.The team looks like it's set up to look after Dumoulin and Kelderman, so he might be fighting for himself in a lot of the stage finishes and as far as I'm concerned he isn't as good at fighting for himself as some other sprinters. I don't know if he'll go as well as he did last year, but if you fancy him, he's not a bad price at all. </p><p> </p><h2>André Greipel: +$3300</h2><p>Greipel was 9/1 last year, he's 33/1 this year, a reflection of his slide down the sprinting ranks in the last 12 months. I say that, but he has won more races than Marcel Kittel, Cavendish and Démare put together this season, with 5 wins. Like I wrote last year, I think he's missing something this year, I think the team are missing something this year, and you can't be missing something when it comes to sprints in the TDF. I think he'll finish 3rd or 4th again, but can he get back on track with winning a stage in every Grand Tour he's entered? He's up against it.</p><p> </p><h2>Arnaud Démare: +$1600</h2><p>It's not been a stellar year for Démare, he's not raced a whole lot, just 29 days, and has landed 9 top 10 finishes, including two 3rds, two 2nds and two 1sts. One of those wins came in the TDS two weeks ago in front of Gaviria, Kristoff, Sagan and Degenkolb, so it looks like the form is coming.  His team and his whole season seems to be geared around winning stages at this year's Tour, and he probably has his sights on the green jersey too. It's going to be very hard in the first sprints, there's some serious competition, but his form looks to be coming good and he has a chance of finishing in the first 3 at tempting odds.   </p><p>And you also have Mark Cavendish, Alexander Kristoff, Sonny Colbrelli, Julian Alaphilippe, Eddie Boss, Thomas de Gendt, Greg Van Avermaet who might get involved in some finishes, but they won't score enough points to take the jersey. I think it will be very hard to stop Sagan taking his 6th Points Jersey, but hopefully Dylan Groenewegen can put it up to him this year and could come close. Arnaud Demare should be best of the rest.</p><h2 style="text-align:center">Free Cycling Pick: 2 pts. each-way on Groenewegen at +$700</h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Best Line Offered: <a href=";book=Bet365" rel="nofollow" title="Top Rated Sportsbook">Bet365</a></h2>
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