Tour de France Betting: Stage 10: 167kms , La Pierre-Saint-Martin

SBR Staff

Tuesday, July 14, 2015 1:22 PM GMT

Before you look to place your bets on Stage 10 of the Tour de France, check our extensive preview of what is considered the longest time trial. How do we plan to profit off of our sports picks?

2015 Tour de France Betting Guide   |   Betting Favorites

Jersey Prop Betting: White (Young Riders) | Green (Points Competition) | Polka Dot (KOM)

Tarbes to La Pierre-Saint-Martin

Tuesday 14th July, 167kms 

So the rest day is over, the Team Time Trial is done, now it's time for the mountains! It's been a fascinating first week with so much happening on a daily basis. There have been so many incidents and talking points and the race is teed up nicely going in to the second week. Chris Froome has held on to his leader’s jersey, inherited from Tony Martin and goes in to the mountains with a healthy lead over his key rivals. 

Tejay Van Garderen has been superb so far and I'm pretty pleased with my bets on him for now. He has been strong, confident, assured and well looked after by a very strong team. Of course, the real test is still to come on the big mountains, will he be able to live with Quintana and Froome when they do their thing, or will he be left behind? He has a nice lead on some of his rivals though, he's only 12" behind Froome, but 51" ahead of Contador and 1'47" ahead of Quintana. That's quite a nice buffer to have and there's a possibility that if he can hang in there on the Pyrenean climbs he could go in to the final week with a fantastic chance of a podium place, or at least give us a good trading position on our winner and top 3 bets, he's already trading at 7/4 from the 7/1 we backed him at pre-race. 

Sagan looks like he is a shoe-in for the Green jersey, I said he'd be trading at 2/5 after the first week, he's 1/4.. The KOM competition has yet to take off, but Quintana has shortened up to 3/1 from 5/1 pre-race, I guess people have seen he is going well and if Froome runs away with it he might switch his attention to the KOM Jersey, something I said he might do beforehand.

So on to stage 10 then, the day after the rest day. It's always a strange day, to see who has come out of the rest day well or who has not recovered well. It was a particularly hard stage for those at the head of affairs, Sky, BMC, Movistar, Tinkoff-Saxo and Astana all went really hard, whereas other teams rolled around at a more sedate pace. 

 

The Route
It's the first time up the climb of La Pierre Saint Martin in the Tour, so the riders will not be familiar with it. The small town of LPSM has only 1000 inhabitants but will be beseiged by the throngs of Tour fans this Tuesday. 

It looks on paper like 140kms of nothing, an almost flat road from a distance. But the road is not exactly flat with three Cat 4 climbs to get over along the way and several more uncategorised hills. 

None of the three Cat 4 climbs are very difficult, just a little like the final climb to Plumelec on stage 9 - less than 2 kilometres and averages around 6%. They head in a U shape, heading north-west first up to the Cote de Bougarber, then start heading south-west over the Cote de Vielleségure after 90kms. They then head south through the Intermediate sprint at Trois-Villes which is quickly followed by the Cote de Montory. 

9kms later they head through Arette, which marks the start of the final climb up to LPSM. This climb is going to be tough - it rises like a wall on the profile and no doubt it will feel like it rises like a wall to the riders as they approach it. It's a long climb at 15.3kms and it's a steep climb at 7.4%. It starts hard and stays close to 10% for the first 9kms, hitting a max of over 10% around the 9km mark. The climb is actually made up of three separate sections you could say, although they all run in to each other. 

After 162kms, 10kms in to the climb they go over the Col de Labays, after which the road eases back a bit for the next 4kms, where it averages closer to 5%. They then crest the Col de Soudet, after 166kms, with only 1km left to run to the summit at LPSM. The last kilometre steepens up again to 7% for about 920m, with the finishing straight of 80m being almost flat. There are some hairpin bends on the way up to the Col de Labays, but after that the road straightens up quite a lot to far straighter roads, making it easier to chase down attackers. 


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Contenders and Favourites
Chris Froome is the favourite for the stage at 5/2 with Ladbrokes, he was trading at only 9/4 with Betfair at the time of writing so the 5/2 looked attractive from that point of view. There are a number of reasons why Froome is trading as favourite for this race though and it's easy to see why he is being backed too. Froome looks in great form and looks like he wants to maybe put this race to bed as soon as he can, he has tried on a few occassions to shake things up. There are unconfirmed rumours that Froome put the hammer down on the Mur de Bretagne as he had got word in his ear that Nibali was struggling, a case of '"Who's throwing bottles now bitch?"

He likes to try to lay down a marker on early key mountain stages of the Tour also - he did it in 2012 with his powerful ride up the Plateau de Beille and he did it in 2013 with his win on Ax 3 Domaines. His team have looked pretty good up until now - barring the last kilometre of the TTT they looked very strong indeed and could have won the stage. Porte, Riche, Kennaugh, Konig, Poels, Stannard, Rowe - they will give their all to first, get him safely to the bottom of the climb, and secondly to string things out and put the others under pressure until the last few kilometres.

When he's in great form like this and he senses that the opposition is not quite at 100% race fitness yet he goes for the jugular. And there's third reason as to why he is favourite for the stage - there are signs that all is not well with some of the opposition - Nibali in particular and maybe to a lesser extent Contador who couldn't go with him on the Mur de Huy. He still has Tejay and Nairo to contend with and he may want to try to crush their spirits by putting more time in to them. He opened at 5/2 with Ladbrokes while already 9/4 to lay on Betfair so I had a couple of points at that price Sunday night.

 

Nairo Quintana is playing the role of the silent, smiling assassin right now.. Lurking in the shadows nearly 2 minutes back from Froome, most mere mortals would be out of the GC contention with that deficit to someone like Froome. But if anyone can put it up to Froome, it looks like it will be Nairo Quintana - he's the reason Froome isn't 1/5 or something like that already for the Tour. He has looked very good to me and was very pleased with their TTT Sunday, and why wouldn't he be, they lost just 3" to Froome and made back 24" on Contador.

I'm not so sure the profile of the last 5kms or so are suited to a big Nairo attack - the steeper gradients are in the first part of the climb and that's probably too far out to kick off proceedings, although, knowing Nairo Quintana he might just try it. The area around where he should possibly try an attack, with 3 or 4kms to go is not the steepest, so not perfect to really try to put the opposition under real pressure. Unless of course the first part of the climb had been ridden at a blistering pace and they are all on the limit. 

 

Joaquim Rodriguez would have a chance if he is still in there when they reach the last kilometre, if he attacks like he did on the Mur de Bretagne, then he might just get away and stay away. My worry is that the likes of Froome, Contador, Valverde all know this and they'll do doing their best to get rid of him ahead of that. I think he might find the pace a bit hot but it's a dangerous one to rule Purito out. 

 

Alberto Contador has a big test today - will the alarm bells that I have in my head about his form turn in to full-blown klaxons? He has looked a little out of sorts and troubled at times to me, but luckily, like the other GC men, he has stayed upright and uninjured in the first week. It was the way he fell away on the Mur though that's troubling me, he should be able to go with Froome and Rodriguez on a slope like that, but he hit a wall and went backwards. I think he might struggle if they go full gas in the last 6-7kms, but it's hard to know who will go well and not on the first big climb of the Tour and the day after a rest-day also.

 

Thibaut Pinot has had a torrid first week, with crashes, mechanical, tantrums and considerable time losses - his Tour is over more or less before they even hit the first climbs. His team have looked soft and have left him exposed and they also did a poor time trial which hasn’t helped him with his deficit. It means though that he is probably now in full stage hunting mode and this is the kind of climb that he could like.

He is a grinder who seems to get better the further in to a long climb it goes, see his stage win in the Tour de Suisse for that, he was off the back, struggling, got back on but looked like was still struggling, then went to the front and rode away from the group to land a great stage win.

 

Tejay Van Garderen I think will watch and follow wheels. I think he’ll be happy to sit on Froome and Contador and maybe pull further away from other podium threats if they can’t follow. He looked good in the Dauphiné doing it to Froome, until the very last climb, but he looks fitter and stronger now and hopefully should be able to follow on slopes like these. He’s not averse to seizing opportunities and winning stages though, as we saw in Catalunya when he jumped away from Porte and Contador to take a fine stage victory.

 

Alejandro Valverde may have to work for Quintana and may work his socks off for him, thus putting him out of contention at the finish – I say May, as you can never know with Alejandro. If the pace is really hot, then he probably won’t make it to the finish with the likes of Froome and Quintana. If the pace isn’t so hard and the GC men look at each other a little and just play cat and mouse to the finish, that plays in to Valverde’s hands, as we saw Saturday, he will probably win a small bunch sprint finish.

 

Dan Martin was going ok in the Dauphiné but on the last stage was just unable to match Froome’s acceleration and was left behind. He was still recovering from broken ribs at the Dauphiné though and said that he was pleased with his form considering. He is certainly looking a lot sharper now, judging by his excellent, if a little mis-timed, attack out of the pack on the Mur de Bretagne. Will he be able to hang in there with the GC men when they start firing rockets? It’s possible – but with GC chances all but gone now, it’s stage hunting from now on for him

Romain Bardet could be a dark horse for AG2R here, but I think it will depend on whether the GC men look at him going and decide that he is no danger and they are in the midst of a GC stalling match. He might struggle to stay with Froome if the big accelerations come, but if he can get a gap with a small, decent group he could stay away. 

 

Adam Yates and Simon Yates could be two guys that very much go under the radar here, and with the OGE squad decimated they will be free to ride their own race. Interestingly OGE rode the slowest team time trial you are likely to ever see and I think they were saving themselves ahead of the mountain stages to come. OGE have big hopes for the Yates boys and they could slip away unnoticed – either in the break of the day (one could go) or a later attack on the climb (the other could go). They are a big price, but the problem is working out which one is most likely to try the late attack as I think that has more chance of succeeding! Simon revealed though in his blog that he is suffering from a sore throat and missed out on the training ride yesterday, I’m staying away from him today.

 

Steven Kruiswijk was excellent in the Giro, almost winning the KOM jersey, being very aggressive and also very persistent in the mountains stages. The level is lifted a notch here at the Tour though and it will be interesting to see how he goes on this first mountain stage. Will the Giro still be in his legs? Will he go looking for KOM points? It may be the wrong day to do that and may be better off saving energy for days with multiple big climbs where there will be far more points on offer. If he can sit in with the leaders though and there is a bit of a stall with a few kilometres left, he could jump up the road. He interested me a little at 80/1.

 

And there are lots of others who could go in the break of the day with hopes - too many to even conisder, but the likes of Voeckler, Ladagnous, Roy, or any one of the Cofidis, Europcar, FDJ, Bretagne Seche squads on Bastille day. One Frenchman to look out for who seems to be going really well is Warren Barguil, the young Frenchman for Giant-Alpecin sits in 14th place, but would still be regarded as not being a threat, so if there is a lull with 2-3kms to go and a group of 20 or so together, he might just be able to slip off and take the stage on Bastille Day. 

But overall, despite saying that he is not going to attack on the climb, I think Froome will not be able to resist it and will look to lay down another marker on this first mountain stage. The 5/2 was backable, there's still 2/1 out there and 9/4 on Betfair. I thought Tejay looked too big at 28/1, if he sits in with Froome and Quintana he could be dragged on to a podium place. Steven Kruiswijk and Warren Barguil could give us a bit of excitement at a big price. 

Recommendations:

2pts win on Chris Froome at 5/2 on Ladbrokes (take the 9/4 on Betfair or the 2/1 on PP, I wouldn't go lower than that)

0.5pts each-way on Tejay Van Garderen at 28/1 with Ladbrokes. (take the 28/1 with Betfair sportsbook or 25/1 with PP)

0.25pts each-way on Steven Kruiswijk at 80/1 with various

0.25pts each-way on Warren Barguil at 50/1 with PaddyPower