Before you bet on Stage 21 of the Tour de France, check our extensive preview of this route so you can find ways to profit off of our sports picks.
The final dash, the final chance of glory. 160 riders will make it to the start line in Sèvres, from the 198 that started. It's been a brutal Tour, it's been a good Tour, but not a great Tour, it was exciting right up to the penultimate stage when Nairo threw it down to Froome repeatedly until he finally cracked him. But congratulations where they are due, Froome got the job done.
It wasn't enough though from Quintana as he fell short of the time required to win the race, by 1'12". It was a brilliantly exciting stage though with the early break of Geniez, Navardauskas and Anacona all playing their part later on in the drama. Geniez rode a great stage and when Pinot came up to him later on he helped tow him for a little while. Hesjedal looked very strong when he flew past Contador on the Croix de Ferand when he partnered up with Navardauskas, who was now after coming back to Ryder's break, they really powered on in the valley to give their little group a big chance of winning the stage.
Hesjedal and Pinot powered ahead, butRyder lost touch with Pinot around Dutch corner and that was the end of it. He stayed on to finish 3rd though, a superb result for him, showing once again how he is always one of the strongest at the end of a three-week Grand Tour.
Behind, Nairo attacked again and again and again, kicking it off early on the Croix de Fer. Bit by bit he was wearing them down until eventually, with the help of Valverde, the elastic snapped. Valverde helped him for as long as he could, but soon after they joined the aforementioned Winner Anacona, who did a magnificent job to tow Nairo for maybe 3-4kms to help him stretch his lead. Nairo brought it back to about 22", but it wasn't to be as we (and he) had to settle for another 2nd place in this race, denied by a break..
On to the final stage then and the usual nonsense from the start with champagne drinking, cigarillo smoking and 100 boring kilometres! But the last 10kms are good fun, lining up the sprinters for a shot at a win on the most famous sprint straight in the world. That is of course unless someone pulls a Keisse/Durbridge and stun the sprinters like they did in the Giro's final stage.
Not much to say about the route, they go from Sevres to Paris and finish on the Champs-Elysées like they do every year...
A short preview, it's between about six guys as far as I'm concerned.
André Greipel, the form sprinter of the race and with practically the whole team to lead him out (only Henderson is missing). Hansen has recovered well from his crash and with De Gendt, Debuscherre, Sieberg, Wellens and Bak they have a formidable lineup to string it out on the last lap and lead him in to the final straight. Greipel has won 9 stages in total in the Tour, 3 this year alone, but he has never won on the Champs, with his results going back the last 4 years reading 4th, 2nd, 8th and 3rd. He will not get a better chance than this year with Marcel Kittel not in the race. He opened at 2/1, that didn't last long, he went 7/4 and I got a bit of that, 13/8 is the best he is now but there's plenty of that around
Mark Cavendish has been poor in this race, if you exclude the fact he won a stage brilliantly! Etixx-MissStep had cocked up plenty of leadouts even with a full squad, so without Renshaw, Martin and Kwiatkowski I think they will really struggle to put him in a good position for the sprint tomorrow. 3rd in 2013, winner in 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, he does have an incredible record on the Champs though. I went against him with Kittel at 7/2 in 2013 and that was rewarding, I'm going to go against him again tomorrow.
Peter Sagan has been superb in this race and no-one deserves a stage win more than him. King of the Green Jersey once again and king of the banter and mischief, he's a breath of fresh air compared to how boring some of the other riders are. 9th, 4th, 2nd are his results on the Champs, so he has been getting close. What are the chances of him winning tomorrow? About 14% according to his 6/1 odds, there's a high chance he'll be in the top 3 again you'd think, Saxo can work hard for him tomorrow. Will be interesting to see if Contador takes a pull...
John Degenkolb has been unlucky, but also has seemed to be a level below the good sprinters in this race. He should have a good leadout but I think he'll struggle to win again, should be in the top 5 though.
Arnaud Démare interests me a little though at 25/1, he seemed to be getting better in recent sprints, landing a 6th and a 7th place. He tried hard on the stage won by Van Avermaet up the hill in Rodez, he just went too early, and he finished 12th last year on the Champs. At the prices, I'd rather have a small bit of him at 25/1 than Degenkolb or Sagan at a fraction of his price.
Alexander Kristoff has had a really disappointing Tour by his standards, but still landed a 3rd, a 4th and a 5th. The question is, can he step up to a 1st or 2nd or will it be another podium missed? I think it could be the latter, he just doesn't seem to be at the top of his game at the moment.
Bryan Coquard, Michael Matthews, Eddie BH and Cimolai could all get involved in the sprint, but another outsider at a big price that might be worth a small bet is RamunasNavardauskas, he finished 6th on the stage to Valence in the sprint behind Greipel and co. and he finished 3rd on the Champs last year with a superb sprint. He rode very hard today for Hesjedal, so the legs are clearly very good, hopefully he won't be too tired after it, but with a short stage and if he hides away for 99% of the race, his strength might get him involved again at a big price of 150/1 with Ladbrokes.
3pts win on André Greipel at 13/8 with various or take the 15/8 on Betfair now
0.25pts each-way on RamunasNavardauskas at 150/1 with Ladbrokes
0.5pts each-way on Arnaud Démare at 25/1 with various