Tour de France Stage 16: Carcassonne to Bagneres-de-Luchon

Monday, July 23, 2018 1:43 PM UTC

Monday, Jul. 23, 2018 1:43 PM UTC

Another day for the break? Or will the GC men go for the stage win on the Col du Portillon? Let's check out what's ahead in Stage 16 of the Tour de France.

<p>We were very unlucky with our picks Sunday. Ion Izagirre finished 2nd and Michael Valgren 4th as the team games came in to play in the last 10 kilometres. Valgren looked the strongest, but when Magnus Cort attacked he was never going to chase his teammate. No change in the GC, as all stayed together over the final climb, although Dan Martin did try to get away, in a pointless waste of energy.</p><p> </p><h2>The Route</h2><p>They head mostly west on this stage, slowly starting to go more south as the stage wears on. It's a long stage (218kms), the second-longest of the race, and after the sprint point at Saint Girons after 124kms the road starts to climb as they start on the lower slopes of the double ascension of the Col de Portet d'Aspet and the Col de Menté.</p><p>Another 10kms charge downhill, down a very twisty descent, then around 10kms of the flatter roads and they cross into Spain briefly after 192kms and start on the lower slopes of the final climb, the Col du Portillon. The Portillon is 8.3kms at 7.1%, the top comes with just 10kms left, but the descent is tricky, especially as it could be wet, with three tight hairpin bends in succession with about 5kms to go, then down in to Bagneres Du Luchon.</p><p><img alt src="" style="width:773px;height:438px" /></p><p> </p><h2>Analysis and Picks</h2><p>Another day for the break, and I wouldn't be surprised to see the same sort of faces that have been in the last two breaks. You need to be strong to get away, and as always in the final week of a Grand Tour, <a href="" title="Free Sports Picks">the stronger guys start to feature more and more,</a> as the weaker guys just think about surviving to Paris.</p><p>I can’t have Adam Yates and Julian Alaphilippe at those prices, too short for me. Warren Barguil is +$1200, and there's a good chance he'll be trying to get in the break to take the KOM points today. He needs to start racking up points today I think if he wants that jersey, stage 17 is probably going to be a GC day unless he can hang in there with the GC men, but he has a chance of going with them as he won't be too far back as he's 23rd on the GC.</p><p>Rafal Majka was unlucky on Sunday, there was just too far to the finish once over the top, this is a lot shorter run-in, just 10kms.. He's likely to get in the break again, he seems up for it at the moment, and he seems to be climbing well too, riding away from the others in the break on the Nore.</p><p>As this race dips in to Spain for a while, I’m looking at Spanish riders to show themselves again on Tuesday. Mikel Nieve - unlucky on stage 11 to La Rosiere when Thomas flew past him in the last 500m, he had done everything right up until then. He might have his eye on this one too, wouldn't be surprised to see MS with a few riders in the break.</p><p>Next - Ion Izagirre - close, but no cigar on Sunday, outsprinted by a sprinter, what can you do. I think he has good legs and could go again, and this time he might just shake off the sprinter types on the final climb. Omar Fraile is another one I want onside, he's going well as we saw with his superb stage win on Saturday, I think he will like this course too and the visit to Spain will inspire him to get out there and enjoy the cheers for his win. <a href="" title="Sports Betting Odds">+$3300 he is, bigger than the +$2200 he was when he won</a>.</p><p>And finally, it was a toss-up between Daniel Navarro and Jesus Herrada for Cofidis, but I'm going to side with Navarro as Herrada got in the break on Sunday but was unable to go with the better climbers and rolled home in the second group, 2'31" down. That to me puts me off him for a stage like this, whereas Navarro gets better as a Tour goes on and this stage looks like one that he could go well on. 80/1 will do nicely.</p><p>One other that I want to have in the book for this stage is Bauke Mollema - he was very impressive to me on Sunday, he looked like he was climbing as well as we know he can, he seems to be after recovering well from his back injury. This route looks great for him, I think he could put a lot of guys ender pressure on the final climb, and as we saw in his win in San Sebastian 3 years ago, he is a pretty decent descender when charging down to a finish.</p><p>Tom de Gendt, Lilian Calmejane, Pierre Rolland, Marc Soler, Daniel Martinez, Simon Geschke, Michael Valgrem, Magnus Cort, Andrey Amador - others to consider for sure, but I'm not sure they've got the legs for the win here.</p><p>I don’t think it’s going to be a GC day, so all those guys are too short to me, but there should be some action, we might see the likes of Bardet, Roglic, Dumoulin and Martin all try to attack Sky on the Portillon and charge down the hill to the finish to try to take precious seconds.</p><p> </p><h2>Selections</h2><p>0.3pts each-way on Bauke Mollema at +$3300</p><p>0.3pts each-way on Ion Izagirre at +$2500</p><p>0.5pts win on Mikel Nieve at +$2000</p><p>0.5pts win on Daniel Navarro at +$8000</p><p>0.5pts win on Omar Fraile at +$3300</p>
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