A day for the rouleurs ahead of the high mountains? The sprinters had their fun today, the climbers will take over for Thursday, Friday and Saturday, so this is the last chance really in the race for the rouleurs and breakaway men to take anything out of this race.
Tour De France Stage 17 Predictions : Pont du Gard > Gap
<div><p>There are only two climbs on the route as they head east and towards the Pyrenees, a Cat 4 that is officially just 2.3kms long, but in reality they will have been climbing gently for almost 80kms, rising 850m in the process. They then run along a plateau for 70kms before the tricky little test of the Cat 3 Col de la Sentinelle that tops out with just 8.5kms to go. It’s 5.2kms long at an average of 5.4%, so should decide the winner on the day, if you don’t have the legs you’ll be left behind by the stronger men in the break. The last kilometre is flat, so we could see a sprint between a small group, or possibly even a solo winner.</p><h2> </h2><h2>Contenders</h2><p>I’m only looking at breakaway candidates today, the sprinters won’t make it and the GC men/climbers will be saving themselves and their teams for the next three days. We should therefore see a large break going and should build up enough of a lead to take the stage win.</p><p>Lots of candidates, but look for strong rouleurs who have been showing themselves a bit in the last week or so, they need to be able to climb a bit and a sprint at the end would be advantageous too.</p><p>Daryl Impey immediately springs to mind as someone who fits the bill, he’s already won a stage like this and the team is in great form with three wins already.</p><p>Astana have had a horror show this Tour, with Pelle Bibao’s 2nd place on stage 12 the only time they have finished in the top 8 of any stage, and Jakob Fuglsang’s GC dreams are in ruins now after crashing out today. They are sure to send some men up the road again tomorrow, but who? I’m favouring Magnus Cort and Alexey Lutsenko as they have looked the most keen lately and look suited to this course.</p><p>Lotto Soudal are also going to probably launch multiple efforts at the break and could get 2 or 3 riders in it if it’s a big break. Teisj Benoot, Tim Wellens, Thomas de Gendt and Jens Keukeleire could all try, of that lot, maybe Benoot might go the best on a finish like this.</p><p>Bahrain have nothing really to hold back for now, so expect a few of their guys to try to infiltrate the break too. Matej Mohoric might be best to attack on the last climb and descend like a stone down to the finish to victory. Ivan Garcia Cortina has also said he wants to get in the break and take something from this Tour. At +8000 he’s worth a bet.</p><p>Sunweb have a few guys who should be up for the break too – I wouldn’t be surprised if Michael Matthews tries to get in the break too, like Impey, if he can get over the final climb with the leaders, he probably wins. Plus, he seems to be interested in chasing Green Jersey points once again and there are some after just 62kms.</p><p>Trek have a few candidates who could be interested in the break, Toms Skujins, Fabio Felline and Jasper Stuyven will all be trying for them, Fabio Felline could be the best from a reduced sprint, Stuyven from a late attack. CCC will be looking to get guys in the break, Serge Pauwels said today after the stage that it was a perfect stage for Greg Van Avermaet and they’ll be trying to get in the break with him.</p><p>Katusha will surely try to get some men in the break too, they won’t have much chance of any joy in the coming days. Nils Politt is a good shout for them, he’s been very active in this race and has been close to getting in the right breaks on a few days. Mads Wurtz Schmidt is another possible candidate for them.</p><p>Wanty will want to get a man or two in the break too, they are running out of time to get something out of this race. Xandro Meurisse has been riding really well in this race and has a 3rd, 7th and 8th in stages. He looks suited to this course and could have a decent shot at victory too. AG2R’s best chance is probably Oliver Naesen, he has been riding well all race too and has the power to get in the break and attack late on too.</p><p>So plenty of guys who could go in the break for sure, lots with similar chances. As I said at the start, I do think the break makes it and am going to ignore the GC men. And hopefully some of our lottery tickets below will manage to get in the break and give us some excitement and hopefully a winner.</p><p><a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=4702&book=Bet365" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><strong>0.3pts win on Fabio Felline at +5000 with Bet365</strong></a></p><a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=4702&book=Bet365" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><p><strong>0.3pts win on Jasper Stuyven at +3300 with Bet365</strong></p><p><strong>0.5pts win on Daryl Impey +4000 with Bet365</strong></p><p><strong>0.3pts win on Xandro Meurisse +10000 with Bet365</strong></p><p><strong>0.3pts win on Matej Mohoric +2000 with Bet365</strong></p><p><strong>0.3pts win on Magnus Cort at +3300 with Bet365</strong></p><p><strong>1pt win on Greg Van Avermaet at +2000 with Bet365</strong></p></a><a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=4702&book=Bet365" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><p><strong>0.25pts e/w on Ivan Garcia Cortina at +8000 with Bet365</strong></p></a></div>