Tour de France Stage 2: 183km, Saint-Lô to Cherbourg-En-Cotentin

Saturday, July 2, 2016 11:59 PM GMT

Sprinters head to the west coast, where stage 2 awaits them. Read more betting insight on how to place your cycling picks according to our expert predictions. 

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Tour de France Stage 2 - Saint-Lô to Cherbourg-En-Cotentin, 183km
The sprinters might have had their fun on stage 1, but it's unlikely that we will see them involved in this finish, with an uphill pull for the last 3kms, that includes the Cat 3 climb of the Cote de la Glacerie and a final pull to the line at 5.7% for 700m.

 

The Route
After leaving Saint Lo they arc their way towards the west coast of the Manche, cresting three Cat 4 bumps in the first 50kms before coming down to the sea at Lessay. With 3kms to go they first scale the Cote de la Glaciere, a 1.9km drag that comes in off the coast, it averages 6.5%, so it's probably where we will say goodbye to the sprinters, especially the less punchy guys like Marcel Kittel. With barely 500m of flat at the top, they go straight on to the final rise to the line, a 700m rise at 5.7%. 

 

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Preview
The last 3kms are going to be wild, there are going to be so many teams and riders trying to pack into the front of the race and get through the town safely and in a prime position to attack the last climb.

Paddy Power was out early on Friday night with their betting odds for this stage and had made Julian Alaphilippe their 5/1 favourite. Ok, Alaphilippe is in great form this year and many people fancy him to have a great race, but 5/1? That's way too short to me. He should be right up there, though, he can handle the Glaciere without a problem I think and will be involved in the uphill sprint to the finish. But if there are some of the sprinter types there at the finish, he could be beaten. 

Peter Sagan has to have a big chance tomorrow, he looked so good today, sprinting in the wind for a long time and still taking 3rd. He will love this tricky, technical finish and you can be sure he'll be in a good position coming to the final hill, so will be in prime position hitting the last 500m.

It might depend though on how sore Contador is after his crash today, the team might be asked to rally around him and look after him, Sagan might have to fight it alone. Even on his own, though, it looks like a great opportunity to finally break his drought. As I mentioned above, this finish is like the finish in Le Havre where he 'won' the group sprint, as long as no one has gone up the road again he has a big chance. 

At first, glance, when the prices came out I thought that the 33/1 on Dan Martin was way too big and mentioned it on Twitter around lunchtime.With a finishing slope that is the exact same gradient more or less as the finish to Liege Bastogne Liege (1.5kms at 5.6%) then he has to have a chance you'd think, he's a master of that finish. It doesn't look anything like as steep as the LBL hill though on Google maps, but if it is, watch out for Martin. 

Greg Van Avermaet likes an uphill finish like this too, as Sagan knows - he outsprinted the World Champ in Rodez last year on an uphill finish (was far steeper than this, though, and also in Tirreno-Adriatico and in the Omloop. He will be right up there you'd think on the first hill and if near the front hitting 300m to go will have a chance in the sprint. He hasn't won since the 14th March though so I'm a little reluctant to back him at just 12/1 now, he was 25/1 this morning, that was just about acceptable. 

One that I really like for tomorrow though is Bryan Coquard - that day in Le Havre, on the tough, uphill finish, Coquard was '2nd' behind Sagan. He came late today in the sprint and finished 7th, but there was nothing between him and 2nd place really. He weighs only 60kgs and climbs fantastically well for a sprinter over short, punchy climbs like this, and if he can be in the mix hitting the home straight he'll have to have a chance of pulling off the win. If he wins, with Sagan outside the top 3, he takes the yellow jersey. 

Michael Matthews is another of course who be involved here, this is his speciality, uphill sprints after a tough finale that shakes out the likes of Kittel and Cav. I think though if they are there, Coquard and Sagan will outsprint him in his current form.

Alex Vuillermoz might like the first part of this climb on the Glaciere, and might try an attack there, but I don't think he'd win a sprint if it comes to it. His little team-mate Sam Dumoulin might be involved, though, he is good at uphill sprint finishes too. 

Tom DumoulinJesus Herrada, Daniel Moreno, Joaquim Rodriguez, Fabian Cancellara, JarlinsonPantano - all could be involved in the sprint if it comes to it. 

I like Coquardtomorrow, he’s worth an each-way Sports Pick at 25/1. Peter Sagan looks the obvious choice, though, I think he's worth a saver. Dan Martin at 22/1 is one to have a bit off too, as this finish should suit him so well. So hard to narrow it down, though, as Valverde, Alaphilippe, Van Avermaet and Matthews could all be involved as well. It's sure to be a fantastic finish, though. 

 

Recommendations:
1pt win on Peter Sagan at 4/1 on Betfair
0.5pts each way on Bryan Coquard at 25/1 with Top Rated Sportsbooks
0.5pts each way on Dan Martin at 22/1 with Top Rated Sportsbooks

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