Bastille Day and a sprint royale to celebrate as the race heads into the popular finish town of Amiens. It’s another long one at 181km and another final kilometre that tilts ever so slightly uphill.
Today was a typically boring Tour de France first-week stage as the riders trundled along way behind schedule. There were a couple flashpoints at which the race looked like it would liven up but for the most part it was a procession and only worth watching for the final 10km. The sprint trains came to the fore and when all was said and done it was Dylan Groenewegen who took the win with Sagan and Gaviria yet again on the podium. Betting wise I was very confident today but it seems I can’t hit a barn door! Both bets were let down by riders fading late on and being pipped to the line by their respective h2h. Onto tomorrow, hoping for a change in fortunes!
Stage 8 is a standard sprint stage and despite some technical final kilometres it’s likely to be a 3 up sprint between Sagan, Gaviria and Groenewegen. It’s an interesting matchup with Sagan the most gifted technically and the most consistent, Gaviria with the best team and therefore leadout, and Groenewegen who is the most powerful and fastest in a straight line. As a result of this there’s pretty poor value betting-wise on these three but this opens up the door for some longer odds on some of the other major players. Of those I can only see Kittel or Greipel having a serious chance. Both have shown glimpses so far and if in the right position will be tough to beat. Having said this I think with his win and the confidence that will have come with it Groenewegen will take his second stage on the bounce.
With all this in mind I’m going to have a small punt on Kittel to win. His speed is up there with the best and his form has looked good if inconsistent. I’ve also gone with a treble. Pasqualon to beat Impey should be a given with the consistency with which the Wanty rider is racing. Andre Greipel to beat Kristoff could be a slightly risky one but I think Kristoff has been struggling in the pure sprints and will have his eyes on the cobbles tomorrow. Finally I’ve got Kittel to beat Cavendish. Cav improved a lot today but even at his best only managed 10th. Kittel will look to bounce back tomorrow after his 110th place today.
1pt on Marcel Kittel to win at 9 (willhill)
3pts on Pasqualon tb Daryl Impey and Andre Greipel tb Alexander Kristoff and Marcel Kittel tb Mark Cavendish at 4.5 (bet365)
Thanks for reading, this post comes with a wealth warning after the poor start to the tour, always bet what you can afford. For any updates and in-plays follow me on Twitter @eachwayvelo