Close, so close to a 125/1 winner but it was not enough.
Dan Martin launched a brutally strong attack with roughly 1km to go and no one was able to catch him up, the Irishman learning from leaving it too late in 2015.
Latour was a little blocked in when Martin attacked and he couldn’t chase straight away. He then leapt out of the peloton with around 650m to go and lived up to his “The Grinder” nickname given too him by Carlton Kirby, slowly closing in Martin. Unfortunately for him (and us) it was not enough, finishing a second behind him in the end. Valverde easily won the sprint for third place a further two seconds behind. The results on the day mean that Van Avermaet is still in Yellow for another stage.
Interestingly there were some minor GC gaps but the major losers on the day were Bardet (+31) and Dumoulin (+53), who both pretty much lost time due to mechanicals and the effort to chase back on, although the latter got a 20 second penalty for excessive drafting of his team car. With plenty of racing still left though it isn’t disastrous but it is less than ideal.
After not having a chance the past couple of days, tomorrow should be one for the purer sprinters in the peloton. Let’s have a look at what is in store for them.
A long day in the saddle with 231km awaiting the riders, a classic transitional stage if I do say so.
Nothing really to talk about here, just tune in for the last 10kms.
There are a few roundabouts to deal with in the closing 10 kilometres but the road is wide so we *shouldn’t* see any issues, hopefully. The big fight will be for the turn at just under 2km to go where the riders will have to tackle quite a sharp right as they navigate a windy bit of road.
The last 1.8km is like a half-pipe, with what will be a very fast descent leading into a ramp on the other side (600m at 4%), before things flatten out for the final 150m.
How much speed will the carry onto the rise, and how much will it take out of the sprinters? Those are the key questions for tomorrow – neither of which I know the answer to.
I was looking out for some strong winds out on the route but that doesn’t look too likely. The wind is coming from the north later on in the day so teams will still have to be attentive for potential splits. As we all know, the weather forecast can change in an instant and a 25km/h wind could cause some echelons, not the 15km/h that is currently predicted. Here’s hoping!
Gaviria vs Sagan
The riders have both taken home two stage wins so far in this race and they will once again battle it out tomorrow.
Gaviria has the advantage of having the best lead-out train in the race and both of his stage wins have come from being left in the perfect position. It should be a similar story in that respect but the finish makes it more difficult for him. He can climb well for a sprinter and has shown an explosive kick on drags to the line before, but he isn’t the World Champion. Both of Sagan’s wins have came on uphill finishes and the 600m at 4% will be music to his ears. This is the Tour and he is super strong in these types of efforts.
Groenewegen looked strong on the stage 4 finish but he was trapped in many boxes. The uphill finish might not be great for him tomorrow, however, a good result is needed soon.
Démare on form should be there competing for the win, he just needs a bit more luck. Greipel will be knocking on the door of the podium, as will Colbrelli who has really shown himself on these efforts in the race so far.
The riders will take the first 200m of the rise at speed but the final 400m will tire everyone out. This is a perfect finish for the World Champion.
2pts WIN Sagan at 7/2 with Bet365. Possibly get better odds on the exchange or elsewhere later.
Thanks as always for reading! Who do you think will win tomorrow? Anyway,
Those were My Two Spokes Worth.