So we come to the last major stage of the 2017 Tour with plenty up for grabs. No team has come close to cracking the Sky juggernaut and Chris Froome still holds on to his slender lead despite looking far from invincible.
The daunting 18th stage concludes with the Izoard climb where several memorable Tour De France moments have ensured its place in the race’s history atop of 2,360 metres.
Will we have such an occasion on Thursday? And if so who will be the one to claim a famous victory?
With several of the top riders still in with a chance of Podium the valuable bonus seconds on offer for the winner and the fact it follows on from a truly testing day where many stage hunters rolled the dice, we foresee a classic General Classification battle.
There is always the chance of a breakaway in cycling, and it may suit Team Sky to let a break loose to mop up those bonuses, in which case Lilian Calmejane is worth an honorable mention at a whopping 150/1 having claimed a stage already and rested up with a quiet first day in the Alps.
Movistar have had a tour to forget and with Nairo Quintana struggling to get home they may go all guns blazing to try and steal a stage. The enigmatic Carlos Betancur could be the man to achieve this if given licence to get up the road.
However the focus is sure to be the GC gunfight on the final climb of 2017. Romain Bardet has been dynamic and attacking, as has Dan Martin, both tried on several occasions to test the Sky resolve but have very little to show for their efforts. Fabio Aru looked on the limit on Wednesday and it is hard to see him arrest that overnight.
That leaves a potential shootout between Chris Froome and former team mate Rigoberto Uran going toe to toe come the business end of the 180km grind.
And given the Colombian has yet to falter and indeed has almost arrived in second place unnoticed we believe he can take this stage and put himself in the firing line for a time trial shootout on Saturday.
Recommendations: To win Stage 18,
Rigoberto Uran, 2pts win, 6/1 William Hill
Lilian Calmejane, 0.5pts each way, 150/1 Paddy Power
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