Stage 17 looks likely to set the narrative for the rest of this race. At just 65km it is the shortest true stage in over 30 years, short but brutal.
It starts with the historic climb of the Peyresourde, descends straight to the start of another steep category one climb, with a short descent before the cruel final climb of the Portet.
We should see action from the flag fall with contenders for overall honours likely to want to strip Sky’s twin titans Froome and Thomas of their teammates as soon as possible.
It should be a captivating fight, but with the stage so short and the battle for yellow like to rage, it is hard to see today as a breakaway stage. This should be a general classification fight to the death.
The conventional thought would be for Sky’s team lead and multiple Tour winner Chris Froome to ride into yellow today on a track that should suit ideally.
That said we have had two out-and-out GC mountain battles so far and yellow jersey wearer Geraint Thomas has collected both stage wins with aplomb.
Thomas has typically faded late on in big tours of the past, but he looks in the form of his life, has never ridden without pacesetting duties before, and should have great support from the team.
Thomas looks the value option.
Of the pure climbers, Roglic and Landa look in the best form and may feature, but this looks set for Sky.
Recommendation: To Win Stage 17 of the Tour De France, G Thomas, 1pt win, 9/2 generally available
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