So Stage 3 followed our script yesterday with a win for our recommendation Julian Alaphilippe (7/2). Now we have a more typical week 1 stage of the Tour de France with a pancake flat finish with very few technical turns to hinder the sprinting teams, and we are pretty confident of deciphering the outcome in the form of a sprinting powerhouse.
With so many teams keen for exposure and so few pure sprinting stages expect a titantic effort to bring any early breakaway back and set up a sprint finish, and rather than look too far through the market we focus on favourite for the stage Dylan Groenewegen to maintain his team’s fantastic start to the race.
With Jumbo Vistas main lead out man, Mike Teunissen, seeing off Peter Sagan and all comers for the curtain raiser in Belgium and then the team making it two from two in the team time trial it is not a stretch to assume Groenewegen and company are in top form. Only an unlucky fall stopped him claiming the win on the first stage and we predict he’ll make amends arriving into Nancy.
Although 9/4 seems skimpy on the face of it he will be half that price should a leash be kept on the breakaway. Given that stage wins in a Grand Tour are such prized commodities we are confident of that being the case. He is the purest sprinter in the field and should be well able to catapult himself into the Green jersey reckoning with a win.
Of course there are dangers with Peter Sagan looking in fine fettle and Elia Viviani trying to make up for a disappointing Giro but Groenwegen is in form, coming off the back of an impressive campaign, and was noticeably taking things easy yesterday. He can make it two from two for us in our TdF stage betting campaign.