After seeing Dylan Groenewegen disappoint earlier in the week it was no surprise to see him bounce back in telling style and take Stage 7 of an eventful tour to date. The fall on day one took a little longer to recover from than expected and we will keep our eye on the Dutch flying machine in days to come.
Stage 8 of the tour offers an altogether different test with an extremely hilly rolling terrain that looks tough enough to eliminate the sprinters but not difficult enough for the pure climbers or GC men to go for the win.
All in all it looks prime real estate for a large breakaway to go out and claim the victory. The winner will have to be a rouleur powerful enough to finish strongly after a long day of undulating plains and we are focusing on two with just that profile.
Greg Van Avermaet is in tremendous form so far in the tour and he has looked the mainstay of the progressive CCC team. 14 minutes down on General Classification he looks sure to be allowed stay away and if he can get in the lottery of the morning break he will have a veritable chance of success. Renowned for his strong performances in the Classics; Van Avermaet is no stranger to victory and his versatility on so many different profiles make him one for the head of the shortlist.
For a breakaway you never know who is feeling good and allowed go in search of a stage win but another who has claimed stage wins at the Tour and the Vuelta before is Lilian Calmejane. The Direct Energie rider has an impressive CV of victories and this stage looks ideal for the talented Frenchman. Sufficiently down on GC he would be not be seen as an immediate threat and would have a great chance should he get in the morning move.
Greg Van Avermaet to win stage 8, 1pt win, 16/1 (Betfred)
Lilian Calmejane to win stage 8, 0.5pts each way, 50/1 (Betway)
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