After an explosive day on the slopes of the Tourmalet, its time for the final day of the pelotons’ travails in the Pyrenees.
Yesterday’s stage itself played out exactly as we predicted with the GC protagonists coming to the fore, we jumped the wrong way with Quintana and it was our other GC pick Thibaut Pinot who went and produced a remarkable performance that puts him right back in the hunt.
Todays stage gives little respite though with 4 categorized climbs and three category 1’s in quick succession. After such an eventful action packed day there is an excellent chance for the breakaway to stay away today with the GC fight perhaps limited to the final climb today.
This gives stage hunters a real opportunity so the question is who will get licence to go up the road. There are several GC contenders now realistically out of the equation which will leave their climbing lieutenants and domestiques as the best option of success.
Jack Haig falls into this category as does Tanel Kangert and both are very strong contenders who need serious consideration. However, at the prices, we like the chances of Astana’s Omar Fraile to go close should he get into the break.
The Spaniard is a supreme climber and will relish the chance to attack on one of the most renowned stages. His ability to go over long distance climbs is unquestioned with a KoM win in the Vuelta and stage wins from Tour and Giro already on an impressive CV.
Another team with their GC plans in tatters is AG2R La Mondiale with Romain Bardet blowing up in spectacular fashion. The salvage mission starts today and Alexis Vuillermoz is well placed to try and secure a victory. Another who is no stranger to what it takes to win on the tour and the Frenchman is sure to be given free rein given Bardet’s capitulation, and seems to have been missed by the bookies as he is a monster price.
A day of constant climbing after the test of the Tourmalet is sure to yield significant time gaps in the GC but it should be a day of two races with the breakaway given a big lead which will hopefully prove insurmountable.
Omar Fraille to win Stage 15, 0.5pts each way, 66/1 generally available.
Alexis Vuillermoz to win Stage 15, 0.5pts each way, 200/1 (Bet365)
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