Cycling Stage 17: All the way with GVA…

Stage 17 is effectively the last bona fide chance for a breakaway to enjoy success in the Tour. As the peloton heads to the town of Gap at the foot of the Alps the GC men prepare for 3 stages which will decide glory this year, leavng this last transition day as a chance to strike for those further down the ranks.

With so many still in contention for top honours do not be surprised if a sizable break is allowed escape up the road while the GC players recharge for the almighty test in store from tomorrow.

With a ramp of 5.2km preceding a fast descent to the finish it is hard to see the sprinter teams try and keep a break in check.

So a great chance for a breakaway and for some teams to salvage a win from the wreckage of the Tour. Astana will be all out to get Luis Leon Sanchez and Alexey Lutsenko involved with forlorn GC hope Jacob Fugslang out of the race.

Similarly AG2R La Mondiale will roll the dice with Tony Gallopin. However we are particuularly keen on the chances of Belgian Greg Van Avermaet to land the spoils today.

This versatile powerhouse is a renowned classics rider and this challenging profile at the end of the stage is ideal for him to attack up and race to victory.

CCC are yet to land a stage despite being active on several days and Van Avermaet acknowledged today is his big chance:

“I feel OK. The first week was good and now I’m waiting for a big chance on Wednesday as it is a good chance for a break.”

Rarely do cyclists make it so clear their intentions and having enjoyed effectively two rest days since Sunday we think he is a standout bet to be involved on Wednesday.

A host of stage hunters will work hard to get into the break – Simon Clarke and Rui Costa, but none look better suited to the challenge of today and we hope he can make it 3 stage wins at the Tour De France in a glittering career.

Recommendation:

Greg Van Avermaet to win Stage 17 , 2pts win,  20/1 generally available

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