Stage 7 produced action early on as Bora went on the offensive in an effort to give Peter Sagan the chance to win the stage by dropping the sprinters early in the stage.
The latter part of the plan worked but Sagan looked leggy and was unable to finish in the top 10 leaving the battle for the Green Jersey wide open.
The Tour moves into the Pyrenees with a challenging Stage 8 in store. Although only 140km in length there will be attacks and action on the 3 major climbs.
With the stage finishing with a dramatic descent it is tailor made for a breakaway group to go up the road and fight it out. The fight for the yellow jersey is likely to be cagey enough as all the riders experience the high mountains for the first time, and that may allow the break to last to the finish.
The usual protagonists come to mind with Thomas DeGendt, Alessandro DeMarchi and prior stage winner Alexey Lutsenko all sure to try get up the road.
Another we considered was Luis Leon Sanchez and Dani Martinez could also be dangerous, but we settled on the enigmatic Ilnur Zakarin to take the victory.
Zakarin has lost sufficient time to be allowed up the road and he is a superb climber with a powerful engine. There’s no question if he gets in the breakaway he’ll go close as the Tour looks to ramp up the GC action.
With some of the main GC Men caught in the crosswind echelons yesterday there are sure to be moves today. Our ante post pick Tadej Pogocar is sure to be active in a bid to reclaim some time but we think this will happen down the road with a break competing for the Stage win.
Ilnur Zakarin to win Stage 8 of TdF, 1pt each way, 33/1
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