And so the final mountain stage of the Tour de France unravelled for us much like the legendary Two Ronnies mastermind sketch as we continued to correctly answer the question before last.
That’s unlikely to continue today as the contours revert to a relatively flat stage and a chance for a bunch finish. At this stage of the Tour fatigue sets in and it’s not impossible for a break to hold off a tired peleton, but by far the more likely outcome is that the big sprint teams summon up enough energy to control what is effectively the last collective competitive day in the saddle with just a time trial and the mostly ceremonial roll into Paris to come.
The usual big sprint suspects, Caleb Ewan, Sam Bennett and Peter Sagan can be fancied as can now some of the strong men who may be better able to handle the post Alpine fatigue such as Wout Van Aert, Matteo Trentin and Sonny Colbrelli.
Sagan has looked cooked to us, whilst we suspect Ewan will have his eyes firmly on another Champs Elysees victory. That should make Bennett the most likely of the sprint big guns. He is protecting the Green jersey, that will probably mean contesting the interim sprint and possibly a degree of caution in a potentially dangerous finish, the simple truth is he doesn’t need to win today as long as he marks his danger men.
With Colbrelli not yet having contested a sprint, we look more to Trentin and Van Aert. Trentin has to win if he is to make a late charge for the Green jersey whilst Van Aert has repeatedly shown his phenomenal strength in this tour and could be let off the team duties leash again here.
Van Aert has the least distractions, and although not the purest sprinter, he is unbelievably strong and may just beast this.
The chance of a successful break is remote but not impossible. Alessandro de Marchi has had a very quiet tour as has his CCC team and one or both of himself and teammate Greg Van Avaermat may get active early and could be a fun each way option.
Wout Van Aert to win Stage 19, 1pt win, 5/1
A de Marchi to win Stage 19, 0.5pts each way, 300/1
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