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Tour de France 2019: Stage 7: Groenewegen on the up

Tour de France 2019: Stage 7: Groenewegen on the up

What’s the stage like?

Unusually for this Tour, straightforward. Although the longest in this year’s race at 230km, and a little lumpy in the early stages, with three categorised climbs, they aren’t especially consequential ones, and the last 100km is a gentle descent into the finish at Chalon-sur-Saone.

That finish seems straightforward, too. It’s flat, and whilst there are a couple of sharp corners at around 2km to go, they should be far enough out to mean the main contenders can navigate them without being disadvantaged in what will almost certainly be a sprinter’s stage.

Who are the favourites?

After his win on Stage 4, Elia Viviani is prominent in most lists at around the [2.90] mark, about the same odds as co-favourite, Dylan Groenewegen. The pair are certainly hard to separate. Groenewegen has undoubtedly had the upper hand this season, but his crash earlier in this Tour, and some poor tactical choices, meant he couldn’t get to Viviani on Stage 4. Viviani, meanwhile, has shown that the form he began to hint at the Tour de Suisse is now fully evident.

If forced to pick one or the other, Groenewegen would be the call at those prices: he’s on the up again and better support from his team on Stage 7 can see him getting the upper hand on Viviani. Whether the odds are value or not is another matter.

Who are the most likely outsiders?

It’s easy to get drawn to the winner of sprint stages and believe the win represents their dominance. Most often, though, a win is a result of miniscule margins of circumstance, that could just as easily have evolved in different ways, providing different winners. It’s worth remembering, then, that Peter Sagan ([8.00]) and Caleb Ewan ([6.50]) have both been omnipresent in sprint finishes so far in this year’s Tour and could easily win this next one with things going their way.

On similar grounds, Alexander Kristoff ([13.00]) and Giacomo Nizzolo ([28.00]) are available at big odds, but then both riders have a career history of being placed in sprints without winning many. Perhaps a small interest in Groenewegen is the best call after all.

What effect will the stage have on the overall markets?

After the explosive Yellow Jersey action on Stage 6, it’s a day that the main contenders for overall race glory will be hoping is quiet: a chance to bury themselves in the peloton and let the sprint teams do the work.

*Odds correct at the time of writing

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