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01 Jul 17 19:27
Date Joined: 11 Jul 11
| Topic/replies: 5,589 | Blogger: SwingingPick's blog
Belgium has hosted Tour stages some 77 times, with Liege becoming a stage city for the 11th time this year. No Belgian rider has won a stage of the four Belgian stages in the 2004 Tour, nor the three in the 2012 Tour. In fact, no Belgian rider has won a Belgian stage in the additional five stages (if you count the four in 2006 Giro and one in 2009 Vuelta) of GT races which hosted Belgian stage/s. Belgian riders just don't win stages in Belgium when the race is a GT race.

The cat.4 climb coming some 20kms from the finish is 1.3kms long at an average gradient of 4.7%, which should pose no great problem for the sprinters teams looking to catch the long-range breakaway or control some short-range escape artists. The tail cross wind forecast might help the break, but we know how greedy the sprinters teams are for GT stage prizes, so expecting them to hammer it along on the front in a unified show for a bunch sprint scenario.

The one bank which continually lets me down is the sprint bank, so will only include interest stake amount for sprint stages this Tour, unless something obvious stands out.

Kittel, the big stage performer is the default favourite here -- who is convinced he deserves it? There might be some value about on his main rivals.
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Report padlock July 2, 2017 8:37 AM BST
Hi, yes jolly looks v short,better weather today
Report padlock July 2, 2017 8:55 AM BST
D.Groenewegen and Greipel backed here today
Report SwingingPick July 2, 2017 9:59 AM BST
8 wins for Demare this season, including his last start win in the Nationals over a whopping 248kms, where whilst he got good delivery, he nevertheless went from a long way out, and Bouhani had the aero sit on him and didn't make-up any ground at all. Demare is probably still beneath the full-flight class of a few of these, however sometimes confidence and positioning can play a bigger factor, so am looking to get matched with him in the high 9s and 10s on here as he is already 11/2 with the Books.

Not laying anyone, but Greipel is not in form. Groenewagen needs to lift. The Manx Missile usually likes to pop-up out of nowhere on the big stage of France, but his form is so poor he would need to grow another leg. Kristoff is out of form, also. Taking this into account, it looks like on paper it might be Kittel/Demare and maybe Sagan. Happy to take Demare for some interest.

Good luck to all,
Report Cauthenmeister July 2, 2017 11:11 AM BST
I would have expected GVA, Gilbert or Wellens to try something to change those stats. However, looking at the next two stages I just can't see where it could happen. Stage 4 looks a better bet but we are back in France by then.
Report Cauthenmeister July 2, 2017 12:12 PM BST
Turbo Durbo abandons.
Report SwingingPick July 2, 2017 12:32 PM BST
De Gendt slotting into the mixed-line on the front for Greipel's intention, is also testing his condition for tomorrow's long-range breakaway. With such an early climb, two in the middle and those two at the end including double points at the finish, we should get a chance to see who will be involved in the KOM competition, and De Gendt is essentially confirming his intentions to DS that indeed his condition is ready for the KOM assault.
Report SwingingPick July 2, 2017 3:22 PM BST
It's dry at the finish and is forecast to remain so -- expecting a fast bunch sprint.
Report monarch July 2, 2017 4:09 PM BST
Great finish. Actually great stage. Couldnt decide between Groenewegen and Kittel for a bet and ended up picking DylanCry
Report SwingingPick July 2, 2017 4:15 PM BST
Very exciting finish. Some weird prices coming through late, the "whale" sticking up the big money for Kittel was behaving like a scared little desperate girl. Lol.

Pity about Demare, very close 2nd-place finish, congrats to anyone who had Kittel, and there was some good money being offered for him very late. Think the "whale" thought the two leaders were going to make it, but the peloton always motors so hard in the final couple of kms, and admittedly the timing was wrong for their break, you could tell as it was quite visible, the gap -- but was confident on a bunch sprint!
Report SwingingPick July 2, 2017 4:22 PM BST
Just looking over the flying finish, Kittel was pretty lucky there, created his own luck, going freelance and taking stranger wheels. Shows he is in good form, which was confirmation after his strong TT ride yesterday. I expect a much lower SP price for him for stage 4. Today showed there is value to be found late if you have the nerve for it, though.
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