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06 Jul 17 07:57
Date Joined: 11 Jul 11
| Topic/replies: 5,589 | Blogger: SwingingPick's blog
The second longest stage of the Tour will likely be decided by a bunch sprint.

***** Kittel Won stage 2 into Liege when coming from a long way back with a destructive turn of speed. Then got it badly wrong on stage 4 when the short ramps stung his legs and the narrow roads prevented him from moving up to take his position. In fact, in the last 7kms of that stage was the time where he was supposed to move up and take up his position and didn't, and with about 5kms to-go he actually lost his team's train, and just would not make it back from there. Expect that QST will have gone over their failure numerous times, on the screen from the bus to the hotel and at the hotel, dissecting their roles, and learning from the experience, and making a fresh plan for here. Nothing has really changed for him, he is still the undisputed class sprinter amongst these. 3/2 at SP into 11/10. The one to beat.

*** Demare Finished 2nd to Kittel on stage 2, and won the controversial stage 4 sprint, taking Green in the process. Also, showed his versatility when finishing in 6th-place just off the back of the Sagan group in the uphill drag of stage 3, which Sagan won from Bling. He came here with very good form after winning a PCT race in Belgian over 200kms and then fully-franking that form by winning His Nationals race over a whopping 248kms. The belief and confidence gained from winning and being involved in the frame amongst the best sprinters in the world makes a legitimate second favourite. Opened at 7/4 and has drifted out to 9/4. Expect another bold showing. Go close.

** Kristoff Finally showed himself on stage 4 when he finished in 2nd-place behind Demare, and he was the one to lead out the sprint so understandible that he looked a little heavy coming to the line. Could have just found a turning point in his condition with that ride. May find conditions to his liking. 16/1 at SP into 25/1. Very good E/W value. Worthy of very close consideration.

* Bouhani Has nothing to show for his efforts in stage 2 and stage 4, which is surprising since he finished with Demare in the Nationals. His aero position requires conditons run to suit, which effectively means a tail wind and narrow roads. Unlikely to have those advanatages here. 20/1 at SP into 14/1. Can surprise. Take on trust.   

* Gorilla Only the two podiums in stage 2 and stage 4. Seemed to be missing his authority and zip in those sprints. Should have got much closer in stage 4 when Roelandts did a mammoth amount of work for him on the front and he had the best position. Looked comical when he drifted into Bouhani and visibly lost his speed when the race moved to the inside. Can quickly turn things around for himself, however he does look behind in his condition and forcing things. 5/1 at SP into 11/2. Short. Needs to lift. Wait to see.

* 1/16 Groenewegen 24yo NED rider attempting to enter top class company as a sprinter of distinction. Had the full TLJ train at the right time going for him on stage 2 and could only manage a 5th-place finish. 16/1 with no meovement. Poor value. Some claims. Take on trust.
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Report SwingingPick July 6, 2017 12:41 PM BST
Hot day out on the road with temps above 32 degrees celsius and it will only be getting hotter, making this three man breakaway an unlikely chance to hold to the finish, nevertheless the riders are:

Frederik Backaert WGG
Vergard Stake Laengen UAD
Perrig Quemeneur DEN

No wind on the finish, and what is presently on the road is not enough to cause echelons.

Might work on some of the mountain stages which still require closer scrutiny -- there's nothing happening today...
Report SwingingPick July 6, 2017 3:54 PM BST
This break have been out longer than I would've thought.
Laengen is the horsepower, he is increasing the intensity in the line and his two compatriots are responding, however it's still very unlikely that they will hold it to the finish. 34/1:36.
Report SwingingPick July 6, 2017 4:09 PM BST
Report SwingingPick July 6, 2017 4:16 PM BST
Report SwingingPick July 6, 2017 4:18 PM BST
The peloton want this -- bunch sprint!
Report SwingingPick July 6, 2017 4:26 PM BST
Haven't seen much of Laengen since he got a contract in the WT with IAM last year -- impressed by his ride in the break today. Already 28yo, but he certainly has an engine.
Report 1st time poster July 6, 2017 4:28 PM BST
another 3 stooges given the wink before racing for a few grand to give us the illusion of a competitive race,whern in reality they could have saved 5 hrs and had a 400 metre sprint and all went home
Report SwingingPick July 6, 2017 4:28 PM BST
Lol, QST were again out of position a long way back, but the wide roads have saved them today, allowing to come wide to take the front position with plenty of horsepower.
Report SwingingPick July 6, 2017 4:31 PM BST
I'm on Kittel!
Report SwingingPick July 6, 2017 4:32 PM BST
Too easy! Kitten gets it easily!
Report SwingingPick July 6, 2017 4:34 PM BST
He was head-and-shoulders above them today -- no panic -- just stalked them all and ramped-up his speed to cover them very very easily.
Report SwingingPick July 6, 2017 4:38 PM BST
Wouldn't be surprised if the Books install him as an odds-on favourite for tomorrow's stage.
Report SwingingPick July 6, 2017 4:48 PM BST
That overhead shot, showing his turn-of-speed is very impressive. It is important to note that he had acres of room out wide, which cultivated for himself.
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