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SwingingPick
12 Jul 13 07:33
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Date Joined: 11 Jul 11
| Topic/replies: 5,589 | Blogger: SwingingPick's blog
The last of the pure sprinters' stages before Paris, and I've had a close look at that ramp through Bruere Allichamps, which looks like a steep bump on the stage profile. It isn't much of a climb, more a ramp, but for the right rider it could be an enticing launching pad for a late breakaway. Someone like hard-as-nails Dutchman Lars Boom, or never-surrender Flecha come to mind. However, I think it'll be a day for the sprinters' and given the fact that Sagan didn't lose by much over a completely flat finish yesterday, today's very slight incline to the finish line should serve him that marginally better. An overnight lay of Cavendish at 2/1, has allowed me to trade out for enough of a profit to pay for Sagan, but I am tempted to lay Cavendish again on account of him working hard in the last 4kms and looking decidedly flat to the line, yesterday. He had Steegmans as lead-out, was in the right position, and still couldn't win; plus there's some reported bitterness in the team, and the early cat 4 might sting his legs a little.

In summary; for me it's Sagan to win, a possible lay of an out-of-sorts Cavendish, and Lars Boom at 250/1 is worthy of a small bet on a rider who won't have the (still sometimes persistent) 200km monkey on his back, and has proven he's up for getting into a break and working hard. 

Good luck to all,
SP
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Report ClayDavis July 12, 2013 9:41 AM BST
Sagan seems a bit content with coming 3rd at the moment - this is a huge price for Cavendish in a sprint Stage. I wouldn't want to be a layer to be honest. He was going off at 1.8 for similar stages earlier in the race. Too much risk today. He normally wins Stages like this
Report kellydamo July 12, 2013 9:54 AM BST
Gone for Greipel in this and will back in running
Report ClayDavis July 12, 2013 10:01 AM BST
And I was also worried about Sagan's comments about the main thing is not to crash for him. And how he had Cav's wheel yesterday but lost it for fear of coming down. And he said that as long as he has the Green jersey it's all the matters to him
Report SwingingPick July 12, 2013 10:23 AM BST
I didn't read it like that, Clay. Sagan was frustrated that he didn't win because he thought he was on the right wheel, which was Cavendish. Then inferred that the ITT took something out of him the previous day, because it was a "big challenge" for him. Yes, his primary goal is Green, but he's still going for stages, he says; "I still will be aiming to win the stage tomorrow". And after Kittel's dominance, he is the most exciting prospect over a stage finish slightly favoured toward him. SP.
Report Flying_V July 12, 2013 11:49 AM BST
Have come to similar conclusions & picks.

Think Cannondale might up the pace on the bump 10 km from home....just to see if they can shake Cav, Kittel & Greipel.

Argos would be happy if Degenkolb could follow. They have a 1-2 punch after all.

So have also taken long-odds on Degenkolb and...[for the third..but not final time]...Boom...although he may well be saving himself for tomorrow's break-fest
Report bb66 July 12, 2013 2:21 PM BST
unexpected elimination of Kittel in the wind, will we see expected elimination of Cav on the last bump?
Report ClayDavis July 12, 2013 3:32 PM BST
Does anyone know if Quintana was ordered back to help Valverde or is he still in the Peloton?
Report OnTheChase July 12, 2013 3:37 PM BST
He didn't go back.  In peleton, I think.
Report SPYKES July 12, 2013 3:46 PM BST
How comes Valverde odds have plummeted? Not watching although, the news is well received :-)
Report ClayDavis July 12, 2013 3:47 PM BST
This is the problem and it's really p!ssing me off. Saxo have caused the split, have Froome in all sorts of trouble with hardly any team mates about him and yet other teams are chasing down the Saxo group. Unbelievable. If they had sat back and said to Froome and Sky "it's your job boys" then Froome would be in deep, deep trouble
Report geoff m July 12, 2013 4:11 PM BST
What a cracking bike stage .Brilliant stuff
Report Flying_V July 12, 2013 4:14 PM BST
great stage. proper racing.
congrats to "Bank of Cav" backers.
had loads of value for my plays..but Sagan probably happy with bridesmaid duties.
Report Reezy July 12, 2013 4:15 PM BST
Yea no idea what AG2R were doing there. Remember last week when no one was helping Canondale when they did a 150km lead out for Sagan?
lol
Report ClayDavis July 12, 2013 4:18 PM BST
How much time, serious question, would Froome have lost today if the other teams had refused to help Sky in their chase?
Report Dope July 12, 2013 4:20 PM BST
Wow, what a stage.

Did I say it was going to be a boring one? oops!
Report SwingingPick July 12, 2013 5:16 PM BST
Cannot really complain, at least Sagan was there in the finish and made a race of it. Thrilling stage.

My apologies if I gave anyone a bum steer -- I was a bit busy last night, so didn't really unpack the wind conditions information, otherwise I might have predicted the possibility of echelon riding and the Belgian and Dutch teams coming into their own. 

Cheers,
SP
Report ClayDavis July 12, 2013 7:48 PM BST
I have just watched a replay of Saxo's break from the Peloton....Froome was just behind Mark Cavendish at the time but got left for dead and Cav manged to get in the breakaway. This is a guy that almost beat Tony Martin on a flat TT ffs!!!!
Report bb66 July 12, 2013 8:23 PM BST
I'd expected Froome to ride in TT mode for about the last 5k to limit the loss, can't imagine it would have hurt too much for the following stages.
Report Tavaris Jackson July 12, 2013 9:46 PM BST
Really disgusting performance by Belkin today, left a sour taste in the mouth.
Report bb66 July 12, 2013 11:13 PM BST
can't agree, they have already worked before Valverde's puncture
Report Tavaris Jackson July 13, 2013 12:26 AM BST
I don't dispute that, they did a little. But to attack a GC rider after an accident in a feed zone is completely out of order. They could have let OPQS and Lotto ride on the front for a couple of k's rather than sending 7 guys to the front immediately when they heard Valverde was off the back. 

I hope Mollema has a puncture in the Alps and Movistar can repay the compliment.
Report sc1883 July 13, 2013 8:05 AM BST
Valverde been unsportsmanlike numerous times in the past so don't have any sympathy for him whatsoever, what goes around comes around!
Report red and white July 13, 2013 11:59 AM BST
You can't blame Belkin in those race conditions. They knew OPQ would keep the hammer down and carried on helping them. Feel really sorry for Valverde though. Brilliant interview with Cavendish who gave a vivid insight into how hard it is to get back once a team has made a split with a side wind. Sure enough watching the replay he was flat out to pull them in. Froome was with him to begin with but blew up before making the catch. A fantastic stage.
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