Stage 7: Troyes – Nuits-Saint-Georges
213.5km – Suited to Bunch Sprint
It was another win for Wolf followers as the best bet, Marcel Kittel, won in impressive style, flying past all his rivals in the last 200m of the sprint finish on stage 6. With 250m to go Kittel’s chances looked gone as he was way down in the field but the speed that he showed to simply ride past the field was something to behold. Demare & Greipel rounded out the peloton but they’ll be wondering how they are going to beat Kittel in the rest of the sprint stages of this years Tour. As has happened on previous stages, Kittel’s lead out was again poor but he is obviously in top condition and backed himself to have the top speed to simply put his rivals to the sword. It has ominous signs for the rest of the race, beginning tomorrow. As a side note, Kittel can still be backed at $2.50 for the Green Jersey. If his continues his form, he’ll soon catch Demare and it looks to a be a great bet considering he was $3.75 prior to the race and that was when Sagan was in the field.
Another transitional stage which on paper looks to be tailor made for a Kittel win given his form. As was the case yesterday, there is barely anything to write home about on the route with only one CAT 4 climb, 70km from the finish. This will not trouble any of the sprinters and even if it did, there are still 70km to the finish so plenty of time to catch the peloton. It has to be one of the dullest stages in the whole race. Could a breakaway succeed; unlikely. The sprint teams of FDJ & Quick Step will be doing everything in their power to haul the breakaway group in as this is the last chance for a bunch sprint finish for a number of days. It’s a shame because The Wolf is itching for a breakaway stage to come along. As for the finish, well it’s pan flat and it’s dead straight. This should lead to the most organised sprint battle of the race and given the strength of both Kittel & Demare’s lead out trains, it will be a straight battle between the two.
Marcel Kittel – $1.75
The German rewarded Wolf followers last night with a dominant win on Stage 6 and The Wolf can’t see any reason why he shouldn’t be celebrating his 3rd win of the race on Stage 7. He is clearly faster on the flat than all of his rivals and this stage suits his style more than any other stage that has been raced up to this point. It is a testament to his form that he’s now won 2 stages without the aid of his lead out train. Once they sort themselves out, he’ll be winning by more than a bike length. The Wolf doesn’t like backing cyclists at odds on but this looks as nailed on as you could possibly get.
Arnaud Demare – $4.00
Another runner-up finish for the French champion, Demare just doesn’t have enough straight line top speed to beat Kittel at the moment. If his lead out train can control the final moments to the detriment of Quick Step then he might stand a chance but it looks unlikely. $1.75 for the podium looks to be a great bet.
Sonny Colbrelli – $51.00
Colbrelli has been a tad disappointing in this years Tour with only a 6th place finish on Stage 2 to write home about. He was unlucky last night, losing his position in the field after a shunt on the last turn heading into the final sprint. The straight finish looks good for him and if he can surf the wheels of FDJ & Quick-Step he might be able to surprise the main players at double digit odds.