Le Tour Vol 2


 

For anyone that read my e-mail last week, you will know that you should not rely on me for betting tips! Below, we've taken a light hearted approach to rounding up all the action from the Tour's first week and a look ahead to the stages on Saturday and Sunday:

By Chris Smith

Monday 30th July 2018

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The weeks excitement has mostly been caused by crashes, mechanicals and the odd bit of brilliance from Sagan and Dan Martin.

Stage 1: Chaos. Crashes and punctures put large holes in the General Classification (GC) standings on a day that was meant to be easy for the GC contenders. Lawson Cradock hit the deck, and showed he is twice as hard as any footballer, and is now riding with a broken shoulder blade. Gavaria showed he is the man to beat in the sprints.

Stage 2: Less Chaos. A French man, old enough to be the Dad of half the peloton spent most of the day off the front, creating great hope for a French win, but he was swept up with 20km to go. A crash for Luis Leon Sanchez put him out of the race and a crash just 2km from the finish held up most the field and led to a much reduced bunch sprint, which Sagan bossed.

Stage 3: Time regained and Time Lost. Team Sky lined up for the Team Time Trial in yet another skin suit that was meant to be slipperier than an eel through oil. The top 5 teams were all only separated by 11 seconds with BMC coming out on top. The battle for GC also reshuffled again with Froome and Dumoulin the big winners.

Stage 4: Another 'easy' sprint stage. Or atleast it was, unless you were part of the four man break that were working very hard, almost making it to the end, or Tiesj Benoot who dislocated his shoulder. So not that easy! Fernando Gaviria, aka Gav, won (again), and not Cav. Sagan added to his amazing stats of finishing in the top 3 in 38 out of 100 stages he's started in the Tour de France!

Stage 5: Hills, turns, and twists. The stage that was meant to potentially throw up lots of challenges and time gaps in GC didn't. No real crashes or surprises and Sagan won again, making him look an almost certainty for the Green Jersey.

Stage 6: Steeper Hills and the Alpe D'Huez of Brittany, not once but twice. Like yesterday the break was formed early with doomed Frenchman from French teams. Dan Martin had read the text book the night before and showed everyone else how to win a bike race with a very impressive and classy ride.

Stage 7: Going Long. The longest stage of this years Tour de France to Chartres at 231km. Incase you read this before the highlights, I won't ruin it for you! But, I have a feeling it will be another sprint.

To come this weekend before the rest day on Monday:

Stage 8: Should be another stage for the Sprinters with only a few small Cat 4 hills. it's hard to look past Gavaria for the stage win and Sagan to finish in the top 3!

Stage 9: Cobbles Cobbles Cobbles.  It's hard to make any prediction, other than the cobbles will make it unpredictable! Sagan, Bosan Hagen, or Van Avermart would be our vote for the win. Expect atleast one major GC shake up too, and tears before Roubaix for atleast one team.  

 

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