Wed, Jul 19, 11:02am by Senior Writer
Chris Froome’s bid for a fourth Tour de France will likely be determined by the two days in the Alps, starting Wednesday’s 17th stage from La Mure to Serre Chavalier.
Froome holds the yellow jersey by 18 seconds from Italian Fabio Aru, with Romain Bardet (+23) and Rigoberto Uran (+29) all within striking distance.
Stage 17 is simply brutal, featuring two hors categorie climbs up the Col de la Crois de Fer and then the mammoth Col de Galibier with a 17.km long climb at 6.9% as well as a category 1 and category 2 climbs. It finishes with a 28km descent into Serre Chavalier.
One of the more intriguing markets ahead of this stage is the head-to-head markets between various riders. Bardet is $1.68 favourite to beat Aru ($2.10) and given his stronger form over the past week, is probably a good bet.
Quintana may be the value there given he is six minutes from the leaders in tenth place and is no real threat to the yellow jersey. Should he attack on the Col de Galibier, the pack would probably be happy to let him go.
What’s best is that you can multi up the heads to heads. Combining the above bets to take Froome over Uran, Bardet over Aru and Quintana over Contador gets you a decent multi of $6.18.
The following stage features a 179.5km trek from Briancon to Izoard which is the final mountain stage. The major mountain comes at the very end, with a 14.1km climb at 7.3% of the Col d’Izoard, which is another HC with much of the final 7km at greater than 9%.
It will be a final substantial test for Froome ahead of Saturday’s individual time trial, which is only 22.5km long, so is unlikely to be decisive in terms of the yellow jersey.
The tour concludes on Sunday with the traditional ride into Paris and down the Champs-Elysees.
Aussie Michael Matthews, who won his second stage of the Tour on Tuesday, will be in the thick of the action in the finish there as he looks to steal the green jersey from Marcel Kittel’s back. Kittel, who is 29 points clear of the Australian, is $1.56 favourite to win the green jersey, with Matthews at $2.35.
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