After three gruelling days in the Pyrenees the Tour de France gives riders a welcome break in the far more gentle slopes of the Dordogne for the penultimate flat stage.
Not that these highly-tuned athletes will be indulging in some of the best wines that France has to offer as the emphasis shifts back to the sprinters, revving up for their second to last blast and a chance at a prestigious stage victory.
All credit to Norwegian rider Alexander Kristoff – the joint 9/2 favourite for Stage 19 – who broke away in treacherous conditions to win Stage 15 and was gritty enough to outpace the rest in searing heat back in Stage 12.
However, expect the quicker guys to come back to the fore here as the conditions and layout will be far less akin to surprises than in those last two recognised flat stages in which Kristoff maximised his pace.
Although fellow 9/2-shot Marcel Kittel has not featured prominently since winning three of the opening four stages of Le Tour, the German sprint king’s flat-out speed should stand him in great stead here.
Alongside the Giant-Shimano rider, veteran of 11 Stage wins on Grand Tours, Andre Greipel (13/2) is bound to be Kittel’s fiercest competition in the pelaton as the stage nears its conclusion.
Greipel already profited from a puncture to Kittel’s bike when out-sprinting Kristoff and Ag2r La Mondiale racer Samuel Dumolin to claim Stage Six.
It could well come down to a sprint duel between the two German riders, when the 130 mile Stage finishes in Bergerac.
Other than these behemoths of the sprint finish, a rider with with decent odds is the proud wearer of a third straight Green jersey, Peter Sagan at 5/1.
Although the Slovakian has once again sewn up the points classifictaion the one thing missing of his resume is stage win to go wwith it.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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