After two stages for the sprinters the Tour de France moves onto the cobbles in a stage that is set to suit the one-day classic specialists but test the mettle of the General Classification riders and their teams.
Stage 5 sees the peloton travel 155km from Ypres to Arenberg Porte du Hainaut with the riders encountering nine famous cobbled sectors or road for the first time since 2010.
The cobbled sections all feature in the Paris-Roubaix one-day classic it’s difficult to look past Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara being in contention for the win on day five of the world’s biggest bike cycling race.
The Trek Factory Racing rider is considered one of the best one-day classic riders in the world and already has seven wins to his name, including three Paris-Roubaix victories on the cobbles.
The man who has claimed eight individual Tour de France stage wins is the 5/2 favourite with Ladbrokes but he is set to face competition from Omega Pharma-Quick Step star Niki Terpstra.
The Dutchman, who is 16/1 to win Stage 5, won this year’s Paris-Roubaix classic and after teammate Mark Cavendish crashed out of this year’s race on the opening day of the Tour, he could be allowed to challenge for another win.
Orica-GreenEDGE rider Matthew Hayman (66/1) could come into contention with Heinrich Haussler (50/1) of IAM another man who could shine. Both could be excellent each way selections on Stage 5.
It promises also to be a interesting stage in the race for the maillot jaune as the GC riders look to stay out of trouble unlike in 2010 when Alberto Contador lost time and Frank Schleck crashed out of the race.
Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas (50/1), who finished second the last time the Tour featured a cobbled stage, will be hopeful of mounting a challenge but, alongside Bernhard Eisel (150/1), his main job will be to protect Chris Froome so he survives the stage unscathed.
The defending champion took a huge tumble early on in Stage Four but is still the 6/5 favourite to finish on the top step of the podium in Paris this year after he recovered to cross the line with just a heavy dose of road rash.
Alberto Contador is available at 11/8 to win Le Tour, while current yellow jersey holder Vincenzo Niballi is 11/2 with the bookmaker to defend the famous jersey all the way to Paris.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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