Tour de France: Last chance before Paris for 26th Cavendish triumph

Despite British sprint king Mark Cavendish proving himself in fine fettle so far in this month’s Tour de France, with a couple of top-four finishes and none of the carnage that put paid to his chances on day one 12 months ago, the 30-year-old is yet to add to his 25 stage victories.

Cavendish won’t get another chance to taste individual stage success until the final-day sprint up the Champs-Elysees, with a team time trial followed by various hilly and mountainous rides ahead.

The Isle of Man native shares 9/4 Stage 7 favouritism with points classification leader Andre Greipel, winner of two of the six stages so far on this year’s tour, and Ladbrokes’ betting suggests only three other riders will be anywhere near that pair at the finish.

Peter Sagan, who is going for a fourth points classification victory on the bounce and currently trails only Greipel in the green jersey rankings, is next in the market at an industry-best 4/1 with Ladbrokes, having finished runner-up in half of the stages thus far and third in another.

Norwegian sprinter Alexander Kristoff receives a 13/2 quote for a third Tour de France stage success, with John Degenkolb, who won Spring Classics Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix earlier this year, offered at a top-price 9/1.

Beyond that lightning-quick quintet, it’s a long way back in the market to 25/1 shot Bryan Coquard, so Cavendish backers ought to at least get a ride for their money, bar any mishaps.

Following Fabian Cancellara’s nasty crash on Monday, Tony Martin became the second overall leader this year to retire while wearing the yellow jersey, after the 30-year-old German ‘shattered’ his collarbone within the final kilometre of Stage 6.

Chris Froome takes over the ‘maillot jaune’ for the second time since Monday, but the Brit’s 4/5 outright-favourite odds remained firm overnight, with 5/2 Colombian Nairo Quintana still snapping at his heels ahead of the upcoming climbs.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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