Tour de France Stage 9: Contador and friends the value in Vannes

BMC Racing are worthy 10/11 favourites to win Stage 9’s team time trial at the Tour de France, after Rohan Dennis’ opening-day victory and with two riders currently in the top five overall, but considering the shocks we’ve seen so far on Le Tour, the price is a little short to side with.

Dennis’ individual time-trial victory was foreseen by few, with Tony Martin, Tom Dumoulin and Fabian Cancellara, who came in second, third and fourth, the three market leaders prior to the Grand Depart.

Indeed, Mark Cavendish’s Friday triumph was the only win by a stage favourite so far, despite the likes of Martin and Alejandro Valverde going into days priced up at 2/1 or less, so backing such sort odds seems an insensible strategy.

Both Team Sky and Movistar are tempting at 4/1 apiece, as the former have past Tour de France individual time-trial winner Chris Froome going well in the yellow jersey, while teammate Geraint Thomas keeps up the pace, and the latter, which contains 12th-place Valverde and overall second-favourite Nairo Quintana, showing no signs of wear so far.

However, for those willing to take a chance it has to be Tinkoff-Saxo, replete with Tour de France titans Alberto Contador and Peter Sagan, at 14/1.

We’re nine days in and plenty of riders have crashed out already, meaning the last Tour de France TTT winners Orica-GreenEdge, who took Stage 4 in 2013, have little hope of a repeat at 250/1, with only six team members left in the race and five needed to get over the line fastest in Brittany.

Tinkoff-Saxo have eight men left in the hunt, including three-time points classification winner Sagan, who has banked top-four finishes in six of the eight stages so far.

The Russian outfit didn’t exactly set the road on fire during the individual time trial, with Sagan placed highest in 19th and Michael Rogers next best in 34th, but that form doesn’t necessarily translate after more than a week of racing, and Stage 9 is over twice as long as Utrecht’s curtain raiser.

Contador and co rank as the value pick having held their squad together so far, unlike 33/1 shots Etixx-Quick Step, whose Stage 9 chance seemed to have gone with the withdrawal of then-yellow jersey holder Tony Martin on Thursday.

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

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