Stage 12’s long, bumpy course could lead to a longshot winner. Might Greg Van Avermaet score at a nice price? Photo by @CCCProTeam (Twitter).
- Stage 12 of the TDF (Thursday, September 10) covers more ground than any other day this year
- A hilly stage with four categorized climbs could be perfect for the breakaway
- Stage 12 feels like a good day to take a shot on a rider with long odds
After Monday’s day off and Tuesday and Wednesday’s sprint stages, the degree of difficulty ramps back up at the 2020 Tour de France.
There could be some interesting strategy during Thursday’s long, hilly route.
Most stages are either designed for sprinters or GC contenders, but Thursday looks too taxing and bumpy for sprint specialists, and not tough enough for Yellow Jersey contenders. In what is a challenging course, top GC candidates are likely to be in survive-and-advance mode, looking to retain their positions without taking too many risks.
Who does that lead to when handicapping a stage winner?
2020 Tour de France Stage 10 Odds
|Rider||DraftKings Odds to win Stage 12|
|Greg Van Avermaet||+1000|
|Wout Van Aert||+1800|
|Thomas De Gendt||+3300|
Odds as of Sep. 9th.
Predictably, Sam Bennett and Caleb Ewan won the two sprint stages on Tuesday and Wednesday. The overall standings have remained the same. Race favorite Primoz Roglic leads defending champ Egan Bernal by 21 seconds. Guillaume Martin is 28 seconds behind in third place, with Romain Bardet half a minute behind in fourth, and Nairo Quintana and Rigoberto Uran tied for fifth with a 32- second deficit.
Thursday, riders will travel 218 kilometres as they journey from Chauvigny to Sarran Correze. Iit is bumpy to start and it gets borderline mountainous as the course moves along. There are two Category 4 climbs, and a Cat. 3 followed quickly by a cat two near the end. If the sprinters are unlikely to keep up and GC candidates are conserving energy for tougher stages, who is left?
This is the type of stage that Julian Alaphilippe thrives on. He is daring and dangerous on the front.
Alaphilippe won a medium mountain stage on Stage 2 of this year’s tour. This hilly offering and tomorrow’s hybrid hill/mountain route are right in his wheelhouse.
Alaphilippe is too far back to earn a podium finish, which means going after individual stages is exactly what we should expect from the 28-year-old Frenchman.
Like Alaphilippe, Greg Van Avermaet is neither a pure sprinter nor a GC contender. In one word, he is versatile.
The veteran has won four TDF stages (including two time trials) in his career. Having a rider who can adapt to myriad situations could be helpful on Thursday.
Van Avermaet’s CCC teammate Matteo Trentin is another viable option. As a squad, they are in 15th place, and this is a stage that is winnable. Trentin has won three Tour stages in his lengthy career, and eight grand- tour stages overall.
Trentin is moving to UAE Team Emirates next year, and part of his appeal is experience and craftiness.
On a stage that is very much up in the air, Thomas De Gendt is a big price and very well may give it a go. He won the Stage 8 last year as part of a breakaway and held off the pack for 200 kilometers.
De Gendt has won two TDF stages, plus one each in the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España. He was also the King of the Mountains in the Vuelta in 2018.
He is a rider with a knack for gruelling victories, and this is just the type of stage with enough strategy that could benefit such a daring rider.
Dave Friedman has covered professional and college sports for two decades. From ESPN to the Associated Press, Regional Sports Networks, Metro Networks, and many local outlets, he has written about and broadcast major and minor events throughout the country.