• Rúben Silva

Tour de France Stage 7 Preview

Dylan Teuns made the most out of a long day in the breakaway to take an impressive win on the new finish in La Planche des Belles Filles. He was part of a 14-rider breakaway that stood out very early in the stage that had a maximum of 8 minutes advantage, he entered the final climb with Wellens, Meurisse and Ciccone, and it was with the later that he had to fight until the very last meters to get a painful stage with, with Ciccone moving into yellow. In the peloton it was a calm day until Movistar moved to the front of the peloton midway through the Ballon d'Alsace, they set a hard pace throughout and in the final climb Mikel Landa made the first serious move, the group was led by INEOS and then FDJ until the final kilometer where Alaphillipe made a move and then in the final steep ramps some gaps appeared between the favourites, with Thomas first from the peloton.

Positive: Besides the great climbing from the 3 men that resisted, Alaphillipe was a bit of a surprise, dealing with the climbs, these though are more suited than those he'll find later but he kept his time ahead of the GC riders. Thomas gave very good signs, Quintana and Landa too, the real winner of the day are Trek with Ciccone into a brilliant yellow jersey and Porte showing good signs, alongside Mollema who was in the favourite's group too, coming to the teams classification leaders.

Negative: Kruisjwijk and Mas the most direct riders shedding some time, they are expected to improve throughout the race though, same can't be said of Bardet who lost over a minute to the first GC riders and seems to be completely out of the fight for a top spot. Between the main core of GC riders the gaps were very small so nothing to take from there.

The Route

The day after fits the sprinters again. It should be another quite viciously long day in the saddle with 230 kilometers this time, but the sprinters will enjoy another chance, and the climbers will like the easier day after a dificult couple of days.

This finish should be relatively safe aswell a fast riverside road that will be antecipated by two turns and a roundabout.

The Weather

A hot day with the temperatures close to 30 degrees, there will be a steady but moderate

western wind which will make for a majority of the route in a headwind, specially the final part of the stage, will definetely make sure it's a sprint.

The Favourites

The weather conditions favour the already likely scenario of a sprint, there are enough sprinters and teams interested so it will be a bunch sprint unless something very unusual happens.

Elia Viviani proved him and his leadout are more than set to win stages, he should arrive as the main favourite for tomorrow as he comes with the confidence that lacks Groenewegen, his main rival. He's been thereabouts, one sprint he crashed the other he got blocked so we haven't seen him there in front. That should be ok in theory but he is clearly going below Viviani in terms of flow in the race, he needs to have a proper sprint to unblock his results.

Sagan right behind, constant, fit for any sprint, should be up there with no trouble and his win in Colmar will certainly bring him another edge, of the sprinters that have given good evidence of being up there are Caleb Ewan and Alexander Kristoff, under the right circumstances they can be in the fight for the win as they have been already. Giacomo Nizzolo is another pure sprinter that has given good evidence so far.

Michael Matthews, Matteo Trentin and Sonny Colbrelli have been there, are interested in the green jersey and they will want to be as strong as possible in the end, positioning mainly, Jasper Stuyven has also been up there in them but may find a different priority has the team is having Ciccone in the lead and Porte proved his team's focus.

Greipel and Pasqualon were in the breakaway so in the following stage they shouldn't have their best legs, between the outsiders are also Rick Zabel and Cristophe Laporte, others don't have such a strong finishing power.

Prediction Time

Viviani, Groenewegen

Sagan, Ewan, Kristoff

Matthews, Trentin, Colbrelli, Teunissen, Stuyven

I'm going with Viviani to get his second win, Groenewegen is as strong but hasn't had that edge that nails him the wins, only didn't go with him cause I did already twice, I think the same would happen if I bet on him.

Make sure to let us in on your opinion, and of course follow us on twitter for the latest updates!