The first rest day in the Tour de France is approaching but before the riders get a chance to recuperate they must negotiate their way through Stage 9 on Sunday, a profile which takes them from Arras Citadelle over multiple sections of cobblestones to the finish in Roubaix.
Dylan Groenewegen won Stage 8 on Saturday, his second stage win in succession. The only GC candidate to lose time was Dan Martin who crashed.
Greg van Avermaet remains in yellow, 7 seconds ahead of Geraint Thomas and the first 11 riders in the overall standings are covered by less than a minute.
The Points Classification is still led by Peter Sagan who has 277 with Gaviria next best on 214 and Groenewegen has 132.
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This stage is pretty short at 156.5 km and there are no categorized climbs. However this will be the toughest day so far for many as there are no fewer than 15 sectors of cobblestones along the route. Positioning will be more important than ever, crashes and mechanicals are almost guaranteed and hence we look set to see some significant gaps amongst the GC contenders.
The Betting – Click here for all markets
Ven Avermaet 11/2
16/1 and better the rest
Note, prices are correct at the time of writing but are subject to change.
This really should be worth watching after a couple of pretty uneventful flat stages and how the teams of the GC contenders play it will be key to the outcome. Nibali and Thomas are among the yellow jersey contenders who have form on this terrain but there are a number of Paris – Roubaix winners in the field including Sagan.
After much consideration the vote goes to Sagan who is in great form and proven over cobbles. He can win in a sprint or solo break and perhaps most importantly he can benefit from team tactics of others who have GC contenders to consider,
Suggested Bet: Sagan at 9/4