Caleb Ewan has a stage win during this year’s Tour de France and he is among the favorites on Tuesday. Photo by @cyclecollective (Twitter).
- Stage 10 of the TDF (Tuesday, September 8) appears to be a day for the sprinters
- For the first time the Tour de France will race from one island to another
- What strategy should we employ in selecting a Stage 10 winner?
The Tour de France resumes on Tuesday after the first off day of the race. Following two mountain stages and 24 hours to refuel, riders will try something that has never taken place in the 107 year history of the event.
Tuesday’s 170 kilometre journey from Île d’Oléron to Île de Ré includes a 2,862 meter bridge that links two islands. Aside from strong and potentially unpredictable winds, the path is flat and should favor the top sprinters. Does that mean Caleb Ewan or Sam Bennett are a lock? Not necessarily.
2020 Tour de France Stage 10 Odds
|Rider||DraftKings Odds to win Stage 10|
|Wout Van Aert||+450|
Odds as of Sep. 6th.
We thought there was a pretty good chance that Sunday’s mountain stage could change the complexion of the race, and it did. Marc Hirschi, a nice longshot we highlighted, led most of the way and was engaged in a sprint finish among the top GC contenders. Tadej Pogacar held off race favorite Primoz Roglic, with Hirschi settling for third. Pogacar is now in seventh overall position, 44 seconds behind the lead.
For the first time this year Roglic now possesses the yellow jersey. He is 21 seconds ahead of defending champion Egan Bernal. Guillaume Martin is 28 seconds behind Roglic in third.
Going into this year’s tour it seemed reasonably likely that Caleb Ewan would be the top sprinter. After he exploded to victory in stage three that seemed like a mortal lock.
While Ewan has remained very much in the mix during sprints, he has not dominated the way it seemed like he may after the first few days. He continues to possess the strongest kick, and that should bode well on Tuesday.
It is a little hard to believe that Sam Bennett does not yet have a stage victory. He was every bit Ewan’s equal for the first handful of stages, but has been beaten in sprints with no real excuse a couple of times recently. He lost the green jersey to Peter Sagan, and it feels like he has been too ever present to not have anything to show.
Bennett has won five stages on grand tours but never in France. This is his first Tour de France since 2016. His team, Deceuninck–Quick-Step, has struggled thus far. They are in 17th place out of 22 teams.
While Bennett has consistently been right there but has nothing to show for it, Wout Van Aert won stage five, and liked it so much he took stage seven too.
He won a stage on the Tour last year too, and though nobody points to him as the most likely to win any individual stage, his three world titles in cyclo-cross seem to give him the grit and timing to get to the line first.
It is obvious that a sprinter should rule the day on Tuesday, but who will prosper if the cross winds are a major obstacle?
Alexander Kristoff has proven an ability to win sprints, sometimes that you don’t expect, or that there is a little something unique about. He has four career stage wins including the opening stage this year.
Kristoff is a big price and has a history of winning stages. He is on the same team as Pogacar, and clearly UAE Team Emirates is strategizing and executing at a high level this year.
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.