FILE – In this Sept.16, 2020 file photo, France’s Julian Alaphilippe climbs the Loze pass during the stage 17 of the Tour de France cycling race over 170 kilometers (105 miles), with start in Grenoble and finish in Meribel Col de la Loze,. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)
- Stage 2 of the Tour de France (Sunday, June 27) is very bumpy with six categorized climbs
- The route from Perros-Guirec to Mûr-de-Bretagne seems well suited for an opportunistic puncher
- Where can bettors find the best value as the race travels by northwestern France’s seaside?
There was carnage on Saturday’s opening stage of the Tour de France. Crashes marred the leg won by Julian Alaphilippe. It seemed like half the field tumbled at one point or another. Sunday’s course is fraught with peril too.
Stage 2 will be bumpy. The 182 KM route includes two Category 3, and four Category 4 challenges. Because there is climbing a sprint finish is somewhat unlikely, but the challenge likely isn’t difficult enough for top GC riders to gain a ton of time. That gives stage seeking punchers a big chance when action begins (7:20am EST).
Alaphilippe is the favorite on Sunday (+200), and while he is completely viable, some of the price is recency bias, and there are several very reasonable contenders. Let’s look carefully at the odds and highlight some top options.
Tour de France Stage 2 Odds
|Rider||Odds to Win Stage at DraftKings||Top-3 Finish Odds|
|Mathieu van der Poel||+450||-118|
|Wout Van Aert||+1400||+250|
Odds as of June 26th.
Coming into this year’s Tour it seemed like a three-headed monster would be competing to win the Yellow Jersey in Paris. Defending champ Tadej Pogacar stunned the favorite Primoz Roglic in 2020. Pogacar overcame what seemed like an insurmountable deficit on a Stage 20 individual time trial to get by the leader and heavy chalk. They are both back, and so too is Team Ineos. Formerly known as Team Sky, they have won the event in seven of the last nine years.
While it is still unclear who the leader of Ineos is going to be, two of the possibilities had rough days on Saturday. Riche Porte lost 2:16 in Stage 1, and Tao Geoghegan Hart dropped more than five-and-a-half minutes.
Alaphilippe took Stage 1 by eight seconds over Roglic and Pogacar among others. Ineos had Geraint Thomas in that group, and teammate Richard Carapaz is 13 seconds off the pace.
On Sunday riders don’t contend with any mountains, but do get challenged. Among the six short but serious climbs, there are periods with gradients at 9.5 and 10.1 percent. The finish is on a hilltop.
Let’s look at some options to win Sunday’s competition.
Alaphilippe took the first leg this year, after winning Stage 2 last year, and Stage 3 in 2019. He is always ready to go at the start, and has six career stage wins in five appearances at the Tour de France.
Similar to Saturday, Stage 2 is a nuanced course. Though Alaphilippe is a GC rider who has previously won the Mountains Classification, he is at his best in these tweener hybrid days, neither sprints not climbs.
This year’s Tour de France marks the Grand Tour debut for 26 year old Mathieu van der Poel. His grandfather, Raymond Poulidor, finished on the podium at the Tour on eight occasions, but never won. Mathieu’s dad Adri is a six time Dutch National Champion.
While many thought van der Poel had a big chance on Saturday, wearing a replica jersey of his grandfathers, he finished in the group eight seconds behind. A four time Cyclo-Cross World Champ, he should be in the mix on Sunday.
Wout van Aert was 13 seconds off the pace in Stage 1. Roglic’s Jumbo-Visma teammate, Van Aert won two stages in last year’s Tour.
He is having a strong 2021. After van Aert won the Belgium National Title, he took Gent–Wevelgem, and the Amstel Gold Race. He won the points title at this year’s Tirreno–Adriatico, and finished on the podium at Brabantse Pijl and Milan–San Remo.
Pogacar and Roglic can be written about almost every day. There is a strong reason they are the race favorites after finishing one-two last year. Neither needs to win individual days, but they each have three career stage victories.
Both appeared to be in good form on Saturday. While Pogacar has not competed recently, he has already won four races in 2021 plus the Slovenian National Title. Meanwhile, Roglic won April’s Tour of the Basque Country after taking the points title and three stages at Paris–Nice.
The favorites are playing a balancing act of when to assert themselves, and when to make a move, with the reality that this is a three week race and most of the real movement will take place in the mountains.
Veteran Dan Martin is the only Irish rider in this year’s Tour, and is trying to help Israel Start-Up Nation win their first ever Tour de France stage. Most of the attention for the team is geared around former Tour winner Chris Froome. However, Froome crashed on Saturday, and probably is not in strong enough form to be a major factor. Meanwhile, Martin has won Tour stages before, and even took a day at this year’s Giro d’Italia.
At the age of 34 Martin knows exactly how all of this works. He is a puncher looking for the right day, and this could be it (+4000 to win, +800 podium).
This article contains links to external sports betting services. SBD may receive advertising revenue from these links, however editorial has hand-picked each individual link based on relevance to the article, without influence on the coverage.
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.