Roy The Boy looks ahead to the opening stage of the Tour De France and he likes Andre Greipel to win the first stage on Saturday.
Greipel Can Grapple the Tour’s First Stage
The opening stage of the Tour de France sees the riders leave the beautiful Mont Saint Michele, meander up the west coast of Normandy heading towards Cherbourg and then cross over to the east for a finish at Omaha Beach.
Having driven the closing 20 kilometres of this course, aware there are only two inoffensive hills in the early part of the stage, and listening to those with far more wisdom than I, it is very clear this opening stage with be a bunch sprint finish.
Traditionally sprint finishes have been ‘Mark Cavendish territory’. The pride of the Isle of Man has won no less than 26 stages of Le Tour but, remarkably, he has never worn a Yellow Jersey.
Saturday’s stage represents an excellent chance for him to right that injustice, but there are clear signs the 31-year-olds is regressive. In 2010 and 2011 he won an amazing five stages of the race, in 2015 he claimed just one. More pertinently for me, he was outsprinted in last week’s British National Championships by the unheralded Adam Blythe.
Alas, this will surely be a match between Marcel Kittel and Andre Greipel. Kittel has won ten races this year including two stages of the Giro d’Italia. Greipel, who is older than Cavendish, won four stages of last year’s Tour and put the Manx man firmly in his place in numerous sprint finishes.
Given the match look of this contest and considering the weather forecast – which has the look of a traditional damp Dublin summer’s day about it – the shrewd money deserves to go on Andre Greipel at a value-laden 10/3 with Paddy Power and Bet365’s.
Andre Greipel to win Stage 1 of the Tour de France at 10/3 with Paddy Power and Bet365