Tour De France

Tour de France 2023 Stage 12: Back Skjelmose and Pogacar at big odds on classic-esque day

Julian Alaphilippe at Tour de France
Julian Alaphilippe is one of many riders who will fancy their chances on this stage

On a day that will suit the one-day classics riders, writes Jack Houghton, the Yellow Jersey might be under threat

  • Tadej Pogacar (15.014/1) will be motivated to claim time back here

  • It's an open stage, though, with many possible winners

  • Martin Skjelmose (20.019/1) can cause a minor surprise

What's the stage like?

Our diagonal traverse of France continues on this Tour of short stages, with 169km heading for the hills of the Beaujolais region.

There are five categorised climbs - nothing monstrous, but a series of 5km affairs with average gradients of around 7%.

It's an open stage where a strong breakaway could take the victory, but it will take a rider of the one-day classic type to excel.

If a large group do reach the finish, there is a sharp right-hander with 300m to go that might cause problems. In-play punters beware.

Who are the favourites?

Wout van Aert (7.06/1) represents a cut-and-paste job on most stage previews, as he's often one of the favourites, no matter the type of stage in prospect. In this Tour, though, he's been short of his best. Coupled with some bad luck, he remains winless, and it's therefore hard to see the value in those odds, despite his talent and versatility.

A better bet is Tadej Pogacar (15.014/1). With bonus seconds available at the top of the final climb - the Croix Rosier - his UAE Team is likely to be motivated to keep a breakaway under control. Given his record in one-day races in the early part of this season, he's more than capable of winning this, and an audacious early attack is not impossible.

Back Tadej Pogacar @ 15.014/1 for Stage 12

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Who are the most likely outsiders?

A host of riders have valid chances here, including Julian Alaphilippe (18.017/1), Tom Pidcock (25.024/1), Matej Mohoric (28.027/1), Giulio Ciccone (21.020/1), and the list goes on.

Marginal preference, though, is for pre-Tour tip Martin Skjelmose (20.019/1), who had a pop in the breakaway on Stage 10 but will likely be better suited by this harder stage.

Back Martin Skjelmose @ 20.019/1 for Stage 12

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How will it affect the overall markets?

Before the Tour started, few would have circled this stage as crucial in the hunt for the Yellow Jersey. Given how tightly poised the battle is between the General Classification contenders, though, it may well be just this kind of benign stage that proves pivotal, especially if Pogacar is daring enough to try something early.

*Odds correct at the time of writing

Recommended bets

Jack Houghton's Cycling Tips 2022-23 P&L:

Staked: 100.5

Returned: 148.9

P/L: +48.4


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