Tour De France

Tour de France 2023 Stage 17: Back Pogacar @ 3/1 for swashbuckling riposte

Jonas Vingegaard at Tour de France
Jonas Vingegaard will only be motivated to ride defensively now

On a hard climbing stage, writes Jack Houghton, expect Pogacar to get creative in mounting a comeback

  • Jonas Vingegaard (3.55/2) is the rightful favourite given recent form

  • Tadej Pogacar (4.1) will try anything to recover lost time

  • Carlos Rodriguez (30.029/1) is the best of the rest


What's the stage like?

At first glance, the profile doesn't make this look like a summit finish. 166km with four categorised climbs, it nearly concludes on the super-category Col de la Loze, but for a 5km descent to Courchevel Airport.

What's less clear on that stage profile, though, is that inside the last kilometre is a short, punchy climb with gradients of 18%. Those few hundreds of metres alone could see significant time gaps, so in-play punters need to be alert.

Who are the favourites?

Yet again, Jonas Vingegaard (3.55/2) and Tadej Pogacar (4.1). In terms of who will come out on top, it's hard to judge. One reading of the events of Stage 16 is that Vingegaard's win represented a third-week peaking of form, relative to Pogacar's fatigue-laden demise. It's easy to see, then, why he's the slight favourite.

Another view, though, is that Vingegaard will have little motivation to be anything but defensive now, whereas Pogacar will try anything to have an impact on the competition for the Yellow Jersey. It might be romanticism on my part - willing there to be more drama - but on that basis Pogacar looks the value bet.

Back Tadej Pogacar @ 4.1 for Stage 17

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Who are the most likely outsiders?

A case can be made for Adam Yates (20.019/1) and Carlos Rodriguez (30.029/1) who will both be keen to ride for the win, given their battle for third place. Of the two, Rodriguez is the better bet, if only because team instructions are certain not to be a factor for him.

Tom Pidcock (46.045/1) remains interesting, and wouldn't be surprise winner, but our Stage 14 tip has struggled with the heat and fuelling requirements of this Tour, and supporting him here would require a leap of faith.

How will it affect the overall markets?

It's easy to think the time trail of Stage 16 will be the end of the Yellow Jersey competition, with Vingegaard sealing the battle of the General Classification contenders, but it would be unwise to think it all over. Expect Pogacar to come back with a swashbuckling attitude.

Meanwhile, the Mountains Classification remains closely contested, and it's not clear that Giulio Ciccone should be as short as 2.3211/8.

*Odds correct at the time of writing

Recommended bets

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

Staked: 112

Returned: 148.9

P/L: +33.9

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