Tour De France

Tour de France 2023 Stage 18: Back Philipsen at 7/5 to underline dominance

Jasper Philipsen at Tour de France
Jasper Philipsen has been the dominant sprinter at this year's Tour

After the dramas of the mountains, writes Jack Houghton, a return to a sprinters' stage, provided they have the energy

  • Jasper Philipsen (2.47/5) is the rightful favourite

  • Wout van Aert (6.05/1) must be fatigue after his recent efforts

  • The rest surely have too much to find


What's the stage like?

A largely flat and fast 185km that may or may not have a couple of small, categorised climbs, depending on which stage profile you look at. There's nothing in the route to trouble the sprinters, though, and on a normal day this should end in a bunch finish.

At this stage of the Tour, however, fatigue plays a significant role, and whether the sprint teams will be able to fully control a breakaway remains to be seen, especially as winless teams will be keen to pack any breakaway with hopefuls.

If this does end in a sprint, the finish is largely uncomplicated, provided riders can navigate a sharp left-hander inside the last 2km.

Who are the favourites?

Jasper Philipsen (2.47/5) is the obvious and rightful favourite here. After the departure of Mark Cavendish, he seemed far above his rivals, and watching how those rivals have fared in the gruelling stages of recent days - some abandoned, some just looking exhausted - it's hard to make a case against another Philipsen stage win.

Back Jasper Pedersen @ 2.47/5 for Stage 18

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Who are the most likely outsiders?

Assuming this does end in a bunch sprint, it would take a creative argument to suggest any riders other than Wout van Aert (6.05/1), Mads Pedersen (10.09/1), and Dylan Groenewegen (10.09/1) have a chance of denying Philipsen.

Of those, van Aert must surely be diminished, given his efforts as super-domestique in the mountains in the last fortnight. Pedersen likely has more left, but this finish won't suit his particular sprinting talents. And Groenewegen, meanwhile, despite finishing second on Stage 11, will need something to go wrong for Pedersen to claim the victory

How will it affect the overall markets?

This will be a quiet day for the overall markets.

*Odds correct at the time of writing

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

Staked: 116

Returned: 148.9

P/L: +29.9

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