A tricky looking sprint stage, writes Jack Houghton, but a sprint stage nonetheless, where a speedster like Van Aert should win...
"Wout Van Aert has the puncheur credentials to handle any breakaway shenanigans and has the upper hand on most in the peloton when it comes to a sprint..."
2 pts Back Wout Van Aert at 5.85/1
What's the stage like?
193km of transition, taking the riders across country as they head for the Massif Centrale.
With three, minor categorised climbs - and some rolling terrain besides - this is not a straightforward candidate for a bunch finish, despite its flat finish. A buccaneering sort could make a breakaway stick here.
Who are the favourites?
Wout Van Aert (5.85/1) is an obvious favourite. He has the puncheur credentials to handle any breakaway shenanigans and has the upper hand on most in the peloton when it comes to a sprint.
Van Aert is preferred to Jasper Philipsen (6.611/2), who has been riding consistently enough but not winningly so. Expect Philipsen to ride well and finish a creditable third.
Who are the most likely outsiders?
The market seems reluctant to support the out-and-out speedsters, but there is little reason to think that, despite the stage's trickiness, the sprint teams won't be able to get their guys into position at the right time.
With this in mind, Fabio Jakobsen (13.012/1) must be supported. He's shown himself to be the best sprinter in the race and, with a less congested finish likely, should be able to avoid some of the hard luck that scuppered him on Stage 3.
Mads Pedersen (17.016/1) is another who has shown himself to be in top form, going close on Stage 2, and who often excels where courses have a few lumps and bumps.
What effect will it have on the overall markets?
The Wout Van Aert show will continue as he dominations the Points Competition, but the General Classification contenders should have a quiet day in their quest for the Yellow Jersey.
*Odds correct at the time of writing