What's the stage like?
It's a toss-up between a breakaway or bunch sprint day.
At 203km and with plenty of rolling hills on route - including two categorised climbs - those with a buccaneering spirit will fancy their chances of getting a big enough gap to make it stick.
History says they may struggle, though. When Mark Cavendish won a bunch sprint in Carcassonne in 2021 it was a similar profile to this.
Assuming one of the sprint outfits has the same motivation as Cavendish's on that day, we can expect the same scenario here.
Who are the favourites?
The three best sprinters in the race so far have been Fabio Jakobsen (11.010/1), Wout Van Aert (7.413/2) and Dylan Groenewegen (10.09/1), probably in that order. Of the three, none can be discounted, but it's hard to support Van Aert fully given the super-domestique work he's been putting in for his team of late: he must be fatigued.
And given Jakobsen had to be dragged through Stage 13 by his team, looking on the brink of abandoning at points, he might be another to avoid.
That leaves Groenewegen, who copes well on sprint stages with more difficult approaches, and he might just be the freshest of the best sprinters post-Alps.
Who are the most likely outsiders?
Peter Sagan (70.069/1) looked to be struggling earlier in the Tour, but there is still a suspicion that he may emerge to play a significant part in a stage before it is over. Likewise, Matej Mohoric (26.025/1), who is well-versed in a long-range attack and may see this as his last chance.
Preference is for Stage 13 17.016/1-recommendation Mads Pedersen (11.010/1), though. It's a big ask to win twice in quick succession at a Tour, but he looks by far the least exhausted of the high-profile sprinters and his odds remain generous.
What effect will it have on the overall markets?
Wout Van Aert will likely try to collect a few more points at the intermediate sprint to shore up the near certainty that he will win the Points Classification, while the General Classification contenders will be keen to avoid trouble, especially if there are crosswinds, which is a possibility.
*Odds correct at the time of writing