Tour de France Stage 5 Tips: Unknown Bissegger can surprise

Primoz Roglic at Tour de France
Primoz Roglic would usually be prominent in a time trial, but his health is in doubt

Much of the fascination of the time trial will revolve around the form of the GC guys, writes Jack Houghton, who fancies a relative unknown for the win

"Outside of hard-core cycling fans, Bissegger is not well known..."

What's the stage like?

It's a time trial. It gently undulates, but is otherwise an uncomplicated 27.2km that will suit those who can put the power down.

Who are the favourites?

Wout Van Aert heads the market at around 3.505/2, and based on his time-trial win at Tirreno-Adriatico, where he beat the second favourite here, Stefan Kung (6.005/1), that market position is not unreasonable.

That course in March, though, was pan flat, and barely a third of the length of this, so those odds on Van Aert look short. Other riders and teams will have refined their time trialing since that early-season foray, so that form may look unreliable by day's end.

Of those two riders, Kung looks a safer bet. He was impressive when winning in the wet at the Tour de Suisse a few weeks' ago, and as if to underline the point, went on to take the Swiss national title ten days' later.

Kung is also a better bet than Kasper Asgreen (11.0010/1), who might be the best time trialist in Denmark, but usually finds a few too good at the top level.

Who are the most likely outsiders?

Usually, it would be worth mentioning a host of General Classification contenders at this point, with Primoz Roglic (20.0019/1) and Geraint Thomas (30.0029/1) both excellent riders against the clock who would be capable of winning this under normal circumstances. The crashes and injuries they sustained on Stage 3 mean, though, that their form must be in doubt.

Richie Porte shouldn't be discounted at huge odds of 100.0099/1, but the value bet is Stefan Bissegger, at 5.509/2.

Outside of hard-core cycling fans, he is not well known (so much so that he doesn't appear in the lists of any of the fixed-odds guys), but he has the claim to fame of - apparently - being the most aerodynamic rider in the professional peloton. He was beaten by Kung on the short time-trial at the Tour de Suisse, but evident to anyone watching that day was that Kung was taking lines that only a local who had scouted the course would have known. Expect Bissegger to turn the tables here.

What effect will it have on the overall markets?

Mark Cavendish will survive the day in the Green Jersey, as will Ide Schelling in the Polka-dot Jersey, but quite what state the General Classification will be in by day's end is anyone's guess.

*Odds correct at the time of writing

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