Tour de France Stage 9 Tips: Pogacar looks unbeatable

Esteban Chaves at Tour de France
Esteban Chaves could profit if Pogacar is fatigued

His win on Stage 8 makes it hard to see how the favourite can be beaten, writes Jack Houghton. His rivals must hope Pogacar is fatigued or lacks the appetite...

"The only doubts are whether Pogacar wants the stage win, and whether he has sufficiently recovered from his recent exertions: he looked spent at the end of Stage 8..."

What's the stage like?

The first summit finish of the race, the stage reflects a recent move to making mountain days shorter, increasing the likelihood of fireworks. Not that there's been a pyrotechnic-free day on this Tour.

At just 145km, riders face five significant climbs, including the super-category Col du Pre at the midpoint, and the 22km slog up to the finish in Tignes.

It's hard to see a breakaway succeeding on such a tough day, although the exploits of the main contenders on Stage 8 might see some of them hope for an easier day where the buccaneers are allowed to disappear up the road. With the rest day on Monday, though, that is likely to be a forlorn hope.

Who are the favourites?

Given how far he is now ahead, and how much he is likely to take from riders on the penultimate-day time trial, other teams and riders must try to attack him, but if he maintains the form we have seen so far, it's hard to bet against Tadej Pogacar (6.005/1) winning this stage.

The only doubts are whether he wants the stage win, and whether he has sufficiently recovered from his recent exertions: he looked spent at the end of Stage 8.

Who are the most likely outsiders?

Richard Carapaz (30.0029/1) attempted to go with Pogacar's break on Stage 8, but was dropped almost immediately, and it's hard to fancy any of the usual crew to do any better here: Miguel Angel Lopez (12.0011/1), Julian Alaphilippe (14.0013/1), Dan Martin (24.0023/1), Simon Yates (30.0029/1) and Pello Bilbao (40.0039/1) all looked like Sunday riders under Pogacar's onslaught.

For those wanting a more speculative punt, Esteban Chaves (30.0029/1) might be worth an interest. He has kept a low profile on the Tour so far, and presumably will be given the office to try something here after teammate Simon Yates failed in his attempts on Stage 8.

What effect will it have on the overall markets?

It will be significant for the General Classification, in that we will find out whether Pogacar can, and intends to, try and win the race by 15 minutes, or whether he'll be happy to settle for five. Otherwise, we'll see some action in the Mountains Classification, and have a better idea whether Wout Poels intends to make a bid for it.

*Odds correct at the time of writing

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