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Tricky conditions make Kristoff the smart pick for Stage 15

| 18.07.2014

After a brutal couple of days in the Alps, most of the riders on the Tour de France will view the flat profile of Stage 15 as the perfect chance to ease off a touch. 

However, with just three sprints left and a rest day lined up before the next stint in the mountains, the likes of Marcel Kittel and Andre Greipel will be desperate to renew hostilities in a bunch sprint in Nimes.

Kittel has already won three stages on this year’s Tour and is clear 4/5 favourite to triumph again in Stage 15, with Greipel the only man fancied to mount any kind of challenge to his compatriot at 9/2.

While it is true that neither man is likely to be bested in a bunch sprint, their short price make them poor value on a day when tricky conditions are expected in south France.

Much of the stage will be spent on narrow roads and with rain and blustery winds on the cards, not all of the main contenders could make through the late roundabouts to the finish.

As such, the smart money should be heading towards third-favourite Alexander Kristoff, who is priced at 8/1.

The Norwegian won the last flat stage of this year’s Tour, beating Peter Sagan in a sprint finish when neither Greipel or Kittel were around to compete.

Green jersey favourite Sagan is another man who like the look of the forecast for Stage 15, and at a lengthy 12/1, he is also better value than the heavyweight pair of Kittel and Greipel given his superior bike-handling abilities.

The last time a stage finished in Nimes was in 2008, when Mark Cavendish powered past his rivals in a bunch sprint.

With poor conditions expected, it is unlikely a pure sprinter will succeed the Manxman on the top of the podium.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Alex Fortune