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Tour de France Stage 12 Betting Preview

As expected, Stage 11 was won by Tony Martin, but arguably it was Chris Froome that put in the most impressive performance, finishing just 12 seconds behind the German. It means that he now leads by 3 minutes 25 seconds ahead of Alejandro Valverde with a further 12 seconds back to Bauke Mollema.

Tour de France Stage 12

Stage 12 is another designed for the sprinters, and once again, it will come down to a battle between the three power sprinters - Mark Cavendish, Andre Greipel and Marcel Kittel. Without a single categorised climb, it is unlikely to be a particularly exciting stage. The intermediate sprint and the finish are likely to be the only two real periods of any interest.

The finish here is probably the most difficult of any of the sprint stages so far with two 90 degree bends in the final kilometer. The first comes with around 650m to go and the second just 200m later. This means that it will be tough for teams to get a proper organised sprint train going and it also means that positioning through these bends will be crucial. Whoever comes through that final corner in the ideal position should win this.

Mark Cavendish was frustrated with his leadout in Stage 10 and has had a disappointing Tour so far. He was involved in an incident with Tom Veelers in that stage, which stemmed from the disorganised train that did not allow him to get into the correct position. He was also, rightly, left angry after today's stage when some idiot sprayed urine at him during the time trial. If he can channel this anger and frustration into his finish tomorrow, he will be tough to beat.

Andre Greipel and Lotto-Belisol have probably had the best leadout train so far in the race and he would have been disappointed not to have won Stage 10 after he found himself in the ideal position. However, Marcel Kittel came off his wheel to pip him on the line and both the two Germans will be hoping to add another stage win. In Greg Henderson, Greipel has one of the best leadout men in the peloton and if the Kiwi can deliver him through the final corner, he will fancy his chances. Kittel has also proved that he belongs with the big boys with two stage wins so far, and a third would cap off a wonderful Tour.

Peter Sagan
Peter Sagan has been very consistent so far and this finish could suit him

Peter Sagan has been ultra-consistent so far with six top-4 finishes. While he may not have the outright pace to challenge the pure sprinters, his excellent bike-handling skills have managed to keep him out of trouble, and with the worries that the two bends may cause chaos at the front, his ability to avoid these incidents could stand him in good stead.

The same outsiders will be in the mix with the likes of Alexander Kristoff, Danny van Poppel and Edvald Boasson Hagen and being involved. The experience of Matt Goss could be a positive in this tough finish and, while he may not have the pace to win, he could certainly be an outsider for a podium place.

In my opinion, this tricky finish strongly favours Mark Cavendish and Peter Sagan, who are more able to win without the perfect leadout, as opposed to the German pair. As a result, my recommended bets reflect this. It is also the first pure sprint stage where Mark Cavendish has drifted to odds-against, which is always a risky approach.

Prediction

1. Mark Cavendish
2. Peter Sagan
3. Andre Greipel
4. Matt Goss
5. Marcel Kittel

Recommended Bets

Mark Cavendish @ 11/8 (Paddy Power)
Peter Sagan @ 12/1 (Paddy Power)
Matt Goss to finish Top 3 @ 8/1 (Sporting Bet)

Recommended Match Bets

Matt Goss to beat Alexander Kristoff @ 6/4 (Paddy Power)
Peter Sagan to beat Andre Greipel @ 3.27 (Pinnacle)
Peter Sagan to beat Marcel Kittel @ 7/4 (Paddy Power)

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