Stage 4 sees the Tour return to the cobbles which wrought such devastation in last year’s race. It’s a comparatively long stage at 223.5 kilometers from Seraing to Cambrai and it is for Paris-Roubaix riders. Find below our Tour De France STAGE 4 preview, predictions, best odds, betting tips on Stage Winner and Head to Head, betting promotions and no deposit bonuses!
TOUR DE FRANCE STAGE 4 BETTING PREVIEW
This part of the world is known in cycling for being Paris-Roubaix country — the annual cobbled one-day race nicknamed the ‘Hell of the North’. This stage is not dissimilar to last year’s cobbled fifth stage between Ypres and Arenberg as it uses seven ‘sectors’ of cobbles, four of which are among the 27 sectors used by Paris-Roubaix, totalling 13 kilometres on the cobblestones.
Riders will be literally fighting to be at the front — the safest part of the race — ahead of each of the seven sectors. Furthermore, things could get pretty windy, and there is some chance of rain.
2014 Roubaix winner Niki Terpstra is not at the Tourd while this year’s winner John Degenkolb are among the favourites to win the stage. Fabian Cancellara was involved in the horrific crash yesterday and was forced to withdraw from the Tour de France on Monday, wracked by two fractured vertebrae.
The test of cobbles throws up a conundrum for the GC teams: protect their main man, or get a stage win for their cobble specialists.
Lars Boom won last year’s crazy cobbled stage (we predicted him to win!), and he delivered a few good results in the Classics with new team Astana this year. He could be a train for Vincenzo Nibali and take his chance to win the race as well.
The same applies for Sky's Geraint Thomas and Ian Stannard as they could be forced to wait Chris Froome, and Tinkoff-Saxo's Peter Sagan as his team-mate Contador will surely need help on this terrain. BMC could decide to give green lights to Greg Van Avermaet as Tejay Van Garderen is decent on cobblestones.
Zdenek Stybar is a cobbles specialist and was impressive at the Paris-Roubaix this year, as was Sep Vanmarcke but both riders don’t have quite the sprinter skills that this stage requires.
Alexander Kristoff is another strong contender on this terrain. He’s got proven ability as a Classics specialist, not just as a sprinter who can handle cobbles. His teammate Luca Paolini can't be ruled out as well, but he is likely to run as support for Kristoff.
As to the GC contenders, last year Vincenzo Nibali put in one of the all-time great yellow jersey performances in coming third on the stage. We expect him to do the same this year.
We don't know how strong is Chris Froome on the cobbles. Last year the current Yellow Jersey crashed twice before the stage had even reached the cobbles, exacerbating a wrist injury from a crash the day before, and quit the race before the first week was even up.
Tyler Farrar would be a longshot (he likes the Flemish cobbles better than the French ones) while Mark Cavendish is not known for his abilities on the cobblestones. Arnaud Demare, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Sylvain Chavanel, Andrè Greipel and Matteo Trentin are the dark horses of this stage.
13 kilometers are not a big amount of cobbles and we believe that Degenkolb and Kristoff could go head-to-head in the finale.
TOUR DE FRANCE STAGE 4 ODDS
- John Degenkolb 5.50
- Alexander Kristoff 8.00
- Peter Sagan 9.00
- Sep Vanmarcke 12.00
- Zdenek Stybar 13.00
- Greg Van Avermaet 15.00
- Andre Greipel 17.00
- Edvald Boasson Hagen 29.00
- Lars Boom 34.00
- Mark Cavendish 34.00
- Michal Kwiatkowski 34.00
- Arnaud Demare 41.00
- Matteo Trentin 51.00
- Vincenzo Nibali 67.00
- Geraint Thomas 67.00
- Sam Bennett 67.00
- Tony Gallopin 67.00
- Filippo Pozzato 81.00
- Sylvain Chavanel 81.00
- Nacer Bouhanni 101.00
- Tyler Farrar 101.00
TOUR DE FRANCE STAGE 4 PREDICTIONS
- Winner: John Degenkolb 5.50
- Winner: Alexander Kristoff 8.00
- Winner: Matteo Trentin 51.00
- Head to Head: Boom to beat Westra @ 1.50
- Head to Head: Froome to beat Contador @ 1.67
- Head to Head: Mollema to beat Bardet @ 1.57
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