Tour de France Stage 2 Predictions: 10/1 Van Aert to head the sprint

 | Saturday 29th June 2024, 21:32pm

Saturday 29th June 2024, 21:32pm

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The traditional finish of the Giro dell’Emilia will be replicated close to home on Stage 2 of the 2024 Tour de France, as the climb to the Basilica di San Luca forms the key point of Sunday’s leg from Cesenatico to Bologna (live from 11:00 BST on Eurosport 1, 11:15 BST on ITV4).

The up-and-down 199.2km stage could continue a GC-heavy start to this year’s Tour, but there may be encouragement for the likes of Mathieu van der Poel, Wout van Aert and other one-day specialists if they manage to get away from the contenders for the main crown. Here are my Tour de France Stage 2 predictions…

Tour de France Stage 2 Betting Tips

  • Wout van Aert @ 10/1
  • Mathieu van der Poel E/W @ 16/1

Tour de France Betting Odds

Tadej Pogacar is the 6/4 favourite to come in first in Bologna, with Primoz Roglic second favourite at 6/1. Then we have Visma-Lease a Bike’s big hope, Wout van Aert, at 10/1 with his Belgian compatriot Maxim van Gils 12/1 and both Mathieu van der Poel and Remco Evenepoel coming in at 16/1.

Cycling Odds

The visit to Italy continues in Stage 2, with a flag drop on the Adriatic coast at Cesenatico. It was here that Marco Pantani, the legend who won the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France in the same year back in 1998, first joined the Fausto Coppi cycling club as an 11-year-old.

So it is fitting that Le Tour should drop in to Pantani country in the year that Tadej Pogacar aims to become the first man since ‘Il Pirata’ to achieve that most unique double following on from his double Giro win in May and June.

This stage is a bit of a tester, with a flat beginning making way for a couple of early climbs before taking in Imola, the well-known home of the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix racing circuit. Expect the first breakaway to come early.

Thereafter there are four more punchy ascents over the final 60km. The final two of those come on the ascent to the Basilica di San Luca, which is covered in two laps around Bologna before a flat finish in the famous old city’s centre.

The intrigue in this stage will come in whether the one-day specialists can stay with the GC contenders over the final four climbs, starting with the Cote de Botteghino di Zocca 60km from home.

Wout van Aert @ 10/1

He didn’t quite make it to close the gap to Romain Bardet and Frank van den Broek as the DSM-Firmenich duo crossed the line together after breaking away 40km from home in Stage 1, but Wout van Aert ought to be back in the hunt for a stage win on Sunday.

The Belgian showed with his sprint finish that he more than has enough to lead a pack home, so if he’s in the lead group after the final climb up San Luca, then he has to be a big favourite to cross the line first.

Wout van Aert @ 10/1

Mathieu van der Poel E/W @ 16/1

I love Van der Poel, and it seems to me that if he is in the shake up reaching the two climbs up San Luca then he has to be backed to dictate from there on in just as he did around the streets of Glasgow at the 2023 World Championships Road Race.

I’m on the Dutchman to get in position to do damage late, with the each-way shot just covering my back if Pogacar takes it upon himself to leave the rest in his wake before the final kilometres.

Mathieu van der Poel E/W @ 16/1

You can read all our latest Cycling Betting Tips here.

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