Tour de France Stage 3 Predictions: Cavendish 16/1 to make history

 | Sunday 30th June 2024, 20:20pm

Sunday 30th June 2024, 20:20pm

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If the first couple of stages of the 2024 Tour de France haven’t been your cup of tea and sprint finishes are more of your bag, Monday’s Stage 3 between Piacenza and Turin will fit the bill (live from 10:00 BST on Eurosport 1, 14:00 BST on ITV4).

The largely pancake-flat 231.1km route from Lombardy to Piedmont will finish on the streets of the same city which hosted the opening action of this year’s Giro d’Italia. Here are my Tour de France Stage 3 predictions…

Tour de France Stage 3 Betting Tips

  • Mark Cavendish @ 16/1
  • Jasper Philipsen @ 8/13

Tour de France Betting Odds

Jasper Philipsen is the big favourite t0 land the first sprint of Le Tour in 2024. He's 8/13, while Dylan Groenewegen follows at 7/1. You can get 17/2 on Wout van Aert to recover from a down day on Sunday, 12/1 on either of Arnuad De Lie or Mads Pedersen, and 16/1 on Mark Cavendish.

Cycling Odds

The final day of this year’s Tour to be entirely based in Italy, Monday will see a shift of emphasis as the various sprinters get their potential moment in the sun.

This is rated as the 17th most difficult stage of the 21 (so fifth-easiest), so shouldn’t go too far off the plan for teams expecting to get their star finishers into prime position.

Let’s get that great big elephant in the corner of the room address immediately, shall we? Mark Cavendish’s quest for a record-breaking 35th Tour de France stage win comes into focus for the first time in 2024.

Of course, he’s only here because he crashed out of last year’s event with a broken collarbone on stage 8, less than 24 hours after he came within a hair’s breadth of beating Jasper Philipsen to the finish line in Bordeaux only to be denied by his gears slipping close to home.

2023 was meant to be his swansong, but having been cruelly robbed of further opportunities to surpass Eddy Merckx’s long-standing stage wins record, he signed on for one more year with Astana Qazaqstan. And if he falls short this time around it feels as though that really will be the last chance lost.

Philipsen and Mads Pedersen figure to be his two main threats so long as the trio have the lead-outs they expect to have arriving at the finish close to Torino FC’s Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino, the home of the 2006 Winter Games.

While the Belgian is tipped to take home the green jersey, having won six stages over the past two editions of Le Tour and won the points classification 12 months ago, Lidl-Trek’s Pedersen is a former World Champion and has six Grand Tour stage win to his name.

Mark Cavendish @ 16/1

Honestly, this prediction is simply because I don’t want to miss the boat if or when it happens. The heart says ‘when’, but the head is screaming ‘if’.

At 39, Cav keeps on telling anyone who will listen that guys built like him just don’t get on bikes as 20-year-olds these days, but that doesn’t take away from the devilish, knowing grin he can occasionally flash when attempting to play down what might follow.

He’s here because he believes that number 35 is possible, and while it does feel deep in the gut that the elite sprinters of today might have the agility and the lead-out setups to outdo the Manx Missile, the thought of the Tour de France fairytale is too big a carrot.

The 16/1 odds imply a 5.9% chance of him winning, but Mark Cavendish always has a better than 5.9% chance of winning a sprint stage.

Mark Cavendish @ 16/1

Jasper Philipsen @ 8/13

By way of a cover bet, and in the knowledge that if Cav had stuck by his retirement plans in 2023 I’d be tipping the Alpecin-Deceuninck star with little doubt in my mind, I’m also going with Philipsen.

He’s the leader of the new breed, he’s got a number of one-day classic wins under his belt due to his finishing power, and he’s almost always in the shake-up. The 26-year-old has been either first or second in 13 Tour de France stages over the last three years and his four wins in ’23 were proof he’s on the up.

If the Cav pick is chasing the fairytale, this one is 100 per cent pragmatism.

Jasper Philipsen @ 8/13

You can read all our latest Cycling Betting Tips here.

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