Tour de France Stage 5 Predictions: Philipsen for the sprint win over Cavendish

 | Tuesday 2nd July 2024, 18:25pm

Tuesday 2nd July 2024, 18:25pm

Cycling Sprint

After a chaotic end to the previous flat stage, it’s another day for the sprinters at the 2024 Tour de France on Wednesday in Stage 5’s 177.4km route between Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne and Saint-Vulbas (live from 12:00 BST on Eurosport 1, 14:00 BST on ITV4).

Mark Cavendish’s push for a 35th career stage win comes into focus once more as a couple of short climbs make way for a straight-forward final 20km to Saint-Vulbas, just east of Lyon. My Tour de France Stage 5 predictions will pit heart against head once more.

Tour de France Stage 5 Betting Tips

  • Jasper Philipsen @ 11/8
  • Mark Cavendish E/W @ 12/1

Tour de France Betting Odds

Unsurprisingly, it's Jasper Philipsen leading the market to win Stage 5 at 11/8, with Jayco-AlUla's Dylan Groenewegen at 5/1 second favourite. Arnaud De Lie is 6/1, and Monday's sprint winner Biniam Girmay can be backed at 8/1. Lidl-Trek's Mads Pedersen is available at 10/1, while the history bet on Mark Cavendish is 12/1.

Cycling Odds

The last sprint stage didn’t quite go as everyone expected as first Jasper Philipsen lost his key Alpecin Deceuninck lead-out man Mathieu van der Poel to a mechanical shortly before stage three reached its Turin finale, then Cavendish and his Astana Qazaqstan train was caught up in a crash.

That left Intermarche-Wanty’s Biniam Girmay to become the first Black African winner of a Tour de France stage when he outsprinted Fernando Gaviria and Arnaud De Lie to the finish line.

But as the 2024 Tour begins its first stage entirely based in France, it is hard to look beyond some of the usual suspects for the second flat course of the year. And that means consideration for ‘Cav’ as he goes for that elusive 35th TdF stage win which would take him past the great Eddy Merckx at the top of the all-time list.

This stage sees the final turn of any real note coming 2.5km from home, then a sweeping left at around 1.8km and a kink to the right in the final 350 metres. That should see a bit of a bun-fight for position as teams look to prime their sprinters for supremacy going through that final dip to the right.

Jasper Philipsen @ 11/8

Tuesday’s Tadej Pogacar call was proof that sometimes you needn’t overthink things. The Slovenian was always likely to test the resolve of the recovering Jonas Vingegaard up the Col du Galibier, and that’s exactly where the 2020 and 2021 champion gained his success.

And similar can be said of Philipsen ahead of Wednesday. Sure, he didn’t get the job done on Monday in Turin but there will always be days like that at the Tour de France and he could well just bounce back with an even greater appetite to gain a seventh stage success around l’Hexagone.

You have to believe that so long as they don’t suffer a similar late issue to Monday, Alpecin-Deceuninck will have what it takes to put Philipsen in position to bring it home. As the best in the business right now, I’m backing him at 11/8, which implies at 42.1% chance of victory.

Jasper Philipsen to win @ 11/8

Mark Cavendish E/W @ 12/1

And here comes the caveat. Get it? ‘Cav’eat? Oh, never mind.

As a huge fan of the Manx Missile’s work over more than a decade-and-a-half, I don’t want to be missing out if he does reach 35. And while his absence from the group coming around the final couple of bends in Turin was a result of circumstance, I still don’t have the same belief in his Astana-Qazaqstan lead-out that I have in Cavendish himself.

Another factor is the second of the two category-four climbs at Cote de Lhuis, which is long enough at 6km to potentially tempt the likes of Alpecin-Deceuninck and Lidl-Trek to send a group up and bring in Philipsen and Mads Pedersen ahead of the regular sprint pack. Even if that doesn't happen, I'm thinking the Belgian will get the better of him anyway.

So I’m kind of expecting him to have to really toil to get that 35th stage win this time around, whatever my heart is telling me. As such, I’ll still get behind him even if the smarter money is on Philipsen getting there first.

Mark Cavendish E/W @ 12/1

You can read all our latest Cycling Betting Tips here.

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