Tue, Jul 19, 12:41pm by Staff Writer
Chris Froome holds the Yellow Jersey after the 16th stage of the Tour de France and Richie Porte has drifted further behind as the race enters its final days.
The Team Sky rider was with the leading pack as it wound its way through the Swiss capital Bern to take a one minute, 47 second lead over Bauke Mollema of Trek-Segrafredo heading into the second rest day Tuesday.
Froome is practically unbackable to win his third Tour, with William Hill paying $1.10 for him to be wearing the Yellow Jersey on the final day in Paris on July 24.
Australian Porte has had difficulty recovering from early mechanical problems, not to mention running into the back of a motorbike while going up Mont Ventoux, and is sitting in seventh place, 4.27 off the lead. He is fifth on the William Hill board to win at $41.
With four days of mountain riding ahead, the BMC Racing rider is counting on plenty of opportunities to attack in the Alps.
“Froome is looking good to win, but even if we can’t break him, the podium is still a massive goal for a number of us in the top 10 overall,” he wrote in his ESPN column after the 15th stage. “There is quite a bottle neck for the podium.”
Peter Sagan claimed his third stage of this Tour in Berne on Tuesday morning (AEST) when he pipped Alexander Kristoff on the line after a 209-km ride from Moirans-en-Montagne to lead the Sprint classification for overall points.
Tinkoff rider Sagan now has 405 points to Mark Cavendish’s 291 and looks in strong shape to win a fifth green jersey in Paris. The Slovak is the clear and away favourite, with William Hill paying just $1.01 to $51 for Cavendish.
Further back, Andre Greipel is paying $151.00 and Bryan Coquard is on $201.00 to top the overall points.
“The Tour is such an unpredictable race,” Porte said. “As we have all seen, things can happen on the road; and I’m not meaning outside of the race with incidents like what happened on stage 12 to Mont Ventoux where Froome, Mollema and I crashed into a television motor bike blocked by crowds as we were in a break. There’s still a lot of climbing to come.”
The Tour continues Wednesday night (AEST) with a 184.5 km ride through Switzerland from Berne to the Emosson dam in Alps. There will be a tough 13 km to the summit of the Col de la Forclaz, followed by a final 10km race to Emossen.
Stage 18 will be the first mountain time trial since 2004 and comprises a 17 km climb from Sallanches to Megeve.
Best Bet: Give yourself something to cheer in the final few stages, back Porte to finish Top 3 at $3.25 with William Hill.
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