I love how this post about rank outsiders was first liked by 'safe bet'Most seem to be saying almost certain sprint but I think the break has a better chance than most.
Who contributes to the chase?
Groupama-FDJ for Demare? They are the obvious candidate but given the status in the points competition, one could argue it is in their interests to let the break go (maybe with a rider in it - Valta?). I mean, Demare is way in front in the points competition but it would only take for something to go wrong for him in the sprint and Gaviria to take maximum points for it to be game on again.
Quick Step for Cavendish? Given he might be out the back on the first climb, they would be better to put a rider or two in the break rather than chasing for 100km.
UAE for Gaviria? They shouldn't. They need to preserve energy to help Almeida in the coming days. if they want to compete for this stage then they would also be better to put a rider or two in the break and give the rest of their team an easy day.
I'd say it's pretty much 50-50 sprint or break.
A couple of random possibilities with low confidence but big odds...
Damian Howson at 425-1. I'm going down with the Bike Exchange ship. Yates certainly won't be in this break and I doubt the two who were in it today (Sobrero and Hamilton) will be either. Howson is certainly strong enough to get in the break on or before the climb and thereafter it becomes a lottery.
Lilian Calmejane at 225-1. God he's been disappointing. It's hard to believe he's the same rider from five years ago when he threatened to become a world class one-day rider / stage hunter. Nowadays you just can't have any confidence in him but at least you know he will be trying. He has made no secret of the fact that he wants to complete the GT stage win treble and, looking at what is upcoming, this stage is probably his best chance. He doesn't climb well enough now to win a proper mountain stage from the break but remains pretty fast on the flat.