So from one world trophy that’s coming home to another, it’s time for Eurosport’s favourite three weeks of the year, the Tour De France!
All the fun kicks off tomorrow with 19 gruelling stages, culminating in a nice calm cycle around Paris on 29th July. As ever the run up to the Tour has been littered with controversy thanks to a certain Christopher Froome tripping and falling onto his banned asthma inhaler on multiple occasions in the 2017 Vuelta.
In the last few days while practicing he’s been booed, spat at, had urine chucked at him, and been followed around by giant inhalers… but we very much doubt that will stop him. After his amazing performance in the Giro D’Italia mountains, he is still the man to beat at 6/4 and we will be keeping him on side.
Most people have this a two horse between Froome and the Australian Richie Porte, who’s looking for redemption after issues in 2016 and a crash last year in 2017 caused him to quit the race. An easy win in the Tour De Suisse in June has seen his price continue to come in, but with his C&D form not the best and no real leading experience in a grand tour, we are currently at 4/1 on Porte.
Best of the rest
• Nairo Quintana – The only Colombian with a chance of winning a trophy over the summer, Quintana has always been knocking on the door for the Overall title but has never got over the line, and a poor performance in the mountains last year ended his hopes. He didn’t race in the Giro to be primed for this but his team don’t look the same on paper than in previous years.
• Romain Bardet – The Frenchman will have the home faithful cheering him on, and looks in good form going into this year’s race. He finished second in 2016 and third in 2017 and looks a good E/W bet at 12/1, especially If one of the top two falters
• Primoz Roglic – Another one with a decent outside shout is the Slovenian ski-jumper-turned-cyclist Roglic, who impressed when winning the Tour de Romandie in April, an acknowledged Tour de France primer won in 2016 by Quintana and 2017 by Porte. At 20/1, he could be worth value to squeeze into a place.
Other outright markets
Points Classification (Green Jersey)
Peter Sagan, the greatest Slovakian of all time heads this market at 4/11 and even that represents some sort of value. Sagan is looking for huge redemption after his controversial disqualification last year after a battle with Cavendish on the Sprint, and we can’t see anything else apart from a Sagan win.
King of the Mountains (Polka Dot Jersey)
Very open betting heat this one, with Barguil heading the field at 5/2. We like the look of Thomas De Gendt here: the breakaway specialist has held the polka dot jersey on a number of occasions before just missing out on the title, currently available at 12/1.
Top Young Rider
This market has been the big mover of the Tour, with Egan Bernal shortening from 3/1 into 5/4.
To win a stage
Another one with value to be found , and there’s a couple we like here at good prices. The Luxembourgeois Bob Jungels looks good value at around 7/2 to take a stage win after impressing in his breakaway climbs throughout the Spring. Meanwhile we are in team TDG again, with the Belgian De Gendt at 2/1.
21 stages, 110 hours, 185 riders and 3,500km of Cycling. Enjoy!