One of the greatest tests of sporting endurance is back with the 105th running of the Tour de France getting underway on June 27th. It’s a week later than usual this year due to global focus on football’s World Cup but that just makes the anticipation even greater.
Betting on cycling has gained in popularity and this is the busiest time for betting sites who offer markets on the Tour so let’s see what the competitors are up against before we attempt to pick a winner.
Dates and Formats
In 2020, the Tour takes place solely within France which is good news for traditionalists who were unhappy with starting legs going off in the UK. That particular quirk may return in the future but for now, the riders will start in Noirmoutier on Jun 27 and will then wind their way around 3,329 kilometres of the country before finishing, as always, on the Champs-Elysees in Paris.
The finish date is set for Jul 19 and along the way there is some treacherous terrain to negotiate so who has the skill and stamina to come through this year and give us a profit?
Man to Beat
England’s Chris Froome is our defending champion and he starts off the outright Tour de France betting for 2018 at best odds of 2/1 with Betway. Not only is Froome looking to defend his title, he is closing in on a record, having won the Tour in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
One more victory will put him level with the great Eddy Merckx, plus Bernard Hinault, Miguel Indurain and Jacques Anquetil as the only men to have won this great event on five occasions. Controversy continues to follow Froome following the asthma drug issue but the Englishman comes here on the back of a first Giro D’Italia win so it doesn’t appear to be bothering him.
Behind the market leader we have a small gap to the second favourite Richie Porte who is available at 17/4 with Unibet and 888Sport. The Australian cyclist has fought his way back from illness to become a genuine contender at most major events and he comes to France having won the Tour de Suisse in June.
Moving through the candidates and we come to third favourite Nairo Quintana at 8/1 with SportingBet and Betway. The Colombian’s recognised nickname literally translates as the ‘Condor of the Andes’ and as you may have guessed from that, he is something of a climbing specialist.
As a genuine contender for the outright Tour de France win, there may be better candidates but Quintana can certainly be considered strongly for the mountain stages.
Other names to consider from among the chasing pack include Mikel Landa at best odds of 10/1 with Unibet and Betway, Vincenzo Nibali at a top price of 12/1 with Betway and Geraint Thomas at a best of 18/1 with Betway again. At the time of writing, the final line up for the 2018 Tour de France is still being confirmed but in recent years, shocks have been very rare in this event so in all probability we will have already mentioned the winner.
Alongside the outright winner options, bettors will be able to punt on each stage of the Tour. There are 21 stages in total but markets will open as each stage is completed and at present, you can only bet on the first stage.
This is a fairly standard route out from Noirmoutier to Fontenay over a flat stretch of 189 km but this is where the experienced cycling bettors feel that they can really make their money. Favourites such as Chris Froome will not win every time and in fact, the defending Tour De France Champion is way down at 500/1 with Betway to win the first stage while the favourite, Fernando Gaviria, is available at a best of 5/2 with Betway again.
Look out for specialists at each stage of the Tour and some shrewd analysis could lead to excellent profits.
At the time of writing, markets are also open for a Top Three Finish, Betting without Chris Froome and the Green Jersey winner. The Green Jersey is a points classification award and is generally known as a sprinters trophy. For the 2020 Tour de France, only one bookmaker has declared prices for the Green Jersey thus far so in this case it would be better to wait until closer to the start before making a bet.
It’s quite telling that the odds setters have offered Betting without Chris Froome as one of their options for the Tour de France 2020. The reigning champion may not be particularly short at 2/1, although he is as low as 6/4 in places, but the Kenyan born cyclist is by far the most outstanding contender once again.
While some may feel Froome may be distracted by external issues, he proved at the Giro D’Italia that he has the kind of temperament that will exclude them from his thoughts. In becoming the first Englishman to win that event, his credentials were further established and some even feel that the win in Italy was even more impressive than his multiple Tour de France victories.
There will be some interesting options at each stage of the Tour and we’ll certainly look to back Nairo Quintana as we reach the mountainous stretches but in terms of an overall winner, it’s very hard to look past Chris Froome as he looks to make history by joining some illustrious names on a record total of five Tour de France victories.