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Tour de France Betting

There is no bigger road race in the world than the Tour de France. It is also one of the most gruelling events of any sport, anywhere in the world. The race itself is one of the three Grand Tours of cycling along with the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana.

But is it the Tour de France which is the cream of the crop and the dream title of every road cyclist. It is 21 gruelling days of racing squashed in to a 23 day period.

The origin of the Tour de France goes back to 1903 when it was a five-stage race. It started and ended in the French capital. The main title that the riders are going for in a Tour de France is winning the General Classification. This is for the rider who completes all the stages of the race in the shortest time. After each stage of the race, the current leader gets the privilege of wearing the famous Yellow Jersey.

There are other classifications in the race, including the Mountains classification for the rider who has amassed the most points on the climbs. Points are awarded to first 10 riders to finish a categorized climb. There is the Points classification which is partly based on sprint performances within the stages and the Young Rider classification which is restricted to riders under the age of 26 and works on the same principles as the General Classification.

 

Former Winners

There is a wonderful list of top riders who have created such a history and helped build the status of the Tour de France. The earliest real legend was Jacques Anquetil who won it five times with his final one happening in 1964, as did his fellow countryman Bernand Hinault two decades after.

Famous Belgian rider Eddy Merckx, perhaps one of the biggest celebrities to come out of road racing also won the title five times. He also holds the record for most stage wins through his career as well, with 34. Spain’s Miguel Indurain won five titles too, all in consecutive years, something the other three never managed.

Bradley Wiggins was the first British rider to ever win the Tour de France with his title in 2012. But it was then Chris Froome who took up the mantle to win it four times in five seasons. Welshman Geraint Thomas joined the club of British winners as he collected the title in 2018.

 

2018 Review

Even though he was supposed to be playing second fiddle to Sky teammate Chris Froome, it was Geraint Thomas who landed the 2018 win. Froome, who had won three of the four previous editions of the Tour de France and was the reigning champion, was the man in focus. It wasn’t until late that his participation was confirmed because of an anti-doping case which was still ongoing. But he was cleared five days before the start of the event, so Froome hopped in the saddle and get it his best. He wasn’t at his sharpest though.

Among the other front runners for the 2018 title was Romain Bardet, Tom Dumoulin, Mikel Landa, Vicenzo Biali, Richie Porte, Nairo Quintana and 29017’s Young Rider classification winner Adam Yates. Of them all, it was realistically Porte who looked to be in the best shape to challenge for the top honour as he had been in form. But the Australian crashed out on the 9th stage, as he had done in the previous year.

It was Fernando Gaviria who was the General Classification leader at the first stage, with Peter Sagan taking over at the end of the second. Then taking full charge of the race was Greg van Avermaet who took the Yellow Jacket on the third stage and held on to it all the way through to the tenth stage.

That was when Geraint Thomas showed his hand. The Welshman took over the lead after winning stage 11, strengthening his position by winning the next stage and he never looked back. He never let the Yellow jersey go once he had it.

Geraint Thomas won the General Classification with a time of 83h 17’ 13” and it was by a margin of almost two minutes over second placed Tom Dumoulin. Despite such a disrupted build-up and lack of competitive racing, defending Champion Chris Froome still managed to take third place in the race, 2’ 24” back of the winner. Peter Sagan won the Points classification, Julian Alaphilippe the Mountain classification and Pierre Latour won the Young rider classification.

 

2019 Preview

Chris Froome will not be back in action for the 2019 Tour de France. He was involved in a horrible crash which left him hospitalised. His freak high-speed accident left him with several serious injuries including a broken leg. He was going to be heading up Team Ineos, the new identity of Team Sky. So his withdrawal has left Geraint Thomas as the joint team leader alongside Egan Bernal. Thomas may feel a little aggrieved that he wasn’t the sole team leader over the Colombian.

Such is the promise of the Colombian though that it is he who is the frontrunner to win the Tour de France 2019, ahead of Thomas. That’s a pretty strong indicator of how good the 22-year-old is and he could be ready to step into the limelight. Given that he will go to the Tour de France after his win at the Paris – Nice race. He was a domestique to Froome and Thomas in last year’s Tour de France so has the experience of the big-time.

Britain’s Adam Yates is expected to put together a strong ride in what would appear to be a pretty open race actually this year. Australia’s Richie Porte will be looking to put some recent huge disappointments in the Tour de France behind him to claim his first title. Nairo Quintana, Mikel Landa and Thibaut Pinot are all experienced riders having another crack at the event.

There has been some big early support for Jakob Fuglsang with the 34-year-old Swiss rider having had a very strong year in winning the Vuelta a Andalucia and the Criterium du Dauphine.

The 2019 Tour de France starts on July 6th and runs through to July 28th. The race will be over a distance of 2,150 miles.