Oddsmarket's complete and extended Tour de France betting guide, broken down by a cycling betting expert.
<div><h2 style="text-align:center">Tour de France 2019</h2><p style="text-align:center"><strong>Brussels - Paris</strong></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>July 6th – 28th , 2019</strong></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>3,480kms</strong></p><p style="text-align:center"><img alt src="https://img.aso.fr/core_app/img-cycling-tdf-jpg/peloton-2/10921/0:0,1200:799-1000-0-70/cd1f4" style="width:800px;height:533px" /></p><p>21 stages, 3,480kms, 22 teams, 176 riders, 30 large mountains, thousands of water bottles and millions of crazy fans – the Tour de France is about to start!</p><p>There has been plenty of drama before the race even started, with five-time winner and 5/4 favourite for the race, Chris Froome crashing at the Criterium du Dauphine, ruling himself out of the Tour. Then third favourite Tom Dumoulin was also forced to withdraw, the knee injury he suffered in the crash in the Giro d’Italia had not recovered sufficiently.</p><p>And just to add more drama, the new 6/4 favourite for the Tour, Geraint Thomas also crashed in the Tour de Suisse and had to abandon, but luckily it was only superficial wounds to his face and he will be at the start line on Saturday ready to defend the title he won in 2018.</p><p>What it does mean though that it is one of the most open Tours in years, with no real stand-out favourite and lots of pros and cons about all of the main favourites. Team Ineos do seem to two of the Aces in the pack though, with Geraint Thomas the defending champion and his young Colombian protégé Egan Bernal a formidable rider in his own right, they are almost joint favourites in the betting.</p><p>But there are lots of riders ready to take it to Ineos, including Criterium du Dauphine winner Jakob Fuglsang, French hopes Thibaut Pinot and Romain Bardet, the Movistar trio of Mikel Landa, Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde, British hope Adam Yates, Steven Kruijswijk, Vincenzo Nibali and Richie Porte.</p><p>And although it looks like another formality for Peter Sagan to take the Green Jersey, there’s not a lot of value in him at 6/4, but it should be a much more open battle for the climbers jersey, with French hero Julian Alaphilippe the 7/4 favourite to retain his crown as the King of the Mountains</p><p> </p><h2 style="text-align:center">The Route</h2><p style="text-align:center"><img alt src="https://img.aso.fr/core_app/img-cycling-tdf-jpg/tdf19-carte-40x30-uk-15mai/12894/0:0,4724:3543-1200-0-70/a4dec" style="width:800px;height:600px" /></p><p>The race starts with a lumpy, but most likely sprint stage in Brussels, designed to honour the fiftieth anniversary of the first of five Tour de France won by Belgian legend Eddie Merckx. The next day will see time gaps start to form among the GC favorites as they take on a 27km team time trial around Brussels, stronger teams will put 30 seconds or more in to the weaker teams, putting some GC men on the back foot early on.</p><p>The first key stage is stage 6, a difficult mountain stage that ends on the climb to La Planche des Belles Filles, a finish that was used in 2017 when Fabio Aru won, and also in 2014 when Vincenzo Nibali won on his way to taking overall victory. This year though they have made a hard climb even harder, by adding another kilometre to it up a steep gravel forest track.</p><p style="text-align:center"><img alt src="https://img.aso.fr/core_app/img-cycling-tdf-jpg/6/13114/0:0,960:579-960-0-70/fb0b1" style="width:960px;height:579px" /></p><p>Stage 9 could be a tricky one on the road to Brioude, expect Romain Bardet to be active on his home turf. The mountains start in earnest on stage 12, they go over the Cold de Peyresourde and Hourquette d’Ancizan on the way to the downhill finish in Bagneres de Bigorre, where Dan Martin beat Jakob Fuglsang in 2013.</p><p>Friday the 13th could be a horror show for some, with the 27kms time trial in Pau, there could be some big gaps between some of the GC contenders. Stage 14 is a Saturday afternoon treat with the short (117kms) but nasty route to the top of the Tourmalet, which tops out at 2,115kms.</p><p style="text-align:center"><img alt src="https://img.aso.fr/core_app/img-cycling-tdf-jpg/14/13126/0:0,960:579-960-0-70/376c0" style="width:800px;height:483px" /></p><p>Stage 15 rounds out a tough few days in the Pyrenees with three Cat 1 climbs on the way to the summit finish at Foix Prat d’Albis. They come back after the Monday rest day to a rare sprint stage in the latter part of the race, but then heads in to the Alps the next day with a stage that looks nailed on to be a breakaway winner.</p><p>Stage 18 is a monster – 208kms long, two Haute Category climbs (the Col d’Izoard, 2,360m and the Col du Galibier, 2,642m), it starts the run of three incredibly hard stages that should decide the winner. Stage 19 takes them over the highest point of the race on the Col de l’Iseran (2,770m) and finshes up the uphill finish to Tignes (7.4kms at 7%).</p><p>The final challenge on stage 20 sees them race only over 130kms, but 34kms of that is the final climb up to Val Thorens, one of the longest climbs in France. If the race is still in the balance we could see a brilliant final battle on the steep final 8kms or so.</p><p>The race finishes with the customary ceremonial jaunt in to Paris and a 60km crit race around the Champs Elysees before one final sprint battle.</p><p> </p><h2 style="text-align:center">The main contenders</h2><p>Team Ineos have the top two favourites in the betting, with defending champion <strong>Geraint Thomas</strong>, and the 22 year-old Colombian sensation <strong>Egan Bernal</strong> vying for favouritism following <strong>the withdrawal of Chris Froome</strong>. Thomas has had a disrupted and below-par build up to the race, culminating in his crash in the Tour de Suisse.</p><p>He went in to the 2018 race as understudy to the team leader Froome, but was clearly the better of the two of them out on the road and took the race with relative comfort in the end. Egan Bernal is only 22,</p><p>but is a star in the making and actually looks in better shape than his team-mate at this point in the season. Winner of the Tour de Suisse, he climbed very well to take the win on stage 7 and also put time in to his rivals on stage 6. He sealed the deal with a good ride in the time trial finishing in 11th place.</p><p style="text-align:center"><img alt src="https://cdn-cyclingtips.pressidium.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/egan-bernal-2019-tour-de-suisse-1280x854.jpg" style="width:800px;height:534px" /></p><p>He also won the prestigious Paris-Nice race in March, was 3rd in the Volta a Catalunya and 4th in his native Tour of Colombia at the start of the season. 15th in this race last year, when working for Thomas, he is a superb climber and will love the high altitude climbs over 2,000m, can hold his own in TTs and is with the team that has won the race six out of the last seven times. I’d rather be on him than Thomas right now and the first bet <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18&f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">I recommend is for him to beat his team-mate Thomas in a match bet at 4/5 with Bet365</a></p><p>Third favourite is arguably the rider of the season so far, <strong>Jakob Fuglsang</strong>. The Dane riding for the Astana team won the Vuelta a Andalucia at the start of the year, finished 2nd in Strade Bianche, 3rd in Tirreno Adriatico, 4th in the Tour of the Basque Country, 3rd in Amstel Gold, 2nd in La Fleche Wallone and won Liege-Bastogne-Liege. He returned to action two weeks ago after 6 weeks off preparing at altitude for the Tour and won the key Tour prep race the Criterium du Dauphin, with impressive performances in the mountains and a solid 9th in the time trial.</p><p>He seems to have the attributes and form to be a major contender, but he has sometimes struggled in a three-week Tour and doubts still remain he will last through the tough final week. He has only finished in the top ten of a Grand Tour once in 15 attempts, in the Tour of 2013. He is with the powerful Astana squad, but too many doubts remain for me to have confidence in him at just 5/1.</p><p><strong>Adam Yates</strong> leads the Mitchelton-Scott team and <strong>will be supported by his brother Simon</strong>, winner of the 2018 Vuelta a Espana. He is one of the best climbers here, but this year he also seems to have dramatically improved his time trialling abilities, finishing 5th in the TT at the Tour of the Basque Country on his way to 5th overall, and 6th in the TT at the Dauphine to take the lead. He could well have won the Dauphine had he not started to get sick on the penultimate stage and had to abandon on the final stage.</p><p style="text-align:center"><img alt src="https://ms.sbrfeeds.com/redirect-proxy/redirect/?url=http://cdn.media.cyclingnews.com/2018/06/10/1/970879106_670.jpg" style="width:670px;height:446px" /></p><p>He was also 2nd in the Vuelta a Catalunya and Tirreno Adriatico, 5th in the Tour of Andalucia and 8th in the Tour of Valencia earlier this year, I don’t think there is another rider with a better record than him in stage races so far this year. He has finished 4th in the Tour in 2016 and 9th in the 2017 Giro and the team say they are all-in for him to deliver the yellow jersey.</p><p><strong>Richie Porte</strong> crashed out of the last two editions of the race, when he was in great shape and potentially could have done very well in both. He’s had an illness-hit spring but returned to serious training and racing in the United States, where he placed a confidence-boosting 5th place, and then got some proper training in at the Dauphine as well where he placed 11th. He has been very flakey over the years in Grand Tours though, and despite his ability and signs of promise, he’s never really delivered.</p><p><strong>Nairo Quintana</strong> finished 2nd behind Froome when just 23 at the 2013 Tour de France. Since then he has been unable to dislodge Froome at the Tour, finishing 2nd and 3rd to him in 2015 and 2016, but was just</p><p>12th in 2017 and 10th last year. Since then though he has won the Giro d’Italia and Tour of Spain and is still one of the best riders in the world, especially on the high mountain roads.</p><p>But he just doesn’t seem the Quintana of old to me, and his performance in the Dauphine was disappointing. He is joined by <strong>Mikel Landa</strong>, who finished 4th in the recent Giro d’Italia and World Champion Alejandro Valverde, who has shown he’s ready by just winning the Spanish road race title once again.</p><p><strong>Steven Kruijswijk</strong> has had an excellent season to date, he is very consistent and has finished 3rd, 5th, 6th in the first three stage races he’d done this year, and was on target for another top ten place in the Dauphine, but also got sick like Yates and had to abandon on the final stage. He has a very strong team here with him who will do very well in the Team Time Trial, he’s good himself against the clock (was 4th in the Dauphine TT, ahead of a lot of his rivals here) and is one of the best climbers in the race too. 5th last year, I think he is consistent enough and strong enough to improve on that and step on to the podium this year.</p><p>And then you have the two French hopes – <strong>Thibaut Pinot and Romain Bardet </strong>will have the weight of the French expectations on their shoulders again. Pinot has had a solid, if unspectacular season, his 5th in the Dauphine was a good sign though and he will be a top 6 challenger. He will be let down by his time trial abilities though, he might lose a minute and a half to some rivals over the two time trials.</p><p>Romain Bardet has finished 2nd in the Tour in 2016 and 3rd in 2017 and 6th twice, including last year and has to be respected. But he is also very poor against the clock and could find himself having to try to recover over two minutes lost in the TTs. He’s not had a great season though, I would have expected more than 10th in the Dauphine from him. I think though it will be hard for him to improve on his 6th of last year.</p><p>And then you have the likes of <strong>Dan Martin, Vincenzo Nibali, Enric Mas, Woet Poels, Emanuel Buchmann, Ilnur Zakarin, Jesus Herrada and Rohan Dennis</strong> who could all go well too. Vincenzo Nibali finished 2nd in this year’s Tour of Italy and says that he is coming to the Tour to go for stage wins and maybe the King of the Mountains jersey, but don’t be surprised to see him sneak in to the top 10.</p><p>So it looks like it has all the makings of a fantastic race this year. The course is tough and varied, with lots of lumpy stages and not a great deal of time trialling, so it’s all about climbing ability this year. I think Bernal is a very solid favorite, but I’m going to go with Adam Yates at a much bigger 12/1 with Betway and the 3/1 on him to finish in the top 3 looks good to me too.</p><p><strong><a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&a=3e56a0bf-7bdf-4fe1-b9a6-d22c7cc3dd2c&f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">1pt win on Adam Yates at 13 (12/1) with Betway</a></strong></p><p><strong><a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&a=3e56a0bf-7bdf-4fe1-b9a6-d22c7cc3dd2c&f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">2pts on Yates to finish in the top 3 at 4.0 (3/1) with Betway</a></strong></p><p><strong><a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&a=3e56a0bf-7bdf-4fe1-b9a6-d22c7cc3dd2c&f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Egan Bernal to be the top Ineos rider – 3pts at 1.83 (5/6) with Betway</a></strong></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>There’s a whole host of other betting markets available on the Tour de France though, the King of the Mountains, Green Jersey, Young Rider and Team Classification bets are some of the most popular.</strong></p><h2 style="text-align:center"> </h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Green Jersey</h2><p><strong>Peter Sagan</strong> is going for the outright record of seven Green Jerseys, awarded to winner of the Points competition. Points are awarded on each stage to the first 15 riders home and for intermediate sprints during each stage, and Sagan has been the king of the sprints for many years now.</p><p>He is just 4/9 though so there isn’t much value in him, he should win it, but that’s one for the big hitters. Who can challenge him?</p><p style="text-align:center"><img alt src="https://www.sbs.com.au/cyclingcentral/sites/sbs.com.au.cyclingcentral/files/styles/full/public/sagan_3.jpg?itok=JU4Hvq9P&mtime=1532470440" style="width:704px;height:396px" /></p><p><strong>Dylan Groenewegen</strong> won two stages last year and he’s one of the fastest sprinters in the peloton at the moment, with 10 wins to his name this year. He should score well, maybe win a stage or two, but you're taking a gamble with him that he'll make it all the way to Paris, but he did make it two years ago, and not only that, took the final stage too, but still only finished 7th in the Points Competition.</p><p><strong>Elia Viviani - 5/1.</strong> Elia Viviani has a lot of making up to do after his disastrous Giro where he didn't take a single stage win. He does have his A-team leadout here though, Richeze, Morkov, Lampaert, Devenyns and Asgreen were all with him at the TDS where they dominated the 4th and 5th stages to help him land two stages in a row.</p><p>Their mission in this TDF is to deliver as many stage wins as possible for Viviani, but will he finish? Well, like a lot of the sprinters, he's going to struggle in the Pyrénées and will really struggle in the final week in the Alps.</p><p><strong>Michael Matthews - 8/1.</strong> Matthews abandoned with illness before the start of the stage 5 last year, but won this competition in 2017 after Sagan was disqualified. He also finished 3rd in the points competition in the Tour in 2016. Sunweb don't really have any leader for the GC now and should be making stage wins for Matthew a priority, and I think he will score well over the three weeks, and more importantly should make it over the mountains and finish the race.</p><p><strong>Caled Ewan - 16/1. </strong>Caleb Ewan has now started three Giros and one Vuelta and not finished any of them. It's also hard to believe that he's not ridden the Tour before, that's a stat that surprised me. He'll have his eyes on 4 or 5 stages in the opening 11 stages and could well take one or two of them, especially the hillier ones that will strip out or tire the heavier sprinters. But I’m not sure he’ll make it all the way to Paris and even if he does, I can't see him besting Sagan often enough to come close to him at the top.</p><p><strong>Alexander Kristoff</strong> will be involved in lots of the sprints, maybe not winning them, but will be top 6 on most of them. He has shown he can make it to Paris, he's finished all six of the Tour's he's started, and has finished 2nd, 4th, 5th, 10th, 2nd and 5th in the points competitions. At 22/1 he is going to be an e/w punt for a place though, unless Sagan drops out it's hard to see him winning it.</p><p>It's impossible to look past Sagan, but the 4/9 is really only for the big hitters. But, if we double him with Bernal for the White jersey it becomes a little bit more attractive, the double pays 11/10 with Betway.</p><p><strong>Michael Matthews</strong> offers each-way value I think at 8/1, he should finish the race, he should be involved in a lot of finishes and breaks and Sunweb don't really have a lot else to ride for.</p><h2>Recommendations</h2><p><a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18&f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><strong>Back Michael Matthews each-way for the Points competition at 8/1 with Bet365</strong></a></p><h2 style="text-align:center"> </h2><h2 style="text-align:center">King of the Mountains</h2><p>This is a wide-open competition this year with <strong>2018 winner Julian Alaphilippe heading the betting at 7/4</strong> and <strong>2017 winner Warren Barguil 2nd favourite at 6/1</strong>.</p><p style="text-align:center"><img alt src="https://france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr/bretagne/sites/regions_france3/files/styles/top_big/public/assets/images/2019/06/30/victoire_barguil-4319150.jpg?itok=JUR8SydS" style="width:800px;height:536px" /></p><p>Alaphilippe was sensational last year, going after every mountain point he could manage and landing two stage wins in the process. He’s in brilliant form this year too and is a strong favourite to repeat his feat of taking the polka dots again.</p><p>Warren Barguil hasn’t had a great season but won the French road race title last weekend, something that will give a massive boost to his, and his team’s confidence ahead of the Tour. He was no match for Alaphilippe last year, but if Alaphilippe maybe starts to focus on the GC a bit more, then he could have a chance to repeat his victory from 2017. If not, I think he won’t be far behind Alaphilippe, so he’s worth an e/w bet at 6/1.</p><p><strong>Vincenzo Nibali</strong> says he is coming to the Tour to chase stage wins and the KOM jersey, do we believe him? If he does go for it, then he has to be feared, he’s a superb climber and master tactician, he’ll know how to time his efforts to gain the maximum points. He might be worth an e/w bet at 10/1 too, he might not be far off.</p><p><strong>Giulio Ciccone </strong>took the KOM jersey at the Giro in fine style, he was relentlessly on the attack right from the very first stage and never let up. Can he repeat his feat at the Tour? I’m not sure he’ll have the legs after the tough Giro he had.</p><p><strong>Mikel Landa</strong> could go stage hunting, he loves a big climb on the big stages, and if so, he could take a lot of the 40-pointers and could shoot up the tables. Egan Bernal could well win a few stages, particularly the ones with the summit finishes, and if he does, he too will be picking up a lot of points. He should be close to the front on all the big stages and will pick up lots of points, but will it be enough to win? I’m not sure.</p><p><strong>Romain Bardet</strong> should give up his hopes of winning the GC I think, it’s not going to happen.. But if he put his mind to it and went for the KOM jersey, he is capable of pulling it off. Wouldn’t it be nice to be wearing the polkadots when the race enters his home town of Brioude? 50/1 is an outside shot, but could pay dividends.</p><p>Julian Alaphilippe probably wins, but 7/4 is too short for me, anything could happen.</p><h2>Recommendations:</h2><p><a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&a=df66db4b-b019-4343-9fc7-6c4f20e2a356&f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><strong>Back Warren Barguil at 6/1 e/w with Paddy Power</strong></a></p><p><a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&a=3e56a0bf-7bdf-4fe1-b9a6-d22c7cc3dd2c&f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><strong>0.25pts e/w on Romain Bardet at 50/1 with Betway</strong></a></p><p> </p><h2 style="text-align:center">Other interesting Bets</h2><p>Under 148.5 finishers at 4/7 with Bet365. This opened at 5/6 and I was all over it, I still think it’s worth backing at 4/7.</p><p>Over the last 7 years when it has been 198 starters, we've had an average of 164.86 finishers, or 83.3%. Taking that percent to the 176 starters this year we should be looking at 146.6 finishers. That is already under the market price.. now if you go back 30 years, when the race moves up and down from between 176 riders and 198, we get an average of 190.5 starters, 146 finishers, or 76.5%.</p><p>76.5% of 176 is 134 riders. My prediction last year was that I thought we could slide under the 148.5, I went with 144 finishers, and it actually ended up at 145, I was pretty close, but the bet won. This year, they have gone with the exact same number, they haven't nudged it down at all. I think we’ll get about 1.5 abandons a day, we may even get more if some riders struggle to make the time limit on the big stages. I think it will be around 144-145 finishers again this year.</p><h2>Recommendation:</h2><p><strong><a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18&f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Back under 148.5 finishers at 4/7 with Bet365</a></strong></p><p><strong><a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18&f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Top 10 betting – Dan Martin looks a pretty good bet to me at 4/5 to finish in the top 10 with Bet365</a></strong></p><p><a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18&f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><strong>King of the Mountains match bets – Back Rigoberto Uran to beat Richie Porte at 5/6 with Bet365</strong></a></p></div>