Free tips Cycling: There’s Room on Chris Froome’s Tour De France Broom
Chris Froome’s odds of winning the Tour de France have shrunk from 13/2 into 13/8 in the course of three days following news that the four-time winner has firstly been barred from the race and then, officially, been cleared to take part.
Indeed Froome will be amongst the 176 rider in the line-up from 22 teams, that’s now official.
Grateful and relieved to finally put this chapter behind me, it has been an emotional 9 months. Thank you to all of those who have supported and believed in me throughout. pic.twitter.com/OGzsg83Gjj
— Chris Froome (@chrisfroome) July 2, 2018
Who will win the Tour De France 2018?
Can the UK rider win the race, which he was forced to withdraw from in 2014 (with a fractured wrist after several accidents) and had to forfeit almost certain victory in 2012 (to give teammate Bradley Wiggins the victory), for a fifth time?
Based on the form he has shown this season, undoubtedly yes. But that form 2018 includes victory in the Giro d’Italia and the last time the Giro and Tour de France double was won by a rider in the same year was 1998.
Ultimately Chris Froome could be the biggest certainty since Frankel met Canford Cliffs in the mismatch which was titled the ‘Duel on the Downs’. But given this year’s Giro was a longer race than the Tour de France will be and every stat is against Froome, he could bomb like Anthony Joshua in Sports Personality of the Year 2017.
No Porte party
Former teammate Riche Porte adopted the mantle as race favourite when Froome looked unlikely to race. He has now settled at 9/2 (Paddy Power & William Hill) second best. I cannot understand where this price has come from. He crashed out of the competition in stage 9 last year.
Prior to this he did finish fifth in 2016 but this was preceded by five attempts where he finished anywhere between 19th and 72nd. At 33-years-of-age I cannot have him.
Moviestar so strong
Mikel Landa is of far more interest. He left Team Sky at the end of 2017 and clearly has Tour de France ambitions which could not be fulfilled while in Froome’s shadow. He finished fourth in last year’s Tour, 2min 21sec behind Froome. At 28 his age is right but and this will be only his third TDF.
But it remains to be seen how much support he will receive from his new teammates at Moviestar. The Spanish team also have 38-year-old Alejandro Valverde who boasts a string of top-10 Tour De France results and has a phenomenal CV which includes ten victories this season alone.
And then there is Nairo Quintana who finished second in his very first Tour de France attempt in 2013, won the following year’s Giro d’Italia and has since claimed two more Tour de France podium finishes from three attempts.
Quintana is a climber through and through and notably this year’s race has six high mountainous stages whereas there were just five last year. This will play to his strengths albeit it will also suit Chris Froome.
Climb High in Week 2
Ultimately it’s a little too early to place your Tour De France bets. The first four stages (includes a team time trial) are flat and should not have any real say in the race’ outcome. At best a leading protagonist could take a fall and crash out of the race – but that rider could be you selection.
Stage five and six have some mild mountainous terrain but it is only on July 17th and stage 10 when the men will be separated from the boys as that’s the first of three days of mountain climbing.
We recommend keeping abreast of the action for few days before deciding who, where and how to punt on the overall Tour De France winner betting market.
Roger in White
Pierre-Roger Latour should be backed now though for his quest to win the ‘White Jersey’ or ‘Young Riders Classification’. France’s next big cycling hope finished 29th overall in last year’s Tour and second in the race for the white jersey.
He doesn’t have Simon Yates (last year’s white jersey winner) to contend with this year and he’s won a couple of ‘young rider’ classifications already this season. One came in the seven-stage Volta a Catalunya where he finished just 47sec behind Alejandro Valverde and 18sec adrift of Nairo Qunitana in finishing third overall.