WE got cycling fanatic Louis Ross (@LouisRoss67) to take us through the best bets for this year’s Tour De France.
Tour De France | 4th-26th July 2015 | ITV4
The fittest athletes in sport take to the road this weekend in the 2015 edition of Le Tour. Cycling has had a tough few years. It is incredibly difficult to see past the trauma of the Lance Armstrong years. The Armstrong story had/has such an effect because it was such a monumental sporting achievement and fantastic to watch.
I’m sure a big number reading this will still believe cycling is as drug fuelled as ever. How else could these guys possibly ride up a mountain for 5 hours, day after day after day? It takes a lot to trust anything with as bad a record as these guys, but I have been a fan since the 90s and it seems very different to me.
I have absolute faith in the likes of Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome et al. In much the same way as top level football seems to have taken a definite turn towards more positive football, Road Cycling has become much of a race between the top guys with much less defensive riding and just marking the guy in front.
It’s important to understand that the Tour De France is actually four races in one. In fact each stage can have many different battles going on. This affects the way teams ride. Most of the nine riders in each team are known as ‘domestiques’. Literally they are there to ‘serve’ the GC (General Classification) guy, the team leader. I thoroughly recommend the ITV4 highlights show that’s on for an hour each evening. It’s funny, informative and the commentary is excellent.
The four different races in Le Tour (or jerseys) are the General Classification (GC) the big one and basically the guy who covers the three week race in the quickest time. One of the most cherished prizes in world sport, the Yellow Jersey, is awarded to the champion and worn by the race leader.
The Red and White Polka Dot Jersey is given to the King of The Mountains, the guy who goes over the many mountains the best. The Green Jersey is for the Points Race, this is normally won by a sprinter for finishes at various points during each stage. Finally the White Jersey to the top young rider.
From a betting point of view, there really are only four guys that can win this race. They are miles ahead of the rest and for a fan like me, this is a once in a generation event.
This time, we have four of the greatest riders of all time. All pretty much at their peak. All in fantastic form. No exaggeration, this could be the greatest Tour De France of all. The great thing is the race is framed to suit all of them. Chris Froome, Nairo Quintana of Columbia, last year’s champion the Italian Vincenzo Nibali and Spain’s great champion Alberto Contador.
Unless these guys crash out (Froome and Contador did exactly that last year) nobody else has a prayer. These guys are not only the best in the world but also have the four best teams. The racing will be monumental and you may well see these guys at the front on every mountain stage. That is not normal but cycling is hugely dangerous and it’s fairly unlikely all four will finish.
Finally onto a few bets. I like Quintana or Nibali in the GC race. It’s a toss up to be honest but these two are tougher physically than the other pair and I also think they have better teams behind them.
Tejay Van Garderen of the American BMC team is a lively outsider for a Podium finish as is the Frenchman Romain Bardet.
Thibault Pinot will give us a great run for our money in the King of The Mountains race. Peter Sagan will win the Points race but not for me at 10/11. I also like the 4/1 about Astana (Nibali’s team) in the Team Classification betting. That’s the team with the best total time at the finish.
I am happy to talk to anyone individually about certain bets and give more specific reasons. Have a quid on someone, try the ITV4 highlights show. The race will be full of crashes, incident and drama. It always is and this year’s will be a classic. Hope you give it a go.
Tour De France – Nairo Quintana to win (5/2 Coral)
Tour De France – Vincenzo Nibali to win (5/1 BetVictor)
Tour De France – Tejay Van Garderen each way (40/1 Paddy Power)
Tour De France King Of The Mountains – Thibault Pinault each way (22/1 Bet365)
Tour De France Team Classification – Astana to win (9/2 BetVictor)