It’s still some three months away but the fever is starting to catch the sporting world.
The Tour de France is considered as the holy grail of Cycling and as such is the most popular and most covered cycling race ever. The race attracts not just the best cyclists in the world but it also attracts plenty of betting markets. It’s one of the punter’s most favorite sporting events to bet on as it is the world’s most prestigious cycling race.
The 2019 Route
The 2019 Tour de France will be held from July 6 to 28, 2019 and will cover a distance of 3,460km. The race will begin in Brussels, Belgium to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Eddy Meckx’s five Tour de France wins. The race then heads to France via the Vosges and the Massif Central to first take on the Pyrenees, with a finish on the peak of the Tourmalet, an individual time trial at Pau, and then a final mountain stage at the steep Mur de Péguère before finishing atop Foix at Prat d’Albis.
After a second rest day, the race then moves south of France for a series of Alpine stages that include the Col d’Izoard, the Col du Galibier, and Col d’Iseran, which at 2,770m is the highest paved mountain pass in Europe. The final winner will be decided during the last 33.4km climb up to the 2,365km Val Thorens finish line on Stage 20.
This year’s Tour de France features a route that has 30 categorized climbs, five mountain finishes and just a total of 54 minutes of time trial. Leading race director Christian Prudhomme labeled this year’s race as the “highest Tour in history” with three of the five mountain finishes above 2000m. The organizers also shortened some key stage distances like the Stage 14 to the Col du Tourmalet only 117 km, Stage 19 to Tignes only 123 km and Stage 20 to Val Thorens just 131 km.
There will also be more reasons for cyclists to attack, with 8 sets of bonus seconds systematically placed and spread out in the climbs. This year’s race will also have more medium mountains which will make it hard for riders to control the race.
Here is a list of the most previous winners of the race:
|2016||Chris Froome||Team Sky||3,529 kms||89hrs 4’48”||+4’05”|
|2017||Chris Froome||Team Sky||3,540 kms||86hrs 20’55”||+54”|
|2018||Geraint Grant||Team Sky||3,349 kms||83hrs 17’13”||+1’51”|
There are 20 riders who have won the Tour de France multiple times. The only current multiple time winner in Chris Froome of Team Sky. Froome, Vincenzo Nibali and reigning champion Geraint Grant are the only former winners expected to race this year.
Here are the odds to win the 2019 Tour de France. Odds were taken from Bet365 as of 6/28/19:
|Enric Mas Nicolau||+2500|
|Tejay van Garderen||+8000|
Who Are The Favorites?
Geraint Thomas is a three-time world champion and the 2018 winner of the Tour de France. Thomas had always served as a “domestique” for teammate Chris Froome but after victories in Stage 11 and 12 last year, he took the lead and never relinquished it. With the win, Thomas is the first Welshman and the third British cyclist to win cycling’s most prestigious race.
Egan Bernal is Geraint Thomas’ teammate at Team Ineos. The 22-year old Colombian won Paris-Nice, finished third overall at the Volta a Catalunya and 4th in the Tour Colombia. But Bernal rose in the odds board after winning the Tour de Suisse last week. His victory at the Tour de Suisse showed that he is in great form heading to France.
Jakob Fuglsang won the Critérium du Dauphiné which is the most important pre-tour race. Fuglsang also had victories at the Liege-Bastogne-Liege and the Ruta del Sol and podium finishes at Tirreno-Adriatico, Strade Bianche, Fleche Wallonne, and Amstel Gold. With his Astana team also performing very well this year, expect the Dane to be a strong contender in France.
Adam Yates is the twin brother of Simon Yates and the 4th placer at the 2016 Tour de France. Yates finished second at the Volta a Catalunya and Tirreno-Adriatico while also finishing in the Top 5 of the Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Tour of the Basque Country and Vuelta a Andalucia.
Without Chris Froome and Tom Dumoulin, the odds board has been shaken up. Of the Top three cycling betting favorites to win this race two months ago, only Thomas remains and is the man on top of the board.
At this time last year, nobody was backing Thomas and look what he did. Now that the odds are backing him, can he do it all over again? Without Froome, there is a leadership vacuum at Team Ineos. That said, there may be an issue with that. Another thing I’m worried about is how Thomas has raced this year. He’s been very quiet with his only significant finish was a 3rd place finish at the Tour de Romandie.
When Thomas left the Tour de Suisse after crashing, teammate Egan Bernal took over and won the race, his second major win after winning Paris-Nice. Riding shotgun for Thomas, Bernal will be among the leaders but he could distance himself from his leader in the final week in the Alpine Tripleheader and win the race.
The Critérium du Dauphiné is one of the gauges in picking a Tour de France winner. With his victory there, Jakob Fuglsang is considered a strong favorite to win the 2019 Tour de France. Then there are his other accomplishments this year: 1st at Vuelta a Andalucia, 1st in Liege-Bastogne-Liege, 2nd in the Stade de Bianche, 3rd in the Amstel Gold Race and so on. No doubt, he is having the best year of his career and with Astana looking particularly strong this year, Fuglsang is a serious contender here as well.
Adam Yates was having a great year, up until this month. He even took the yellow jersey at Dauphine. But after having slipped a place in Pipay, he abandoned the race on the final day. Later, it was learned that he had been suffering from stomach problems. A stomach problem isn’t a serious injury and shouldn’t be much of a worry. However, it’s a lowlight for him considering he struggled under weather conditions.
Right now, I will have to go with Jakob Fuglsang because he’s the one cyclist who’s having a fantastic season. With his team also doing well this year, I think Fuglsang is the one who wins the 2019 Tour de France. Prediction: Jakob Fuglsang