The King of the Mountains title at the Tour de France is given to the rider who wins the mountains classification at the race. The mountains classification is a secondary competition at the Tour de France and is won by the rider who accumulates the most points given to the riders who reach the mountain summits first. Since 1975, the leader of this classification wears the polka dot jersey or the maillot à pois rouges.
Climbs are categorized from Category 4 which is the easiest to HC or Hors Categorie which are deemed off the scale. The Points distribution is as follows:
- Hors Catégorie: 40-30-24-20-16-12-8-4 points respectively for first eight riders (five climbs)
- Category 1: 10-8-6-4-2-1 points (13 climbs)
- Category 2: 5-3-2-1 points (12 climbs)
- Category 3: 2-1 points (21 climbs)
- Category 4: 1 point (14 climbs)
With the 2019 edition of the Tour de France considered as a “mightily mountainous route”, it will be interesting to see who will be this year’s King of the Mountain in France. Coincidentally, the last two winners of the Mountains Classification at the Tour de France and both French and they are also the cycling betting favorites to win the King of the Mountain title this year.
These are the current odds from Titan Bet as to who will win King of the Mountain at the 2019 Tour De France:
|Thomas de Gendt||+2500|
Who Are The Favorites?
When it comes to being the King of the Mountains at the Tour de France, the top cycling betting favorite is local Julian Alaphilippe who is the reigning winner of the Mountains classification in the Tour de France. The Deceuninck-Quick Step rider won the 2019 Milan-San Remo, 2019 Strade de Bianche, and the 2019 La Fleche Wallonne. He also won the Mountains Classification at the 2019 Criterium du Dauphine.
Alaphillipe’s main challenger will be countryman and rival Warren Barguil who won two mountain stages in the 2017 Tour de France en route to becoming the King of the Mountains in that race. Barguil also finished a far second from Alaphilippe in the Mountains Classification at last year’s Tour de France. Barguil won the 2019 National Road Championships and was 3rd in the 2019 La Drome Classic.
Vincenzo Nibali is one of the best stage riders in this era. He is considered an all-rounder who isn’t just good at the time trials but also in climbing as well. The 2014 Tour de France winner and two-time Giro d’Italia champion won the mountains classification during the 2012 Giro di Padania and 2013 Giro del Trentino. He also held the polka dot jersey after Stage 13 of the 2014 Tour de France.
Mark Landa is a mountains specialist. The Spaniard won the mountains classification at the 2011 Vuelta a Burgos, 2016 Giro del Trentino and the 2017 Giro d’ Italia. On the other hand, the 22-year old Colombian Egan Bernal won the mountains classification during the 2018 Colombia Oro Y Paz. Bernal is also one of the favorites to win the 2019 Tour de France and Young Rider Classification after taking victory in the 2019 Paris-Nice and 2019 Tour de Suisse.
No question, the rivalry between Alaphilippe and Barguil are going to renew their rivalry in the steep roads of France. These two Frenchmen know the roads there like no other. Both were dominant in the mountains during their respective wins but right now, it’s clearly Alaphilippe who has shown that he’s on top of his game.
Nibali said after the 2019 Giro d’ Italia that he would be focusing on the maillot à pois rouges in this year’s Tour de France rather than the GC and if he sticks to his words, he will be Alaphilippe and Barguil’s top challenger for the title of King of the Mountain. Egan Bernal is also in the conversation but with Froome out and Thomas seemingly out of shape, he may very well be leaning towards the yellow jersey.
Two other Frenchmen in Thibaut Pinot and David Gaudu could also figure but neither are among the favorites and Pinot may be more interested in the yellow jersey more than the polka dot. Astana’s Omar Fraile and Pello Bilbao could also emerge as surprises. Fraile won the Vuelta’s mountains classification twice while Bilbao climbed well at the Giro. However, both Spanish rider could be more focused on helping teammate Jakob Fuglsang win the race. Neither are among the current favorites as well.
The King of the Mountains title at the 2019 Tour de France is a more wide-open race than the odds are saying. Tim Wellens leads the mountains classification after Stage 4 but it’s still a long way to go and there is still an eternity of mountains to climb. In the end, I expect a status quo with the favorites in Alaphilippe and Barguil who are going to emerge at the end. Prediction: Julian Alaphilippe