The 2017 Tour de France begins this week, as the world’s best riders take to the streets of Dusseldorf for the Prologue. Despite starting in Germany, the route will take the field through Belgium, before entering more familiar territory in France. The event continues to grow in terms of attention from supporters, with many punters even wagering on the winner of the competition over recent years. As a result, many bookmakers are offering odds this time around, with Great Britain’s Chris Froome looking to defend his title from twelve months ago.
This year’s route and format has certainly caused a stir, with the Stage 1 time trial one of only two such races in this year’s events, both of which total just 36km. With no team trial to speak of this year too, there is a large amount of smaller, sharper climbs for riders and teams to look forward to, with a lack of mountain top finishes. Despite this, there is a variety of time bonuses up for grabs for finishing in the top three during key stages.
Tour de France Contenders
This year’s event looks like being one of the most open in many years, however many are backing Chris Froome to once again be among the frontrunners for the yellow jersey. Despite the British rider having not displayed his best form this year so far, the three-time winner has the ability to quickly rediscover his talent on the biggest stage of all. Elsewhere, Criterium de Dauphine winner, Jakob Fugslang, will be a name to look out for this year, alongside Richie Porte, who only lost out in Paris thanks to a time bonus. The Australian is likely to be heavily backed at the bookmakers, with Porte having been in excellent form of late. A fifth-place finish last time around should not be looked on unfavourably, with Porte having suffered terrible luck throughout the event.
Meanwhile, the likes of Alberto Contador, Romain Bardet and Nairo Quintana are all in with a shout. Quintana chose to take part in the Giro d’Italia in preparation for this event, while Contador has not been competitive on the world stage for a while now.
Top Betting Tips
Despite many bookmakers heavily favouring Froome to add a fourth Tour de France victory to his name, there is still plenty of value in the market. William Hill are undoubtedly a bookmaker to look at, with Froome offered odds of 11/8, while Contador is viewed as the second favourite at 14/1. Meanwhile, Ladbrokes offer a more in-depth look at the event, with the opportunity to back riders to finish in the top 10, top 3 and to win the first stage. Tony Martin is the 2/1 favourite to win the opening stage, while Alejandro Valverde is 4/1 to finish inside the top three come the end of the Tour.