Tour de France betting tips: Thomas has Slovenians in his sights
Preview and odds for the 2021 Tour de France
Defending champion Tadej Pogacar and Primoz Roglic are the leading contenders as we pick out potential Tour de France betting tips ahead of the 2021 race which begins this weekend.
Last year’s battle for yellow was an all-Slovenian affair which turned Pogacar’s way in dramatic fashion on the penultimate day.
This year they seem likely to have company, and plenty of it, at the front of the race as the Ineos Grenadiers send a roster stacked full of talent and experience.
Here we analyse five contenders for the yellow jersey and their Tour de France odds.
Team: UAE Team Emirates
Previous appearances: 2020 (first)
Stage wins: Three (2020 – stages nine, 15, and 20)
Pogacar’s dramatic victory in last year’s Tour was no fluke, and the 22-year-old heads to the Grand Depart as the 5/4 favourite for good reason.
He has been in stellar form since the season began, winning his team’s home race in the UAE Tour, then following it up with victory at Tirreno-Adriatico and, for good measure, claiming a Monument win at Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
He swerved the usual route into the Tour – either the Dauphine or the Tour de Suisse – to race at home where he took a fine victory in the Tour of Slovenia to suggest his form is right where it needs to be and he will be a popular pick in Tour de France betting tips.
Previous appearances: 2017 (38th), 2018 (4th) 2020 (second).
Stage wins: Three (2017 – stage 17, 2018 – stage 19, 2020 – stage four)
Having let last year’s Tour crown slip through his fingers with a collapse on the penultimate day’s time trial, Roglic responded well as he finished the season with victory in the Vuelta a Espana.
His calibre is clear, but his form difficult to read. He began the season with some indifferent results, with another late collapse seeing him drop from first to 15th on the final day of Paris-Nice while he was left behind by the main protagonists in Liege-Bastogne-Liege in April.
He has not raced since, preferring to skip the big one-week races for training blocks in France and Spain and that strategy is 7/4 to pay off.
Team: Ineos Grenadiers
Previous appearances: 2007 (140th), 2010 (67th), 2011 (31st), 2013 (140th), 2014 (22nd), 2015 (15th), 2016 (15th), 2017 (DNF – crashed stage nine), 2018 (first), 2019 (second).
Stage wins: Three (2017 – stage one, 2018 – stages 11 and 12)
Thomas is back in form and is 5/1 to reprise his 2018 Tour win but his first job will be securing the leadership within a formidable Ineos Grenadiers squad in which he is one of three former Grand Tour winners and four viable team leaders.
Thomas – out of contract this winter – is a worthy contender however, having put together his best set of results since that Tour win three years ago, with overall victory at the Tour de Romandie in May sandwiched between podium finishes in the Volta a Catalunya and the Dauphine.
The 58 kilometres of time trials in this year’s Tour should help Thomas, and the first test against the clock on stage five is a chance for him to establish himself as the lead Ineos rider and the man to beat for yellow.
All eyes back at home will be on Wales v Denmark this weekend but that could soon change.
Team: Ineos Grenadiers
Previous appearances: 2020 (13th)
Stage wins: None
Gone are the days when what was Team Sky came to the Tour each year with one clear leader and one clear strategy.
Aside from Thomas, they boast two former Giro d’Italia winners in Carapaz and Tao Geoghegan Hart (33/1), while veteran Richie Porte (20/1) won the Criterium du Dauphine earlier this month to bolster his own credentials.
The latter pair seem likely to accept super-domestique roles barring unforeseen circumstances, but the same will not be true of 8/1 shot Carapaz.
Though he started the season slowly, Carapaz returned from a training block back home in Ecuador to win the Tour de Suisse and make his case to be included in Tour de France betting tips.
His explosive style contrasts with Thomas’ ability against the clock. The Grenadiers must decide how best to play these very different cards.
Miguel Angel Lopez
Previous appearances: 2020 (6th)
Stage wins: One (2020 – stage 17)
Though the scrap for yellow is expected to be a three-way fight between the four-headed monster that is Ineos Grenadiers, Pogacar’s UAE Team Emirates and Roglic’s Jumbo-Visma squad, others will try to spoil the party.
Chief among them could be Miguel Angel Lopez who is an interesting outsider for Tour de France betting tips at 33/1.
The Colombian started his season late after contracting Covid-19 but has made up for lost time in the last two months, winning the Ruta del Sol in May, finishing sixth in the Dauphine and then claiming a stunning victory in the Mont Ventoux Challenge.
‘Superman’ won on the Giant of Provence by nearly two and a half minutes, recording one of the quickest ever times on the mountain that will be climbed twice on stage 11 of the Tour.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication