The 2018 Tour de France gets underway on Saturday and the lead-up to the event has been packed full of controversy.
It looked as though four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome would be banned from the event after more than the allowed level of legal asthma drug salbutamol was found in his urine, but WADA dropped the investigation earlier this week and Froome is now free to take his place in the peloton.
It is Froome that is now a clear favourite in our 2018 Tour de France betting market at a price of $2.70 from Aussie hope Richie Porte at $5.50 and Nairo Quintana at $8, while Tom Dumoulin, Mikel Landa and Vincenzo Nibali are all at $10.
Will Froome capture another Yellow Jersey or will there be a Tour de France upset? We have analysed all our betting market and our 2018 Tour de France tips can be found below.
Yellow Jersey Betting
This is a Tour de France that does look thin on genuine contenders and now that Froome is a confirmed starter there is no doubt that he is the cyclist to beat.
History is against Froome as no rider has completed the Giro d’Italia/Tour de France Double since Marco Platini in 1998, but if anybody is going to overturn this it is Froome.
The Giro d’Italia was a genuine slog for Froome and he didn’t win it easily – he was still more than three minutes behind with only a few stages left – but he was still able to find a way to win.
Whether this has taken too much out of him is the genuine question.
The positive for Froome is that Team Sky remains incredibly strong and none of his main rivals have been in scintillating form.
Porte is always thereabouts and can’t take the next step, Quintana struggled at the Tour last year, Team Sunweb have admitted that Tom Dumoulin is probably another year away from being a true contender and Nibali probably doesn’t have the support around him.
That really does leave Froome and I’d be locking in the $2.70 currently on offer as that is only likely to shorten.
Back Chris Froome @ $2.70
King Of The Mountains Betting
The King Of The Mountains betting market is always an interesting one and this year there look to be three main contenders in the form of Warren Barguil at $4, Mikel Landa at $6 and Rafal Majka at $9.
Barguil won the King Of The Mountains last year and recent history is against him as no rider has won the Polka Dot jersey two years in a row since Michael Rasmussen in 2006.
He plans to target this Polka Dot jersey once again, but he has struggled for form this season and I have to oppose at the current quote of $4.
The rider that does appeal is Rafal Majka at his current quote of $9.
Majka was the King Of The Mountains in 2014 and 2016 and it seems likely that he will be another to target this jersey as opposed to general classification session.
His ability to win stages at Grand Tours is a big advantage and he shouldn’t be double the price of Barguil.
Back Rafal Majka @ $9
Points Classification Betting
Peter Sagan’s stranglehold on the Green Jersey ended when he was disqualified from the Tour de France last year, but he is still a dominant favourite from Fernando Gaviria at $4.50, Dylan Groenewegen at $8, Marcel Kittel at $13 and last year’s winner Michael Matthews at $13.
Sagan hasn’t been particularly dominant this season, but his victory at Paris-Roubaix showed that he remains in excellent condition and it is his incredible consistency that gives him a clear edge over his rivals.
There is no great value at his current price, but if he is able to complete the Tour without being disqualified it is tough to see him not winning.
Matthews does appeal at $13 and he could be the big beneficiary if bad luck strikes Sagan again.
Young Rider Betting
Egan Bernal ($1.91) is a clear favourite in our White Jersey betting market from Pierre Latour ($4.33), Marc Soler ($4.50) and Guillaume Martin ($7.50).
Bernal has been nothing short of a revelation since he was purchased by Team Sky during the off-season and he will be key to the chances of Froome.
He is a dangerous climber and he could stamp himself as the next big thing with a strong performance at this year’s Tour de France.
Back Egan Bernal To Win @ $1.91