Tour de France 2021 Betting Preview, Odds and Tips

Tour de France 2021 Betting Preview, Odds and Tips
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The 2021 Tour de France will get underway on Saturday, June 26, with a hilly 198km stage from Brest to Landerneau.

This is the first of 21 stages with the race concluding in its traditional finishing place – Paris. Unquestionably this is the best Tour de France betting stage. The action-packed sprint up the Champs-Élysees is considered by many to be the unofficial world championship for sprinters.

In total, those that make it to that finish-line will have covered 3,383 kilometres (2,102 miles). This will include the Tour’s longest stage since the year 2000 with a 248km hilly ride on day seven.

A total of 184 riders from 23 teams will participate in the race, which will be broadcast live in its entirety on Eurosport. A veritable feast for those that enjoy their cycling betting.

The Big Three Will Be Hard To Beat

According to online betting sites, there are only three riders to consider for the coveted title: defending champion Tadej Pogačar (riding for UAE Team Emirates), Primož Roglič who rides for Jumbo-Visma and finished second in 2020, and the 2018 victor Geraint Thomas representing Ineos Grenadiers, which used to be known as Team Sky.

The front two in the Tour de France betting odds, and first two home in last year’s race, both hail from Slovenia and at odds of 5/4 and 2/1 take 77 per cent of the overall book. Thomas can be backed at 11/2.

Only one other rider, Richard Carapaz, is between the Welshman and the list of 25/1+ ‘others’. He’s 10/1 and could be considered a good each-way play given one of the three above him in the betting could succumb to a major incident which may result in injury or a big loss of time.

Outright Fancy

Pogačar, who is only 22, has won the seven-day Tirreno–Adriatico and the one-day Liège–Bastogne–Liège this year. But Roglič, 31, won the six-stage 2021 Tour of the Basque Country in April and also took the last two renditions of the punishing Vuelta a Espana.

At the prices, and with a marginally stronger set of teammates around him, Primož Roglič gets our tip.

More Betting Options

Like Formula 1 betting, there are many more options than simple ‘race winner’. The Tour de France has six classifications and four awarded ‘jerseys’ – you can bet on all of them.

Most know the leader of the overall Tour de France standings (and race winner) wears the yellow jersey. But there are additional jerseys and awards. For the rider who leads the points standings there is a green jersey. It is normally won by a sprinter and in 2020 its recipient was Irishman Sam Bennett, who unfortunately has withdrawn from this year's event with a knee injury.

A white and red polka dot jersey is awarded to the rider who collects the most points in various categorised climbs. Understandably, this is referred to as the ‘King of the Mountains’. And a plain white jersey is worn, and eventually awarded to, the leader of the best young rider category.

Remarkably, this has been won by the overall race winner for the past two years with Colombian Egan Bernal, who is not competing in this year’s Tour (he won the recent Giro d’Italia), claiming it in 2019.

Froome No Longer Sweeping Up

Indeed, cycling would appear to be a young man’s game, but let us not forget repeat winners are commonplace and Chris Froome won the famous race in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

That’s an amazing record considering he could have won in 2012 but was under orders to give second best to his teammate – eventual winner Bradley Wiggins. Froome crashed out in 2014 when an odds-on favourite.

Froome lines-up again in 2021 but he has not recovered from a bone-crunching 2019 crash and he’s looked a shadow of his former self since returning to the sport. He no longer has the all-powerful Sky team behind him either.

But there is one veteran that could give you a huge run for your money (especially if you can find a bookie offering odds on a top-10 finish) and that is Spaniard Alejandro Valverde.

He’s 41 now but in taking third in April’s La Flèche Wallonne he showed he’s still got bags of ability. 275/1 in the outright betting looks too big given his considerable and long list of race wins plus third and fourth placed efforts in previous Tours.

Slovakian King

Another living/racing legend, albeit only 31, is Slovakian Peter Sagan. He’s contested the Tour de France eight times and has claimed the green jersey on seven occasions. In 2020 he finished second with pure sprinter Bennett taking the accolade.

But with Sagan clearly below his best in 2020 and his 2021 results indicating he is peaking at the right time, preference is for him in this Tour de France betting market.

In fact, with the 2021 TDF route-map not as kind to sprinters as it was in 2020, and with Bennett now a confirmed absentee, the scales tip quite heavily in favour of the Sagan who rides for the super-efficient German Bora-Hansgrohe team.

Stages and Time Trials

On a daily basis you can find individual Tour de France betting stages which can throw up some big-priced winners as many of the 23 competing teams deem a stage victory as a triumph.

There are unlikely to be any big surprises in the individual time-trials (stages five and 20) as these solo-efforts are massively important to most riders and class normally tells.

Tour de France time trial betting will probably be amongst the easiest markets for punters to tackle, albeit at short odds.

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