Sat, Jul 5, 4:27pm by Brad McGrath
IF Wimbledon hadn’t created enough bleary eyed workers in the past fortnight, it’s about to get worse with the Tour de France starting on Saturday night.
In what has been a busy couple of months for the bookmakers with the World Cup, multiple tennis grand slams as well as all the domestic sport, the Tour de France is another popular punting event.
Australian bookmakers are offering some interesting markets, including several that give you the opportunity to bet on Australians winning a stage of the gruelling event.
Britain star Chris Froome is the short-priced favourite to win the event with Richie Porte the best of the Australian contingent.
Porte and Simon Gerrans are the two Australians that are most likely to steal a stage of the event, but there is plenty of value to be found among the international riders as well.
CADEL Evans may be missing but Australia can still expect to taste success at this year’s Tour de France with online bookmaker Sportsbet offering odds of $1.65 for an Aussie to win a stage of this year’s race.
Sportsbet believes it’s more likely that an Australian rider will clinch a stage than not ($2.20) in the gruelling event that gets underway Saturdaynight our time.
Winning a stage is one thing, but claiming the yellow jersey appears unlikely with $7.00 offered for an Aussie to don the “maillot jaune” at any point.
Britain’s Chris Froome is the $1.80 favourite in the general classification, just ahead of Spaniard Alberto Contador at $2.75. Richie Porte is the leading Australian at $67.
“Simon Gerrans has shown he’s more than capable of nabbing a stage, having done it twice including last year. Fingers crossed he can do it again,” said sportsbet.com.au’s Christian Jantzen.
TOUR De France punters preparing for three weeks of late nights in front of the television are confident this year’s general classification will be decided between Alberto Contador and Chris Froome.
Online bookie Sportingbet can report that 80 per cent of the total money wagered on the 2014 Tour de France winner is for the two former race champions.
“They are the only two our punters want and the odds reflect that,” Sportingbet’s Andrew Brown said.
“They have proven they have what it takes to win a Grand Tour and their form this season suggests cycling fans are in for an epic battle.”
Froome is a slight $2 favourite at Sportingbet to be 2014 Tour De France champion ahead of Contador at $2.75.
The pair also feature at the top of betting for the King Of The Mountain Jersey, with Contador the $4.50 favourite in front of Froome ($5.50) and Pierre Rolland ($5.50).
In the race for the Green Jersey, Peter Sagan is a $1.55 favourite ahead of Mark Cavendish ($5.50) and Marcel Kittel ($6).
The sprinters are tipped to claim Stage 1 when the race kicks off in Leeds on Saturday, with Kittel ($3.25), Cavendish ($3.50) and Andre Greipel ($6.50) the popular picks.
Alberto Contador and Chris Froome are the obvious candidates to win the Tour de France and every bookmaker in the world has the pair at the head of their markets. The reason is their unwavering consistency.
It would be a safe bet to send your money around on either of these two riders but it doesn’t provide much value, or you can attempt to back someone to finish in the top three.
I like Bauke Mollemar who is paying $9 with Sportingbet to finish in the top three. Mollemar has been improving all year and with his climbing ability he is definitely capable of matching it with the big guns.
Australian Riche Porte is another that is a strong chance of finishing in the top three, He is offering great value at $9 with Sportingbet. Porte is the lead support rider for Froome which means he generally sacrifices personal ambition for the good of his team. Despite coming off injury Froome says he has been training hard for six weeks and is primed for a big showing at the Tour.
Another interesting market is the top 10 market at Sportsbet, Porte is a $2.50 chance of doing this according to them and these seem like reasonable odds. Another Australian Michael Rogers is priced at $8.10 if you are looking for someone who will give you a good run for your money and certainly has the ability to finish in the top 10.
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