Tour de France 2018 is the 105th edition of the prestigious cycling event and will take place 7-29 July. The route will start at Noirmoutier-en-l’Île and finish at Paris Champs-Élysées. The race will consist of 21 stages, for a total distance of 3,351 km. The route is meant to test cyclists’ ability to adapt to all terrains. There will be 8 flat stages, 5 hilly stages, 6 mountain stages, 1 individual and 1 team time trial and 2 resting days. Out of total 26 climbs, 12 will be in the Alps, 4 in the Massif central and 10 in the Pyrenees. 22 teams will take part in the race and each will have 8 members, for a total of 176 riders.
There will be 9 new cities that have never been on the map of Tour de France before. Finally, the biggest innovation in rules is the 3, 2, and 1 bonus seconds that will be awarded to the first three riders who reach a specific mark, from the Grand Départ till the 9th stage.
According to the bookmakers, Chris Froome has the best chance of winning the competition. Froome is a thirty-three-year-old British cyclist, and the four-time winner of Tour de France. He is also the current champion of Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España. He won Tour de France race last year and the year before and there is no reason to suppose that the Yellow Jersey won’t be his once more. You can bet on him at odds 2/1.
You can also bet on the winner without Froome, to make things a bit more interesting. Other two favourites are Australian Richie Porte at odds 4/1 and Colombian Nairo Quintana at odds 8/1. Porte’s biggest achievements so far are a two-time victory at Paris-Nice and recent victory in the Tour de Suisse, where he outperformed Quintana. The new Tour de France route suits him, as he is a good climber and time trialist.
Quintana, aged twenty-eight, known as “the condor from the Andes”, is famous for being an excellent climber with incredible stamina, something that he will definitely need at Tour de France. He finished second in Tour de France in 2013 and 2015, and is expected to be at least among the first three to finish.
Even riskier bets are Mikel Landa, Tom Dumoulin and Vinzenco Nibali at odds around 10/1. If you like rooting for the real underdogs who might surprise you, consider Geraint Thomas, Jakob Fuglsang or Romain Bardet. Bookmakers are giving them odds 16/1.
Bookmakers favour Dylan Groenewegen as the most likely winner of stage 1 at odds 5/2. In 2018, Groenewegen already won Kuurne–Brussels–Kuurne event, Stages 1, 3 & 4 in Tour of Norway, Stages 1 & 4 in Volta ao Algarve, Stage 2 in Paris–Nice, Stage 1 in Dubai Tour and Stage 2 in Tour of Slovenia.
If you want to bet on the green jersey winner, the favourite is Peter Sagan at odds 1/2. The Slovak cyclist is the winner of a number of prestigious competitions and the Tour de France points classification five times in a row, from 2012 to 2016. Sagan is just one win behind Erik Zabel’s record of six and it is almost inevitable that this year he will claim the record.