2019 Tour de France Preview & Betting Tips
Tour de France is back and with a punishing mountainous route spanning 3,460km, this year’s edition looms as one of the most open races in recent times. We have a range of options for you across all markets in our 2019 Tour de France betting preview.
Peter Sagan ($1.50* - Unibet) has a stranglehold on the green jersey – he’s a six-time winner and if he salutes again he’ll become the most prolific winner in Le Tour’s points classification history, surpassing the legendary Erik Zabel. The Slovak though has been slightly down on his lofty standards this year however – he battled illness early this year but in winning the points at the Tour de Suisse he’s recapturing his rhythm – you never write off a champion.
Sagan will be pushed strongly though. Dylan Groenewegen ($7* - Unibet) will look to take the battle early on to Sagan and is conditioned to set a lightning pace – but there are questions on whether the Dutchman has it in him to sustain this rate long enough to frustrate the Slovak.
Aussie Michael Matthews ($8.50* - Bet365) won the green jersey in 2017 following Sagan’s disqualification– the only man to defeat Sagan since 2012 – but has been dealt a blow with Dumoulin’s absence. Matthews has openly spoken of the impact his Sunweb teammate’s unavailability has had on his confidence yet with three prior Tour stage wins, the Canberran could be the best hope of the pack chasing Sagan.
The most open and shut market. Egan Bernal ($1.44* - Bet365) has his sights set on winning the whole race let alone the white jersey classification. He shapes as a great option to add to any multis. Should there be any calamity befalling the Colombian, David Gaudu ($16* - Unibet) could be the next cab off the rank. He’s won the young rider classification at the Tour of Romandie and should his teammate Pinot implode then the Frenchman may be able to step up from his supporting role. But this is Bernal’s jersey to lose.
Tour de France - Winner
The battle for the yellow jersey took a stunning turn when the race’s two most recent winners Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome suffered major crashes in June. Thomas was fortunate to escape serious injury after his spill in the Tour de Suisse and is fit to defend his title ($4* - Betfair) but his preparations have been severely disrupted as a result.
Froome meanwhile believes he’s lucky to be alive after a horrific crash at the Criterium du Dauphine left him in intensive care. Froome is all but ruled out of cycling for the rest of 2019 and his absence has thrown the winner market wide open, especially with last year’s runner up Tom Dumoulin also ruled out with injury.
The most favoured rider is Egan Bernal ($4.10* - Betfair) and is an intriguing option. The 22-year-old will compete in only his second Tour de France but is regarded as cycling’s Next Big Thing. Bernal stepped up after Thomas’s withdrawal from Tour de Suisse and won, to go with his earlier victory at Paris-Nice.
The Colombian has rapidly risen in the ranks of Team Ineos, going from a support rider for Thomas to now being named an official co-leader. It’s a huge show of faith from the team and may go some way to silencing any questions on whether team management would be prepared to back in Bernal at the expense of Thomas’s title defence.
Now it appears it’ll be a case of “let the best man win” within Team Ineos for who emerges as the number one reader as the race evolves. Though Bernal is inexperienced he has one prominent name backing him in – two-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador has declared Bernal his pre-race tip.
Danish veteran Jakob Fuglsang ($8* - Betfair) is the most in-form rider and deserves respect as a genuine winning option. The 34-year-old is a Tour de France staple with eight races under his belt but is yet to go truly close to even a podium finish, his best result being seventh in 2013.
There are three significant factors though favouring Fuglsang to fulfil his dream this time around however. Firstly is he’s having a career-best season. He won Critérium du Dauphiné which given this year’s Tour de France high layout is a massive tick in his credentials.
The Dane also has the backing of a formidable team in Astana who themselves are having a strong season and know what it takes for a rider to win Le Tour (Vincenzo Nibali in 2014). The final factor in Fuglsang’s favour lies in last year’s race. Thomas was in a somewhat similar boat, being a 30-something veteran whose previous best result was a pair of fifteenth placed finishes but capitalised on his impressive form and took overall honours.
Thibaut Pinot ($28* - Betfair) is the rider for those wanting value. The Frenchman is one of cycling’s most unpredictable riders and curiously for a local, he’s been more at home in abroad races. After his podium finish in 2014, it seemed an inevitability Pinot would become a perennial contender but it’s since been the opposite, to the point he didn’t enter last year. Yet it seems Pinot might be ready to catch up on lost time – he’s back in form and backed up his Tour de l'Ain win with a solid fifth place in Critérium du Dauphiné. Pinot is emotional, fiery but perhaps at 29 better positioned to handle his native country’s suffocating expectations than his earlier career.
King Of The Mountains
Julian Alaphilippe ($2.50* - Bet365) is the red hot favourite and justifiably so. The Frenchman won last year’s polka dot jersey and will relish a route which Tour de France organisers have described as the “highest in history.” He’s in form having won Milan San-Remo and his team Quick-Step are open in their ambition to add to their stage win tallies.
Warren Barguil ($9* - Bet365) is Alaphilippe’s biggest obstacle in his defence and was the 2017 classification winner. He’s won on some of this year’s steepest climbs in the past and Barguil will enjoy the spotlight being placed upon Alaphilippe.