- The 2019 Tour de France starts on Saturday, July 6th, in Brussels
- Odds to finish on the podium are now available
- Team Ineos’ two big guns are the favorites, but there is value on a few proven riders lower down the list
In three days’ time, 176 of the world’s best road cyclists will start one of the most gruelling competitions on Earth. This Saturday (Jul. 6), the 2019 Tour de France starts with Le Grand Depart, a 192 km flat stage from Brussels to Charleroi in Belgium. Nearly 3,500 km later, it will culminate, as always, on the Champs-Elysees in Paris (Sunday, Jul. 28).
Even though four-time champion Chris Froome is out of the race due to injury, the favorites to win the Yellow Jersey are still from Team Ineos (formerly Team Sky): up-and-coming Egan Bernal (+175) and defending champion Geraint Thomas (+225).
Ineos/Sky has won four straight Tours and six of the last seven, so betting on a non-Ineos rider to win Yellow is treacherous territory, even in what’s considered a relatively wide-open year. Luckily, sportsbooks have posted odds on finishing top three, which turns a wide-open competition into a gaping chasm.
Odds to Finish Top 3 at the 2019 Tour de France
|Rider||Age||Best TDF Finish (# of Podiums)||2019 Tour de France Podium Odds|
|Egan Bernal||22||15th in 2018 (0)||-160|
|Geraint Thomas||33||1st in 2018 (1)||+100|
|Jakob Fuglsang||34||7th in 2013 (0)||+160|
|Adam Yates||26||4th in 2016 (0)||+200|
|Richie Porte||34||5th in 2016 (0)||+350|
|Nairo Quintana||29||2nd in 2013, 2015 (3)||+400|
|Thibaut Pinot||29||3rd in 2014 (1)||+400|
|Enric Mas Nicolau||24||N/A||+550|
|Mikel Landa||29||4th in 2017 (0)||+550|
|Rigoberto Uran||32||2nd in 2017 (1)||+550|
|Steven Kruijswijk||32||5th in 2018 (0)||+550|
|Vincenzo Nibali||34||1st in 2014 (2)||+550|
|Romain Bardet||28||2nd in 2016 (2)||+750|
|Alejandro Valverde||39||3rd in 2015 (1)||+1200|
|Dan Martin||32||6th in 2017 (0)||+1200|
|Emanuel Buchmann||26||15th in 2017 (0)||+1400|
|Rohan Dennis||29||101st in 2015 (0)||+1400|
*Odds as of Jul. 3, 2019.
The GC favorites, Bernal and Thomas, sensibly head this list, as well. My colleague has already covered Bernal and Thomas’ 2019 TDF outlook. I’m going to focus on finding value lower on the list.
Here are my two favorite bets, and biggest fade, for a top-three finish.
Nairo Quintana is Having a Quiet but Solid Season
The diminutive Colombian never lived up to the lofty expectations cycling pundits had for him early in his career. He’s still posted three podium finishes at this race, though, and should enter 2019 with confidence.
At Paris-Nice, he basically rode stroke for stroke with Bernal on the mountainous stages. He wound up second and might have won if he’d had more help from his team.
Movistar will field a strong team at the Tour, as they always do. They are -180 favorites to win the Team Classification as proof of that point.
Quintana likely realizes that, with Froome and Tom Dumoulin out of the race due to crashes, this may be his best chance to ever win the Yellow Jersey. Getting +400 on Nairo to merely crack the top three looks like nice value from where I’m sitting.
Romain Bardet Shows Up at His Home Country
No Frenchman has won the Tour since Bernard Hinault in 1985. The closest any have come was Romain Bardet’s second-place finish in 2016. It was a distant second (over four minutes behind Froome), but it proved Bardet’s chops in the highest of mountains, as he routinely bested the likes of Quintana, Adam Yates, Richie Porte, and Alejandro Valverde when the race reached its crucible.
Another podium finish in 2017 faded to a 6th-place last year and it would be misleading to say that the 28-year-old has been in peak form of late. But he was solid enough at the Criterium du Dauphine (10th place), the major TDF prep race,
His AG2R team, while not the strongest in terms of support riders, is far from the worst, and there will be no question who the team leader is, unlike with Ineos (Bernal, Thomas), UAE Team Emirates (Dan Martin, Fabio Aru), and even potentially Movistar (Quintana, Valverde, Mikel Landa).
Last Five TDF Podiums
|2018||Geraint Thomas||Tom Dumoulin||Chris Froome|
|2017||Chris Froome||Rigoberto Uran||Romain Bardet|
|2016||Chris Froome||Romain Bardet||Nairo Quintana|
|2015||Chris Froome||Nairo Quintana||Alejandro Valverde|
|2014||Vincenzo Nibali||Jean-Christophe Peraud||Thibaut Pinot|
*Italics indicate riders not participating in 2019.
Richie Porte’s Tour History Is a Disaster
No one doubts that Richie Porte has the physiology to win the Tour de France. Back in his Sky days, there were often reports of Porte distancing Froome during training.
But the Tasmanian has never been able to put together three consistent, disaster-free weeks of racing at a Grand Tour. His best finish at the TDF was a 5th-place back in 2016, and his last two attempts resulted in a pair of DNFs.
A photo that encapsulates the heartbreak sport can so often produce … for the second successive year Richie Porte’s Tour de France ends on stage 9 … a crash nowhere near as severe as last year but race ending nonetheless … pic.twitter.com/IA83ElXs9W
— Glenn Mitchell (@MitchellGlenn) July 15, 2018
I won’t be laying any money on Porte to do something he has never done in his now ten-year career.
Who are you wagering on in the 2019 Tour de France. Let me know in the comments below or @SBD_Sascha on Twitter.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.