- Stage 6 of the Tour (Thursday, July 11th) will feature the first summit finish this year
- Ineos teammates Egan Bernal and Geraint Thomas remain big favorites to capture the Yellow Jersey
- What value exists in current betting odds?
If the Tour de France were a football game, all the big plays would typically happen during the second and third quarters. Five stages into this year’s tour, with the serious climbing now ready to begin, nothing major has taken place. A few outside contenders lost a little time in the early stages (e.g. Romain Bardet, Richie Porte, and Nairo Quintana) but the top favorites remain tightly packed.
With the mountains looming, the second quarter is just about to make things interesting.
When we looked at the betting odds before the racing began, Egan Bernal and Geraint Thomas were the favorites. That is still the case. In fact, they are now heavier chalk, with Bernal widening his lead atop the odds.
2019 Tour de France Yellow Jersey Odds
|Rider||General Classification Odds||Time-Gap to Yellow Jersey after Stage 5|
|Enric Mas Nicolau||+2800||+0:46|
*Odds taken 07/10/19.
Julian Alaphilippe currently leads the General Classification, but the King of the Mountains favorite is not considered a real GC threat.
The updated odds from sportsbooks seem to indicate only a half-dozen riders have a legitimate chance to wear yellow in Paris.
Egan Bernal Consolidates Status as TDF Favorite
On one hand, it seems strange that a 22-year-old who has competed in just one other grand tour is the favorite. On another hand, the predictions of greatness for Bernal are lofty.
On Wednesday, he gained five seconds on teammate Geraint Thomas, the other rider getting a lot of betting support. The rivalry among teammates might be as big a story this year as the rest of the race is.
Geraint Thomas Doesn’t Sound Too Confident
The defending Tour de France champion is in good shape right now, but suggested he may lose ground to Bernal on Thursday.
As co-team leaders, in theory, either Thomas or Bernal could emerge as Ineos’ main man and receive the bulk of team support. That is a weird circumstance, but not abnormal for Thomas. He was in the same spot along with four-time champion Chris Froome last year, but outlasted Froome and everyone else in the mountains.
Nairo Quintana Is a Viable Longshot
To a large degree, winning races of this magnitude comes down to having a very strong team. Rarely does an individual overcome the obstacles and not have tremendous support. Movistar is the heavy favorite to win the team classification. Quintana is their leader.
At the age of 29, it is not crazy to suggest Quintana’s time has come and gone. He was among the favorites several times, and finished second twice and third once at the Tour. He won the 2016 Vuelta a Espana. Quintana finished second behind Bernal in March’s Paris-Nice race, often a telling Tour warm-up.
Movistar did not have a good Team Time Trial, which is why Quintana, Alejandro Valverde, and Mikel Landa sit 40 seconds behind Bernal. It’s also why Quintana’s odds have dropped from +1800 to +2200.
It’s not out of the question that the diminutive Colombian can outclimb the field in the high mountains this year.
With 99% of the climbing left to go, getting +2200 on the only legitimate contender who’s actually finished on the TDF podium three times is a reasonable price.
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