Tour de France 2018 gets underway on Saturday 7th July and Chris Froome is looking a fourth consecutive title.
Let’s start with the betting to win the GC.
General Classification (Yellow Jersey) – To Win Outright
Chris Froome 14/10
Richie Porte 43/10
Nairo Quintana 8/1
Mikel Landa 10/1
Vincenzo Nibali 11/1
Tom Dumoulin 12/1
Romain Bardet 16/1
Geraint Thomas 16/1
Adam Yates 20/1
Jakob Fuglsang 22/1
Primoz Roglic 22/1
Rigoberto Uran 25/1
33/1 and upwards the rest
Note, prices are correct at the time of writing but are subject to change.
Chris Froome won the GC in this race in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017 and after his victory in the Giro d’Italia earlier this year Froome now holds the jersey’s for all 3 Grand Tours. As recently as last week his participation in this race was in doubt but he has been cleared to start after a long running saga concerning an abnormal reading in a sample. If anything goes amiss then this year’s Dauphine winner Geraint Thomas will be the back up.
Richie Porte has been a victim of bad luck in the past but once again there is confidence that he can mount an overall challenge. BMC have put together a useful looking team to support him and they should feature prominently in the early team time trial which should keep Porte up there heading onto the slopes later in the race.
Nairo Quintana was third behind Froome in 2016 and second in 2015. He has won the Vuelta and the Giro in the past and Movistar have a really strong squad of climbers. Mikel Landa has joined the team and whether he is here in total support of Quintana is not abundantly clear as he has spoken of his desire to go at least one better than last year when he was 1 second off the podium.
Vincenzo Nibali didn’t ride the Giro this year which suggests he will give this everything in a bid to regain the title he won in 2014. He has proved he can ride himself into top form during a Grand Tour and he is certainly one to watch.
Tom Dumoulin was second to Froome at this year’s Giro and how much that has taken out of him is a concern towards his chances here. The Sunweb team don’t have the depth in terms of climbers that his GC rivals boast and he will do well to stay in contention when we hit the big slopes later in the race.
Romain Bardet was third last year and runner up in 2016 and he is the most likely of the French hopes. He should be well suited to the mountain profiles with his climbing and descending skills but the time trials, team and individual, could see him lose significant ground to his rivals. Bardet was third to Geraint Thomas in the Dauphine this year, 1 47 down.
Rigoberto Uran was brilliant in last year’s tour, finishing as runner up to Froome. That was by far his best display in this race and he tuned up for the 2018 edition with an overall second placing in the tour of Slovenia.
Much of the first week is flat and whilst that means we might need to wait until week 2 for the first signs of strength and weakness among the GC, we do have an early top 10 finisher pick.
Primoz Roglic did well in 2017 and looks as though he has the makings of a GC contender. Challenging the heads of state might be a bridge to far right now but a top 10 finish looks within the compass.
As for the outright win a nibble at Landa at 10/1 makes the early play. Quintana may well be offered more protection but any sign of weakness or mishap would surely see Landa take on that role.
Bets: Outright, Landa win at 10/1
Top 10 finish, Roglic? (yes) at 5/6