Tour de France Preview

Following the resolution of Froome’s Salbutamol anomaly and the subsequent release of performance data by Team Sky relating to stages 11 and 19 of the Giro, the show goes on.

It is a big ask for Froome to peak again so soon after his victory in Italy. The first week of racing will be frenetic and most likely punctuated with crashes, crosswinds and croissants.

At 7/4, his odds are too cramped.

Fellow teammates Thomas and Bernal have shown excellent form in 2018 but will surely be called upon to serve Froome. In any case, I can’t see Geraint being up to winning a Tour de France.

Richie Porte is a conundrum. He certainly has tons of ability, but always has one very bad day/mishap in a three week tour. I think the value is to leave him out of calculations all the while realising that he could be a big player for much of the three weeks. Stand firm and omit him from the podium.

Tom Dumoulin is on the roster for Sunweb. He had a tough Giro, was almost the equal of Froome, but his odds of 25/1 do not reflect this. Despite being a big price, he is overlooked.

In 2018 Mikel Landa rode in Sky kit, he looked the strongest rider sacrificing any overall GC placing in the service of Froome. If he turns up in the same shape, he will make things lively….but he won’t win. Movistar also field ‘forgotten man’ Nairo Quintana and an evergreen Valverde. It is surely too late for the latter, but Quintana must now be at his peak….12/1 seems a generous price.

Roman Bardet struggles in Time Trials, but perhaps that is his only Achilles Heel, in all other respects he races with zest and verve. I can see him on the podium.

Vincenzo Nibali is a most versatile and competitive racer with extensive Grand Tour experience. At 25/1 his odds are massive and I feel that he is the real value in a wide open event.

Other riders like Uran, second last year, Adam Yates, Roglic, Barguil and Martin will help to liven proceedings but are more realistically viewed as top ten contenders.

The Wattmeister Podium:

Nibali, Quintana, Froome.

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