Fading Contador opens up Tour de France betting

Unless Alberto Contador is planning something that no one else can see, it looks as if he’s struggling in this year’s Tour de France, which has opened up the betting markets completely.

Andy Schleck rightly moves into favouritism, and he has looked solid so far in the Pyrenees. He’s no time-triallist, so he really does have to build up an advantage in the mountains where he’s strongest, but he faces plenty of competition here. Some of that competition comes from his brother, Franck, who has never looked so competitive in the tour before. He’s taken to the initial mountain stages very well, and holds a time advantage over his brother. Franck is 11/2 overall, but Andy is 11/10 - a very short price.

Samuel Sanchez was our each-way pick at the start of the Tour, and the Olympic Champion looked great value on the first mountain stage, winning in some style. He’s alongside Contador about four minutes behind but is looking much more comfortable than the champion, whose unconfirmed injury may be hampering his progress. Contador is 4/1, which is quite a cagey offer from the bookmakers - he could burst into life at any point, so maybe 4/1 is worthwhile. However, if he's unable to keep up in the first mountain stage, how will he fare later on? Sanchez looks the better of the two right now.

Cadel Evans is another who has looked particularly strong, with some aggressive showings so far. We called him brittle last year, as he faded badly in the Alps, but there are possibilities that he’s back to his best – we’ll wait and see, but last year’s disappointment still resonates.

We’ve also thought it fantastic that Thomas Voeckler has done so well for the home nation. They’ve had nothing but rubbish since the glory days of Hinault, to be frank, and Richard Virenque was nothing but a joke (a good one if you ever watched Les Guignols). His lead will undoubtedly be cut down over the next few days as he was clearly tiring.

Our tips:

  • Samuel Sanchez each way at 40/1 at 11/4 to win King of the Mountains
  • Franck Schleck each way at 11/2
  • Ivan Basso each way in Stage 14 at 14/1

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published: 15th July 2011 by Free Bet Bookmaker


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