The 2018 Tour de France
Anyone who is even mildly interested in sport has heard of the Tour de France. For the average sports fan, the race provides exciting visuals of riders battling up hills and cruising through the countryside of rural France. For cycling enthusiasts, the Tour de France represents one of the toughest and most challenging cycle races on earth. For punters, it also provides the ideal opportunity to place a host of bets online and stand a chance of winning big.
The Tour de France is one of 3 Grand Tours that dominate world cycling. The other 2 are the Giro d'Italia (Italian Grand Tour) and the Vuelta a España (Spanish Grand Tour). First held in 1903, the Tour de France is not just a cycle race from A to B. The tour actually consists of 21 individual stages ranging from fast flat lengths to mountainous terrain.
How the Race is Setup
Each cycling team enters a set of riders containing sprinters, climbers and all-rounders. Instead of having just one prize given to the rider who finishes first, the race is split into classifications. The oldest and most sought-after classification is the general classification. This is where riders are timed for each of their 21 stages. The rider with the shortest time across all 21 stages wins. The second classification is the mountains classification. This is where points are awarded to riders who complete the mountain stages in the shortest time.
Another popular classification is the points classification. Instead of using time, points are awarded to the first 15 riders in each stage. Points are awarded per position in descending order. The rider with the most points at the end of the 21-stage race wins the classification outright.
With so many dynamic betting options available, putting money down on the Tour de France is both rewarding and entertaining. There are a number of top-class sportsbooks online where you can find the best odds for the race, and William Hill, Bodog, Sportsbetting.ag, 888 Sport, Spin Palace Sports and Betway Sports all come highly recommended.
If you are keen to get in on the action, the most popular wager is a classification outright bet. This means you are predicting which rider will win the particular classification at the end of the 21-stage race. Bets can be placed on General, Mountains, Points, Young Rider or team classifications.
It is also possible to place bets on each individual stage. There are 21 stages so there are 21 different betting options in which to predict which rider will win each stage. Other options include which team will have the fastest time throughout or on each stage and if a rider will hold the jersey for more than 3 consecutive days.
Dates and Previous Winners
The 2018 Tour de France gets underway on the 7th of July and will run to the 29th. The dates were shifted this year to make allowances for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The race will depart from the Noirmoutier-en-l'Île and will finish at the famous Champs-Élysées. The 21 stages will see riders cover over 3,329 km. Chris Froom is the current reigning champ for the General classification and is tipped to continue his good form this year, but we will have to wait and see if he meets expectations.