Cycling Odds – 2016 Tour de France

Cycling Odds – 2016 Tour de France

Don Aguero2 comments

Starting in Normandy on July 2nd and finishing on July 24th in Paris, the 2016 Tour de France will span 3,519 kilometres, 21 stages, and four countries.

There’s something for everyone in the Tour de France. For the sprinters, there’s the Green Jersey; for the climbers, there’s the Polka Dot Jersey; and, of course, for the overall winner, there’s the Yellow Jersey.

The main contenders for each of these classifications remains similar to last year. However, the route changes will (hopefully) shake things up and see someone (anyone, please!) challenge Chris Froome for the Maillot Jaune.

The favorites  – and their chances – are sure to change as the World Tour season heats up, but here are the early odds and our predictions for the 2016 Tour!

Tour de France 2016 Odds:

Odds to win the Yellow Jersey (General Classification):

Chris Froome (Sky): 7/4

Nairo Quintana (Movistar): 5/2

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff): 5/1

Fabio Aru (Astana): 14/1

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana): 51/2

Yellow Jersey Prediction — Chris Froome

The 2016 route heavily favors the climbers but also includes two grueling time trials. It’s a route that will punish the specialists and reward the more well-rounded riders.

This is good news for Chris Froome, who will be seeking his third Yellow Jersey. The defending champion is the outright favorite given this year’s route and his recent form.

Nairo Quintana, last year’s runner up and White Jersey winner (best under-25 rider), is once again considered Froome’s biggest threat. While the 2016 route does not play to his strengths quite like in 2015 – he’s sure to cede seconds, if not minutes, on the time trials – the diminutive climber will still benefit from the 28 mountain passes.

And speaking of 2015, Alberto Contador is once again among the top contenders despite finishing nearly ten minutes back of Froome last year. Contador figures to pose a bigger threat this time since he’s not riding the Giro d’Italia in May.

Team Astana’s rising star, Fabio Aru, will be taking his first shot at the Tour de France and figures to be the team leader even though Vincenzo Nibali (the 2014 winner) is still on the Astana roster. 

 

Odds to win the Polka Dot Jersey (Mountains Classification):

Nairo Quintana (Movistar): 5/1

Chris Froome (Sky): 5/1

Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha): 7/1

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff): 17/2

Rafal Majka (Tinkoff): 21/1

Polka Dot Jersey Prediction — Nairo Quintana

Due to the mountain-heavy design of the 2015 route, Froome took both the Yellow and Polka Dot Jerseys last year. But, typically, the Polka Dot jersey is a contest for the pure climbers and breakaway specialists.

This year could go either way. Unlike last year, the 2016 route is more balanced and features two time trials. However, they are both uphill time trials that will benefit the climbers.

The more traditional Polka Dot Jersey contenders like Joaquim Rodriguez and Rafal Majka are definitely still in contention, but so are the Yellow Jersey favorites, who are all phenomenal climbers in their own right.

If Froome dominates the GC like last year, expect the purest climber of them all – Quintana – to make a serious bid for Polka Dot; he won’t want to go home empty handed.

 

Odds to win the Green Jersey (Points Classification):

Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) 10/11

Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal): 5/1

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha): 9/2

Marcel Kittel (Etixx–Quick-Step:) 7/1

Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data): 8/1

Green Jersey Prediction — Peter Sagan

The last four Tours have seen the Green jersey — also referred to as the “sprinters’ jersey” — go to current World Road Race Champion Peter Sagan. At only 25, the young Slovak has revolutionised the way the Green Jersey is won. Riders accumulate Green Jersey points by finishing among the top handful on a stage and at the intermediate sprint points along the way. Since there are more stages that finish with a bunch sprint (versus a mountain top climb), the Green Jersey competition has always been dominated by “the fast men” (versus the climbers). 

But Sagan is the rare rider who can hang with the best in the world on the hills and the flats. So instead of focusing solely on pure sprint stages, he often slips into breakaways and holds onto the pack on tough climbs when all the other sprinters get dropped.

That’s not to say that pure sprinters like Andre Greipel, Alexander Kristoff, and Mark Cavendish don’t stand a chance. But their lack of versatility and climbing ability puts them at a disadvantage.

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