This weekend sees the start of the 105th Tour de France, starting in Noimoutier-en- l’Île and finishing on the 29th July on the Champs-Élysées.
After much uncertainty, Chris Froome will be allowed to race and will be aiming for an incredible fifth title in six years, and his fourth consecutively. We take a look at the best bets for this year’s Tour.
Froome a rightful favourite as he hunts Tour number five
It would be very hard to start anywhere other than the undisputed king of road cycling at the moment. The first person to hold all three Grand Tour jerseys in 35 years and the most dominant Tour de France rider this decade.
Chris Froome looks set to win his fifth Tour, which would put him joint for the most Tour wins of all time.
He is grosvenorsport.com’s 6/4 favourite and despite a disrupted build up to this year’s race, and it would be a surprise to see anybody other than Froome in the yellow jersey when the peloton rides down the Champs-Élysées at the end of the month.
Bardet a solid each-way contender
The home favourite, Romain Bardet is a very good climber, and this year has plenty of mountain stages, which should play to his strengths.
No Frenchman has won the Tour since Bernard Hinault in 1985, but if Bardet can attack the mountain stages and not implode on time trials, he could be a worthy challenger for the yellow jersey at 16/1, or an each-way contender at 11/4
Last year’s runner-up Uran a lively outsider
Last year’s runner-up, Rigoberto Uran was remarkable this time 12 months ago, yet still approaches this year’s Tour as a dark horse.
With a strong support team around him, and signs that he is approaching peak form, Uran could definitely be a factor in the yellow jersey race as it approaches the last few mountainous stages. Being the leading man in such a strong team will be Uran’s biggest trump card and the Tour does throw up the occasional surprises.