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Tour de France 2021 Betting Tips

The Tour de France is the most famous of cycling’s three Grand Tours. The race takes place over 21 tough stages and the 2021 edition will be beginning on June 26. Even if you are not a cycling fan, you are sure to have heard of this thrilling race, and more importantly, if you are a betting fan, then it presents a huge number of betting opportunities.

Tour de France Betting Markets

If you are new to betting on cycling, then we suggest that you first take a read of our Beginner’s Guide to Cycling Betting. There you can find all of the information you need to understand the different types of betting markets you will find offered on the Tour de France, and there are many of them, as well as some suggestions regarding the type of research you should be doing before betting in order to give yourself the greatest chance of success. However, in this guide we will take you through some of the most exciting Tour de France betting markets and discuss researching this event in particular.

Tour de France Winner

Betting on the winner of any sporting event is always the simplest and most popular bet. You simply choose which of the participants you believe will win, back them, and if they do then you win your bet. Of course, there is no reason why you can’t place multiple bets, to give yourself multiple chances of winning.

You can place this type of bet before the Tour de France begins and while it is taking place. The odds will obviously change as the race progresses, and by monitoring the market closely you may spot some good opportunities, especially if you think that there is going to be an upset.

Tour de France Stage Winner

Betting on the winner of the Tour de France is a great way to ensure that you have betting action maintained for the duration of the race; however, you will be waiting a long time to see if you have won. If you want to place some shorter-term bets, then betting on the stage winner is an excellent option.

There are 21 stages in the race and different riders will be suited to different types of stages. We shall discuss this a little later on, but by analysing the stage and the riders, you can often find some great chances to place winning bet. You need to consider factors such as the terrain, the previous stages, and more, all of which will be explained later.

Tour de France Top Finish

If you think a rider will do well but perhaps not win the event, then this can be a very helpful market. You will often be able to back a person to finish in the top 3/5/10 overall, which builds some leeway into your bet. Sometimes you can spot some excellent odds. For instance, if there is a newcomer who you believe will do particularly well but not win, then you could back him to finish in the top 5 and the odds may be very generous if he is an unknown.

Tour de France Head-to-Head Betting

Head-to-head bets are a fun type of market that offer yet another way to back a rider that you are a fan of. The markets will pair two riders together, sometimes across the entire race and sometimes across specific stages, and you are simply betting on which of the two you think will do better.

The great thing about this type of bet is that you can ignore all the other participants in the race. You simply need to weigh up the two riders involved and decide which one you think will come out ahead. As such, it is a much easier market to analyse than the outright winner, and while the odds may not be as generous, you can still make some serious winnings.

Additional Tour de France Betting Markets

You will find many more Tour de France betting markets that are worth considering. For instance, you may be able to bet on which riders will win which jerseys. The polka dot jersey is worn by the cyclist that is the best mountain climber, the green jersey by the best sprinters in the points classification, and the white jersey by the top rider under the age of 26. You can also bet on teams rather than individuals, which is a way to introduce another dimension to your betting strategy. Be sure to examine all of the markets carefully, so that you can take advantage of as many opportunities as possible.

Planning Tour de France Bets

There are many reasons why the Tour de France is considered the premier cycling event. To begin with, it is extremely challenging, even for the best athletes. The schedule is extremely gruelling with athletes needing to cycling long distances almost every day for three weeks. Furthermore, it covers a great variety of terrains including flat stages, hills, mountains, and downhills.

When analysing the race from a bettor’s perspective, it is also important to remember that it is actually a team sport. While individual cyclists may become well known, the best cyclist from the best team normally wins it. A team is able to provide support during the race and help an individual achieve the best pace while using the least amount of energy. Teams will also help with preparations for the race and with equipment and technical maintenance during the race. Therefore, when planning bets, it is vital to consider the team in addition to the rider.

What Makes a Winner?

There are many factors to consider when trying to pick the Tour de France winner. To begin with, you need to make sure that you are backing a cyclist versatile enough to compete consistently in all conditions, no matter the weather. It is extremely unlikely that there will ever be a rider capable of winning all the stages, but they must be able to maintain a high level in all stages regardless of anything else going on.

The winner will have to be an excellent overall rider and excel in some areas. Very often, the race is decided by the mountain stages that include steep summits, which means that weak climbers often struggle. It is extremely unlikely that the overall winner will have performed badly in the climbing stages and this should always be remembered. 

It is also relatively safe to assume that the winner of the Giro d’Italia will not win the Tour de France. There are just a few weeks between the two events, and having the energy to compete in both events with such a short break is beyond almost everyone. In fact, the last time a rider managed to win both in the same year was back in 1998.

Understanding the Stages

In regards to the starting order, there are two types of stages in the Tour de France, mass starts and time trials. As the name suggests, with a mass start stage, everyone begins at the same time and in general, they will move as a large pack. In a time trial, the rider will begin on his own or with his teammates.

Normally, time trials are better suited to sprinters as they take place on flat terrain over shorter distances. There are occasional mountain time trials that include a steep climb, and these will suit the strong climbers.

The mass start stages are far more strategic as the riders can monitor their opponents. For instance, if a strong contender begins an attack, then others may be forced to follow suit, which may not have been their original strategy. When this happens, it can be an excellent time to take advantage of the live betting markets.

Interpreting the Terrain

Across the many stages of the Tour de France, the riders will have to cope with a range of terrains. Each type of terrain will favour a different type of specialist rider. For example, sprinters will do better on flat terrain while climbers will do better on the mountains. When researching your bets, you should look at what terrain is preferred by the riders and the terrain of the stage you are betting on.

It is the stages that are hilly rather than mountainous that can be tricky to judge. However, if you can identify whether they are closer to flat or mountains, then it could be the key to placing successful bets.

Contextualising the Stages

It is all very well to identify a rider’s strengths and weaknesses and compare them to the terrain, but you also have to keep in mind the broader context of the race. For instance, if a rider has a big lead in the general classification and a good chance of winning the entire race, then he is unlikely to go all out trying to win stages.

As a general rule, those at the at the top of the general classification will just do enough to keep up with the leaders rather than set the pace. The exception to this is when they want to make their move. Riders that specialise, such as sprinters, may just focus on earning points for that classification rather than chasing stage wins. You may also see instances of riders pushing early in a stage and then fading away in order to help their teammates. You should also consider what a rider did in the previous stage, as if they gave it their all they are likely to relax a bit in the next.

There is another type of rider to watch out for, one who has no major goals related to any of the classifications and has no obligation to a teammate. This type of rider may just choose to go all in on a stage that suits him to try to win it. It can lead to some surprising results, and if you think you can identify one of these instances, then you may find some huge odds.


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