The rules are straightforward, the riders must pass through all stages and try to finish in as little time as possible. The finishing times of the riders from each stage are added to their aggregate total, and the rider who has the least amount of time when the race concludes is crowned the winner of the Tour de France. The overall timing is called the general classification, and the riders who lead the classification at each stage will wear a yellow jersey in the following stage. The rider who wins the general classification is awarded a winner's yellow jersey. There are also other jerseys that are given to riders who excel in other categories. The best sprinter is awarded the green jersey, the best climber is awarded the polka dot jersey and the leading rider in the general classification who is aged 25 years old or younger is awarded the white jersey.
Tour de France Betting Guide
Those who enjoy watching the Tour de France can make the competition even more exciting to follow by placing some wagers. When it comes to Grand Tours, such as the Tour de France, betting can be broken down into many different categories. These bets can be a great way for fans to back their favourite cyclist or to test their knowledge by trying to predict which cyclist will win.
Outrights (Yellow Jersey Bet)
This is the most straightforward bet, where punters can pick which cyclist they think will win the Tour de France. Odds will be offered on all of the riders in the competition, and bettors can check to see which cyclist has the shortest odds. That cyclist will be the bookie's favourite to win. The great thing about these bets is that outrights will be available long before the race starts. This means that the odds can be checked and bets can be placed well in advance. Punters can also choose to bet on which rider will win the race when the event has started, but the odds for each cyclist will change depending on where they are in the general classification.
Bets can be placed on whether a cyclist will make the top 3. This comes at shorter odds than placing a bet on the outright winner, but it can be a safer bet to place. In editions where there are evenly matched title contenders it may be useful to place a bet on a cyclist finishing in the top 3.
This bet is similar to the top 3 bet, only it covers a cyclist to place in the top 10. The bet comes at shorter odds than the top 3 bet although the great thing about this bet is that multiple top 10 bets can be placed without contradicting each other. If a punter has a strong feeling about multiple riders, then placing a parlay on several riders to finish in the top 10 may offer better odds than placing a bet on one of them to win, and they may even be able to reduce the level of risk.
King of the Mountain
As mentioned before, the best climber in the Tour de France wins the polka dot jersey. Bets can be placed on which rider will have the best overall time in the hill and mountain stages of the Tour de France. Each cyclist has his own strengths and weaknesses, and punters who know more about the contestants may be able to spot which one of them is the best in these tough stages.
This bet is the green jersey equivalent of the king of the mountain bet. The cyclist with the best overall sprint time is awarded the green jersey, and punters can place bets on any of the cyclists to win it. It is important that a rider can sprint and perform well in the intermittent sprint segments, but what wins a green jersey is consistency. The weather, arrangement of the stages and general fatigue can all play as factors in this bet, so while it is useful to check to see which riders have ridden the fastest in historical tours or preceding events, it is just as important to find out which riders perform the most consistently.
Best Young Rider
This is a highly exciting bet for cycling fans who want to bet on the young talents. The Tour de France features many younger cyclists who are trying to establish their presence in the world rankings and win a place on the podium amongst the greats. The rider who is aged 25 years old or younger, with the best time in the general classification wins the white jersey. A bet can be placed on any of the cyclists who are aged 25 years old or younger to win this award.
Best Time-Trial Finisher
Time-trials are the stages when cyclists ride on aerodynamic bicycles and complete circuits individually. These are tough stages that can range between 5 km in distance up to 50 km. It is important for riders to try to finish the time trials in as little time as possible, so they can get an advantage on the other cyclists. Bets can be placed on any of the individual cyclists to have the least aggregate time over the time-trials stages. What makes this bet more interesting is that the cyclists do not race in teams in these races, so it opens up the possibility of betting on more potential winners. This means that these bets may offer longer odds than the outrights, and betting on an underdog may not be as risky as betting on the underdog in the outrights.
Head to Head
This is one of the most exciting bets in cycling. If this bet is available, punters may be able to single out two or more riders and bet on which rider will win amongst them. The predicted rider does not necessarily have to win the general classification, the bet will pay out on the condition that they beat the other rider's time. These bets are great when there are real rivals in the competition who are both evenly matched and produce some fantastic feats. Cycling fans will enjoy placing these bets, and they may be able to find head to head bets that relate to individual stages too.
If there are bets offered on which rider will win a stage, these are a perfect way to enjoy a day's worth of cycling. A stage lasts a day, so bettors do not have to wait until the end of the Tour to win their money, and they can place bets on the days they want to watch. If a fan has a favourite cyclist who is excellent at sprints, they may choose to place bets on them in each sprinting stage, without having to worry about how the mountain or time-trial race will affect the general classification.
Total Number of Stages Won
Bets can be placed on the number of stages the overall Tour de France champion wins over the course of the event. While it's probably quite straightforward that out of a possible 21 stages the winner should probably win at least 6 or 7 to make sure they have the majority over the others, the general classification is not arranged by stage wins. The overall time is the most important part of the Tour de France. Chris Froome, three time Tour de France champion, won the competition in 2017 without winning a single stage.
This bet does not directly relate to which cyclist will become the champion of the Tour de France, and therefore is a difficult bet to predict, but when it is on offer, it usually comes with generous odds. Punters who do their research may have a chance to take advantage of these bets.