Contador solidifies his Tour de France ante-post stature in Vuelta

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With two of road cycling’s more important tours warmly tucked into the annals for another year, it seems an appropriate time to analyse how the prominent performers in both the Vuelta a Espana and Tour of Britain sit for next year’s Tour de France.

The 69th edition of the Spanish tour had arguably the more attractive field, with home rider Alberto Contador coming out on top ahead of Britain’s Chris Froome by a minute and 10 seconds.

The triumph was the 31-year-old’s third in his native race and perhaps his most satisfying, having recovered so quickly from breaking his leg in a fall at the Tour de France earlier in the year.

If the betting stays the same by the time the 2015 French competition kicks off, Contador will find himself the 2/1 favourite.

With his competitive spirit never ceasing to dwindle, a punt on the Spaniard is by no means a boneheaded move.

While he wasn’t able to secure victory, Froome’s performance in the Spanish hills will fill him with confidence, especially after he too crashed out of the Tour de France in July.

The Kenyan-born Brit is the 9/4 second-favourite when the most iconic road race in cycling returns and he’ll likely lead the Team Sky charge again, despite a return to form from Bradley Wiggins in the Tour of Britain.

2012’s hero finished a not-so-distant third in London, 22-seconds behind Dutch youngster Dylan van Baarle.

Odds of 100/1 for Wiggins to reclaim the yellow jersey he famously won two years ago indicate that time may have passed for cycling’s modfather, although his showing in the Tour of Britain’s eight stages may tempt a few into an each-way flutter – which pays out on the first three in France at a quarter of the odds.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.