Tour de France: Froome and Quintana safe and steady as climbs begin

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Before a pedal was pushed and a wheel was turned, this year’s Tour de France seemed to be a three-man fight between Chris Froome, Nairo Quintana and Alberto Contador, but with six stages complete, it’s now become a duel.

Both reigning champion Froome and the pretender for the Yellow Jersey Quintana have come through the opening week unscathed, as the Tour begins its first Category 1 climb.

The unlucky rider thus far is Contador, who endured a dismal start with a heavy fall on the opening stage, followed by an incident-riddled week.

The two-time winner is over a minute behind already, with Froome and Quintana both just 14 seconds behind early Yellow jersey wearer Greg van Avermaet.

The bookies are still struggling to split the pair, with Team Sky’s Froome 11/10 to claim this year’s General Classification, and Movistar’s Quintana at 5/4, with Contador unfancied now at 40s.

But Stage 7 is where we’ll see the two favourites come to the fore.

The Tour enters the Pyrenees with a Category 1 climb, and though there are bigger climbs to come across the weekend, a tricky descent to the finish line makes Friday’s stage the most intriguing yet.

Quintana is 7/2 to be crowned King of the Mountains, with Froome 5/1, but the switch from the flat to climb essentially rules out any more victories in the near future for Mark Cavendish.

The Manx rider has stole the headlines so far on the Tour with three impeccably timed sprint wins, taking him to 29 victories overall, but with Climbs not his forte, it could be a little while before win number 30.

Cavendish is still very much in the hunt for the Points Classification at 13/2, with Peter Sagan favourite at 4/11 and Marcel Kittel 9/2.

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

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