Chris Froome will wear the Tour de France’s yellow jersey through a fifth day running when the world’s biggest bike race resumes after a rest, but whether punters should steam into the 2013 champion’s 4/6 favourite odds quite yet is debatable.
The Brit has been somewhat bullish about his chances of taking Le Tour for the second time, and in the process topping cycling’s ‘Fab Four’, which also includes Nairo Quintana, Alberto Contador and Vincenzo Nibali.
However, while two-time Tour de France winner Contador and defending champion Nibali have drifted like loose barges in the betting, from 9/2 and 6/1 ante-post to 9/1 and 25/1 following Stage 9, Quintana has barely moved an inch at 2/1.
The 2013 ‘King of the Mountains’ has a big task on his hands over the next 13 days, with Froome already almost two minutes clear of the ninth-place rider and firing on all cylinders for Team Sky, alongside teak-tough super-domestique Geraint Thomas.
That being said, with seven fully-fledged mountain stages, three medium-mountain stages and a hilly stage to come before the final-day sprint round Paris, it now comes down to how rapidly 25-year-old climbing specialist Quintana has progressed over the past couple of years.
Since finishing runner-up to Froome in 2013, the Movistar rider has tasted Grand Tour success himself in the Giro d’Italia, which he elected to take on instead of last year’s Tour de France.
Having recovered from a broken collarbone sustained when leading last September’s Vuelta A Espana, Quintana has kept a low profile, skipping the Giro in preparation for another crack at becoming the first South American to win Le Tour.
Froome has stated that it’s now down to his rivals to attack on the climbs, but if Quintana is all he has been cracked up to be, the leader could be in for a real scrap over the yellow jersey.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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