Tour de France: Go young and go French for this year’s race

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For once this summer, we’re not talking about Kingsley Coman or Paul Pogba. The Tour de France is upon us again and even though the big four of Chris Froome, Vincenzo Nibali, Alberto Contador and Nairo Quintana are all in action, we’re looking a little deeper in the market for some tasty each way prices.

Let’s start with the obvious. In a Grand Tour anything and everything can happen. In the last few years we’ve seen the likes of Bradley Wiggins, Froome and Contador crash out and we’ve had Alejandro Valverde suffer a mechanical and lose ten minutes on a flat stage.

Given the unpredictable nature of big stage races, there is certainly value to be had by looking at the next group of riders in the peloton. And there are a few who will be snapping at the heels of the big names at the merest hint of bad form, or bad luck.

Recent editions have seen a number of promising young French riders emerge. And while we think it’s doubtful that any of these can realistically end France’s wait for a first champion since Bernard ‘The Badger’ Hinault in 1985, there is still plenty of hope for a podium finish:

Thibaut Pinot @ 20/1

Tops our list on account of his third-place in 2014, the 26-year old has had a strong 2016 so far winning the Criterium International, a stage of the Dauphine, and most recently adding the French Time-Trial Championship to highlight his all-round ability.

Romain Bardet @ 50/1

A few months younger than Pinot, Bardet is another who has pedigree in Le Tour. Two consecutive top 10 finishes, with sixth his best in 2014, and a second place finish in the GC at the Dauphine this year show that he has the ability. Backed by an aggressive and attacking AG2R team, he is definitely one to watch for sneaky podium spot.

Warren Barguil @ 200/1

A bit younger still, Barguil lacks some of the big wins of the other two, but managed a very impressive 14th in Le Tour last year. The favourite for the Young Rider classification at Evens, the much larger 200/1 is a tempting price for a talented young rider.

Final food for thought, here’s a selection of names who’ve recently stood on the podium in Paris…

2015 – Alejandro Valerde – 50/1

2014 – Jean Christophe-Peraud – 200/1

2013 – Nairo Quintana – 25/1

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

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William Geldart

Having graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Wales, Bangor, William contributed to a number of online football blogs before finally finding his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow alongside the rest of the Ladbrokes News team. Now indulging passions for football, horse racing, greyhounds, boxing and political betting. Supports Wycombe Wanderers and can be spotted at various lower league and non-league grounds across the country.