We’ve been busy covering the Tour de France yellow jersey, green jersey and polka-dot jersey markets ahead of the Grand Depart from Utrecht for a while now, but with the first and shortest stage in world cycling’s biggest event almost upon us, it’s back to the drawing board at news.ladbrokes headquarters.
Etixx-Quick Step stalwart Tony Martin is the hot 1/1 favourite after winning two of the past three individual time trials, although the 30-year-old is by no means the only in-form speedster on show in Holland.
Here are three riders who’ll put it up to the German:
Tom Dumoulin @ 11/4
If this 24-year-old Maastricht native manages to cross the finishing line first on Saturday, the cheers will carry all the way to the Champs-Elysees.
Dutch fans have been sporting yellow t-shirts saying ‘Ik Ben Een Dumoulist’ (‘I am a Dumoulist’) since their new favourite son’s recent third in the Tour de Suisse, which included two time-trial wins.
Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas, a 33/1 shot to win Stage 1, has tipped up Dumoulin to take this and become the first rider from his country to don the ‘maillot jaune’ since Erik Breukink 26 years ago, so he’s clearly not without a chance.
Fabian Cancellara @ 10/1
Thomas also had a good word for Cancellara, one of only three men lining up in Holland to have taken a Tour de France individual time trial over the past three years.
The 34-year-old looks a decent bet considering this is the shortest stage of any kind since his 2012 victory in Liege, and the Swiss veteran has eight such Le Tour triumphs in his back catalogue, five of which came on opening days.
Chris Froome @ 50/1
Alongside Cancellara and Martin, the 2013 champion is the only other man in the peloton with a Tour de France time-trial win under his belt in the last three runnings, although that victory was over twice the distance they’ll cover in Utrecht.
Still, the 2/1 favourite is in cracking form having added last month’s Criterium du Dauphine to his plethora of titles, and after crashing out early during his defence of Le Tour last summer, Froome will be out to prove a point early on.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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