Tour de France: Odds-on Froome can’t quite shake off Quintana

Chris Froome’s seemingly effortless cruise to second in the overall Tour de France standings, just behind German time-trial king Tony Martin, has seen the 2013 champion backed in from 2/1 ante-post favourite to 4/5 for a second general classification victory after five stages.

That doesn’t tell the whole tale though, as long-time second favourite Nairo Quintana hasn’t moved in Ladbrokes’ betting since the start of Le Tour, with the former runner-up and 2014 Giro d’Italia winner hanging tough at 5/2.

Third and fourth favourites Alberto Contador and Vincenzo Nibali’s prices have drifted from 9/2 and 6/1 pre-tour to 7/1 and 8/1 heading into Stage 6’s ride between Abbeville and Le Havre, with American Teejay van Garderen next in the betting at 20/1 and 40/1 bar.

At 36 seconds behind Froome, two-time general classification winner Contador is by some margin the closest of the trio, with Nibali just over a minute further back and Quintana 18 seconds off last year’s champion, but both are noted climbers with mountain stage triumphs over the past two tours, which the Spaniard does not have.


Chris Froome is going well on the Tour de France, but hasn’t wrapped up victory just yet

It’s too early to lump on Froome with 2013 ‘King of the Mountains’ Quintana lurking. To put a fine point on it, there’s no reason to believe everything isn’t going to plan for the 25-year-old thus far.

Sprinter Peter Sagan, who’s going for a fourth overall points classification win in a row, is the 7/4 favourite to take Stage 6 after a few fine performances since Saturday’s opening time trial, including second behind Andre Greipel yesterday and third over the cobblestones on Tuesday.

Michael Matthews’ rib injury all but rules him out of the running for this at 50/1, leaving the road relatively clear for Sagan, but the Slovakian hasn’t won any of the last 40 Tour de France stages, so his ability to get over the line, as it were, must be in question.

For an alternative, Greipel is interesting at 40/1 for a third victory in six days, over practically the same distance and similar terrain to Stage 5, but Quintana’s Movistar teammate Alejandro Valverde gets the nod at 20/1 after the 16th-placed Spaniard’s steady form so far.

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

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