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2013 Tour de France shortlist and bets

With Froome looked good to win Yellow, Green to be tight between Cav and Sagan there is not a lot of value around in the main markets. You have to look further afield to find some good value punts. Bookies are now offering all manner of betting markets on the race. My personal favourite has to be SportingBet’s market on the rider to finish last. Below is a shortlist of some betting selections I have drawn up with reasoning below each one. At the bottom I have listed which ones I have actually backed. I hope they have provided some food for thought.


Kwiatkowski Young rider classification – back to lay Betfair

The Young rider classification is an old favourite of mine to find some value of this race. Only two bookies are offering each way bets (1/3 for a top two finish). Therefore I am resorting to my old favourite bet of backing a rider to then lay him later on. Kwiatkowski the young Polish rider has really impressed this year and could be propelled into white after the team time trial on Stage four.

Dani Moreno 125/1 Froome King of the Mountains classification 12/1 both Bet365

Moreno is in cracking form  and is likely to be given a free reign from his team. Froome could well pick up this jersey if he dominates the race as many expect him to.

Jurgen Van Den Broeck 100/1 EW winner Bet365

Not had great form this year but has been building slowly to this race. Proved two years ago he can climb with the best and is a very large price. He will not win but could finish in the top three.

Dani Navarro top ten 7/2 BetVictor

The Spaniard has shown this season that he the strongest climber in the Cofidis starting line-up. Therefore Coppel and Taaramae should provide so strong support for him.

Igor Anton top ten 14/1 BetVictor

A big price for a rider who has been up there in Grand Tours before.

Pinot top 6 7/2 Bwin/Betfair

Has the potential to improve on last year’s performance. Showed well at the Tour de Suisse and I am a big fan of the new FDJ blue kit.

Talansky top 6 6/1 Bwin/Betfair

Garmin-Sharp have a habit of getting a rider in the top 6 and often it can be a surprise. It is Talansky time to spring that surprise as I expect Dan Martin to target stage wins and maybe the King of the Mountain jersey.

Stage wins over +0.5:
Bardet 6/1 (SportingBet), Tony Gallopin 5/1 (Bet365), Daniel Navarro 6/1 (SportingBet), Jens Voigt 4/1 (Bet356 and Sportingbet)

The above riders all have the talent to win a stage of the race and are at a good price. The Voigt selection is admittedly head over heart.

Mark Cavendish exactly 6 stage wins 9/2 (PaddyPower)

There looks to be 8 stages that could/should end in a sprint. Cav is in cracking form but I expect a couple to get away from him via a break or by Greipel or Kittel beating him once. Six it is.

Paddy Power match bets

This bookmaker has got some great overall match bets between riders. Backing any rider against Andy Schleck looks immediately appealing.


Kwiatkowski Young rider classification – back to lay Betfair

Jurgen Van Den Broeck 100/1 EW winner Bet365

Dani Moreno 125/1 Froome King of the Mountains classification 12/1 both Bet365

Dani Navarro top ten 7/2 BetVictor

Talansky top 6 6/1 Bwin/Betfair

Stage wins over +0.5: Bardet 6/1 (SportingBet), Tony Gallopin 5/1 (Bet365)

Mark Cavendish exactly 6 stage wins 9/2 (PaddyPower)



The Classics season starts

The opening weekend of the classics campaign is one of my favourite times of year. The Inner Ring hit the nail on the head when describing the classics as like a fourth grand tour. For me the racing from now to end of April surpasses the majority of what we see the rest of the season. The unpredictable nature of the races makes them more exciting. At the start line of each race there are a multitude of riders capable of getting the win but ahead of them lie many variables. The cobbles, the punchy berg climbs, punctures, crashes, fans and much more can all play a massive role in the race.

For the punter these races often prove fruitful. Unlike a sprint stage or a grand tour there is rarely a very short priced favourite. Once you narrow down the start list to the potential winners you can then trail through the bookies odds on Oddschecker and often find a rider very overpriced. My favourite punt of recent years is Nick Nuyens at 50/1 for the 2011 Tour of Flanders. Those odds were far too large considering his form which saw him win Dwars Door Vlaanderen in the build-up to the race.

Fruitful odds for these races are a common occurrence as bookies knowledge of riders is often behind the punter at this stage in the classic season. The only qualifier I would add to that is rider form is still hard to judge. For some riders they have hardly ridden or tested themselves fully in a race. Sep Vanmarcke won Het Nieuwsblad last year after just five race days beforehand in which his highest finish was 19th place.

Omloop Het Nieuwsbald

A mini Tour of Flanders – this race has been won by many big classic stars. The forecast is set for a cold and windy race which should see the race pan out in the usual formula of riders being whittled down until a small group breaks away to contest the victory.

Riders such as Lars Boom, Roelandts and Pozzato lead the betting market due their recent good form. However if you look at the history of the race the winner does not necessarily have recent race wins going into the race. Instead it seems to be won by pedigree classic riders and in the last two years up and coming talented riders have prevailed. I have a shortlist of 25 riders who could win this race but with the odds the way they are three clearly stand out as great each way bets:

Bernie Eisel – 66/1 (Bet365 and SkyBet) Eisel has won a big classic before (Gent-Wevelgem in 2010). Back then in HTC colours he was given a free role to ride for himself in the classics and Sky are now going to support him in his attempt to win a big classic. Eisel will want to show that not going to Omega Pharma – QuickStep with Cavendish was not a mistake and winning races will do just that. He showed well in Qatar and is a very generous price at 66/1 especially with a strong Sky team to support him.

Luca Paolini – 50/1 (Ladbrokes) He has pedigree in the classics as his two second place finishes in Milan-San Remo (2003, 2006) and third in Flanders (2007) show. Back to back top five finishes in 2010 and 2011 here show he likes the race. With the Tour Down Under and Ruta del Sol in his legs he should be going well.

Daniel Oss – 80/1 (Ladbrokes) The BMC team is amazingly strong. As well as Oss they have Quinziato, Van Avermaet, Blythe, Phinney and Hushovd who all could get a result here. For me Oss stands out as a real dark horse. He has the make-up of a great classics rider but never focused on them during his time at Liquigas. Despite that his results improved each year. His 14 race days already this year will stand him in good stead and his third place on stage two of Tour du Haut Var to Lars Boom shows the potential is there.


A flatter course than Het Nieuwsblad this race has ended in a big bunch sprint in the last couple of years. If it rains it can become an epic battle as in 2010 when just 26 riders finished in freezing temperatures.

The recent reports that the climbs could be taken out due snow has put a spanner in the works. Only Bet365 have a market up at the moment and like many they see it as a sprint off between Greipel and Cavendish. I am going to hold off on any bets till after Saturday’s race. Look out for my tips on twitter. It is worth nothing that riders like Cavendish, Greipel, Henderson, Farrar, Howard, Demare and Veelers are only racing on Sunday so look out for them if it does come down to a sprint.


For the people not betting on these two races and saving their pennies for the major classics these races are still important. Try and watch them to spot riders in good form and putting in the attacks and testing their legs ahead of the big ones.  


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