Bet the Tour de France: Jumbo Visma dominates week 1 – look for Alaphilippe and Roglic to win in mountains, Ewing and De Gendt in sprints
There has been little doubt through the first full week of the Tour de France about which team has been in complete control. Super team Jumbo Visma with riders Primoz Roglic, Wout Van Aert, and Tom Dumoulin have put teams on notice winning three of the first seven stages and placing two riders into the top five of the general classification. Cycling fans have expected for months that the team would ultimately take control of the latter stages of the tour and place Roglic and Dumoulin within striking distance of winning the yellow jersey. It has been unprecedented however to see them forcing their hand so early in the race. With the first of six mountain stages looming and defending champion Egan Bernal poised to reclaim his top spot on the podium, it will be interesting to see if the dominance of Jumbo Visma can last. The Tour de France can often be very cruel to those who spend their chips too early. Last year’s 4th place finisher Julian Alaphilippe spent fourteen days in the yellow jersey only to run out of gas on the penultimate mountain stage of the race.
If Roglic or Dumoulin believe they can win the Tour, they cannot overexert themselves over the next seven stages. The final week will be brutal with four mountain stages and one mountain time trial in the French Alpes. Jumbo Visma must use their heads along with their legs; They must allow teams like INEOS, Mitchelton-Scott, and FDJ to work alongside them through the first two mountain stages so that they do not burn out their support riders or even one of their leaders. As long as they save themselves enough to dictate the pace in the final week of the Tour, we should be seeing a Jumbo Visma rider in yellow come Paris.
Week 2 Predictions
I expect both Julian Alaphilippe and Primoz Roglic to have strong showings over the next two stages. They are both on tremendous form and will want to either take the yellow jersey or win a stage against their main rivals in the mountains. Following a rest day on Monday, the peloton will face the two flattest days of the entire tour. If Caleb Ewing manages to avoid elimination in the mountains via the time cuts, I expect him to win at least one of these sprints. Stages 12 and 13 should be either breakaway victories or reduced sprints between the strongest men of the peloton. Look for Thomas De Gendt to target one of these two stages to break from the field and win his third overall stage in the Tour de France.
Bets I like going Forward
Tom Dumoulin Top 3 General Classification +175
Dumoulin should show us in the final week why he was able to finished 2nd behind winner Geraint Thomas in the 2018 addition of the tour. Confident and Steady, Dumoulin can be frustrating to try and shake as the terrain gets increasingly difficult.
Bryan Coquard Top 3 Points Classification +225
This pick may come as a surprise to some people. A lot of what is going to shape the points classification however will be a sprinter's ability to avoid time cuts in the mountains the last week in the Alpes. In all three of Coquard’s previous starts in the Tour he has done just that. Coquard shouldn’t have any issues continuing to snatch points in early breakaways and finish in the top ten in stages where the bigger sprinters are shot off the back.