There is plenty more going on betting wise in this Tour outside of the GC. I will take a look at the points, KOM, young rider jerseys as well as the best overall team. These markets can be easier to read than the overall and can offer good betting choices. First up the points jersey.
POINTS (GREEN) JERSEY
This should have been a mouth-watering duel between Mark Cavendish and Peter Sagan. It still might be, but there are strong rumours Cavendish won’t finish the Tour as he is concentrating on the Olympics. This is reflected in the odds.
This lad is going to be a superstar and he is still only 22. He has cleaned up this year in the races he has entered, winning 13 stages so far. We all know he is good but he hasn’t raced Cavendish yet, to find out how good he really is. He is a good climber so should get over the hills to rack up points that others won’t. He also has a great positioning sense which is a great asset to have. He has won his sprints so easily, it’s very hard to gauge where he is. His price says differently and he is only 1.9 on Betfair.
What can you say about this man? Love him or hate him, he is probably the greatest pure sprinter ever to date. He has 20 Grand Tour stages to his name at the age of 27 which is phenomenal. I won’t say it will never be beaten as I expect the man above, Peter Sagan, to beat it in years to come. His price would be way shorter only for the rumours of him leaving early to prepare for the Olympics. He won’t have a big lead-out train this year as the team will be concentrating on Wiggins’ GC hopes. We have seen in the past that Cavendish needs a good lead-out train, as he can get his positioning horribly wrong at times.
Finally Goss has got his chance this year of being a team leader in the sprints. He has the backing of his whole team, so we will see the Green Edge train doing most of the work in the last few kms. We saw in the Giro that when it mattered he couldn’t match Cavendish for raw speed. His ability to get over the lumpy stuff will help his chances but he will have a fella called Peter Sagan to deal with then.
His team have come to the Tour solely for him to win stages. He is another unknown talent. He looks to have the raw speed of Cavendish and it will be tested in this Tour. His big downfall for the green jersey is that he won’t get over a bump in the road, never mind a hill, so I can’t see him featuring in winning the jersey. If he racks up a few wins on the flat stages, he has a chance to get into the top 3. The 25/1 with Hills top 3 makes some appeal.
Is coming into this in good form and again he will have a good lead-out train. I don’t think he has the raw speed to beat most of the above, so his positioning will be vital. I think Greipel will be happy to hunt for stage wins and not really bother about the green jersey.
Jose Joquain Rojas
Rojas was fighting for the points jersey last year with Cav and Gilbert. He has the talent to go well in this but never really delivers when it matters. He will get over some of the smaller climbs to compete for sprints, so he could rack up some nice points. Again Sagan will be his main danger here and it’s hard to see how Rojas will be in the top 3 in flat sprints, where he will need to be, to get the points to have any chance of claiming the jersey.
The rumours of Cavendish leaving early really puts me off him. Sagan’s price is low but I can’t see anyone beating him to be honest. I think he is a lump on job. Matt Goss is great e/w value as well at 9/1. With the team he has and the ability to get over some of the hills he has a great chance. Mark Renshaw at 50/1 would be an outside bet, where you could get a good run for your money
8 pts Sagan win @ 1.91 on Betfair
4.5 pts e/w Goss top 3 @ 9/1 with Bodog / Ladbrokes paying 1/4 odds
1 pt e/w Renshaw @ 50/1 numerous firms 1/4 odds
YOUNG RIDER JERSEY
Another category where the favourite looks to have it sown up bar injury. In fairness there isn’t much credible competition in this market.
Steven Kruijswijk is favourite for this at 11/8. He looks the likely winner as he is a very good climber and can TT. He also has the experience of finishing high up in a grand Tour which is vital. Rein Taarame is the big danger but he has been very sick and has had a disrupted early season. He showed good form by winning his own national championship, so he is riding into form. It will be a hard ask to ride three weeks though. Wouter Poels is the other well up in the betting. He is a very good climber but his TT will let him down. I can’t see him making the time up on Kruijswijk on the climbs. Tejay Van Garderen is next in the betting but can be written off as he will be Cadel Evans’ super domestique. One who could surprise is Thibaut Pinot at 20/1. He looks a very talented young lad, was going well in the Tour of Swiss, until heat stroke made him retire. He has never rode a grand Tour before which is a massive disadvantage but he looks to have the talent to last it.
Overall it is hard to look past Kruijswijk. He looks to have the all-round game to win this. There are too many doubts over the others: Poels TT, Taarame lack of fitness, Pinot inexperience and TJVG domestique role.
5pt win Kruijswijk @ 11/8 Boylesports
1pt e/w Pinot top 2 @ 20/1 Boylesports 1/3 odds
Again it looks between the top 6 in the betting and I can’t see any surprises to be honest. I’m going to go with the two teams with the best all rounders, Team Sky 7/2 and Garmin 11/2. Both these teams have the best TT and have very good climbers as well. I think Sky are particularly good value at 7/2. I myself would have them shorter.
4pts win Team Sky @ 7/2 generally
4pts e/w Garmin @ 11/2 Boylesports 1/3 odds first 2
KING OF THE MOUNTAINS JERSEY
In fairness, any one of 30 could win this. It is really hard to predict. I’m going to go Irish in this one with Dan Martin. He has a free reign within in the team and the KOM is one of his goals. He climbs very well and should be in a lot of the breakaways. He is a better climber than Hoogerland and Sorensen who are ahead of him in the market, so it makes sense to back him at 14/1. Alexandre Vinokourov at 50/1 with Bodog really interests me as well. His days of going for the GC are over and this could be his best chance of getting something out of the Tour. I think he is way overpriced. Thinking way outside the box, the 100/1 on Rein Taamare could be worth a bet. He is only coming back to form after being very sick. He could target this as he is an excellent climber. I can’t see him being good every day but could pick his stages to rack up points.
3.5 pts e/w Dan Martin @ 14/1 Ladbrokes
2 pts e/w Vinokourov @ 50/1 Bodog
1 pt e/w Taamare @ 100/1 Boylesports
All above 1/4 odds first 3