The Tour De France is one of the most well known sporting events on the planet, and it is the most famed cycling race in the world.
The Tour is one of the three Grand Tours on the calendar – the other two being the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a Espana – but it is the French race that is by far the main event.
The race consists of 21 day-long stages, over a 23-day period – raced mainly in France although many countries around Europe enjoy hosting stages.
The distance the Tour races is dependent on which stages are chosen, but generally is over 2,000 miles.
One of the most famous aspects of the tour is the fact the leader of the race wears the Yellow Jersey.
What is the History?
It was conceived in 1903 by French newspaper L’Auto to help their ratings, and has run ever since with the exception of two breaks for the World Wars.
Predominately an event for French cyclists it emerged as the must win race in the world for any professional cyclist.
The race is now generally set on the amount of stages, but aside from the last leg into Paris, any stage can be changed. The race alternates between going clockwise and counterclockwise around France.
The Tour, although predominantly still in France, has allowed various stages to be hosted across Europe: Britain, Ireland, Andorra, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Holland, Spain and Switzerland.
How is the winner decided?
Although there is a winner of each daily stage, there is one overall winner, known as the winner of the ‘general classification’. This is decided purely on the time it takes to complete the whole Tour and whoever completes it in the least time, wins.
Every stage is timed throughout to decide the winner. As well as the general winner, there are other categories for other riders to compete for. Probably the most famous of which is the King of the Mountain, where the rider leading wears a red poker dot jersey throughout. During the race, certain climbs are categorised and a rider earns points throughout – the winner being the rider who accumulates the most. There is also top sprinter award. The rider for this wears a green jersey and they earn points for sprints throughout certain stages of the race.
Recent times have seen a team prize brought in, which goes to the most successful team throughout. The 2019 event will see 22 teams with 8 riders each compete. Normally, each team has a ‘leader’ and more often than not, this rider is their star rider – the one pushing for overall glory. However, this is not always the case, as happened in 2018 when Geraint Thomas beat his team leader, Chris Froome to victory.
What are the stages for 2019?
The race in 2019 begins – called the Grand Depart – in Belgium. This is in part to mark the 50th of anniversary of when Belgian legend, Eddy Merckx.
|1||6 July||Brussels (Belgium) to Brussels (Belgium) via Charleroi (Belgium)||119 miles||Flat stage|
|2||7 July||Brussels-Royal Palace (Belgium) to Brussels-Atomium (Belgium)||17 miles||Team time trial|
|3||8 July||Binche (Belgium) to Épernay||133 miles||Flat stage|
|4||9 July||Reims to Nancy||134 miles||Flat stage|
|5||10 July||Saint-Dié-des-Vosges to Colmar||105 miles||Medium mountain stage|
|6||11 July||Mulhouse to La Planche des Belles Filles||98 miles||Medium mountain stage|
|7||12 July||Belfort to Chalon-sur-Saône||143 miles||Flat stage|
|8||13 July||Mâcon to Saint-Étienne||124 miles||Hilly stage|
|9||14 July||Saint-Étienne to Brioude||106 miles||Medium mountain stage|
|10||15 July||Saint-Flour to Albi||135 miles||Hilly stage|
|16 July||Albi||Rest day|
|11||17 July||Albi to Toulouse||104 miles||Flat stage|
|12||18 July||Toulouse to Bagnères-de-Bigorre||126 miles||High mountain stage|
|13||19 July||Pau to Pau||17 miles||Individual time trial|
|14||20 July||Tarbes to Col du Tourmalet||73 miles||High mountain stage|
|15||21 July||Limoux to Foix||115 miles||Medium mountain stage|
|22 July||Nîmes||Rest day|
|16||23 July||Nîmes to Nîmes||110 miles||Hilly stage|
|17||24 July||Pont du Gard to Gap||128 miles||Medium mountain stage|
|18||25 July||Embrun to Valloire||129 miles||High mountain stage|
|19||26 July||Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to Tignes||76 miles||High mountain stage|
|20||27 July||Albertville to Val Thorens||81 miles||High mountain stage|
|21||28 July||Rambouillet to Paris (Champs-Élysées)||79 miles||Flat stage|
Can you bet on in the Tour De France?
The Tour has become a huge gambling event, which isn’t surprising, given the plethora of different markets that are available.
You can back the winner or back your rider each-way. This is usually for them to finish in the top three, although there can be more places, depending on the bookmaker you place the bet with.
You can back the winner of each class too. For example, the King of the Mountains and top sprinter.
One of the more popular markets is the stage win, which is a huge deal in the Tour. You have 21 chances to do that and a fresh attempt can be made virtually every day.
There are also some really interesting markets, such as whether a rider will wear the famous Yellow Jersey at any point, and how long a rider might wear it.
Or you can bet on how many riders will finish the overall Tour as the drop out rate is very high. This bet would usually be an above or under a certain amount offered by a bookmaker.
The Tour is so popular, every major bookmaker in the UK others a host of market on the race. With so many markets available, there are matched betting opportunities. To find out more about how you could make money with this technique, check out our full matched betting guide.
Who is favourite in 2019?
Welsh ace Geraint Thomas is the defending champion and favourite for this year’s title, with four-time winner Chris Froome and last season’s runner-up Tom Dumoulin both ruled out with injury.
Thomas is around 2/1 and bookmakers think his nearest rival will actually be his team-mate, the young Colombian sensation, Egan Bernal. However, last year Thomas was around 25/1 to win, so there could again be a chance for an outsider to win.