The 2012 Tour De France (with a bit of Belgium and Switzerland thrown in)

This entry was posted on Thursday, June 28th, 2012

The 2012 Tour de France spans across three countries this year, but even in the midst of near 200 riders going over 101.1km of road, it is the absence of Alberto Contador, who serves his doping suspension and Andy Schlek who is injured that noticeably makes this a race without two of the biggest names. It’s like Match of The Day without Lawrensen and Shearer… maybe it’s not such a bad idea after all.

Bradley Wiggins leads the betting and in many ways we can’t make a good case against him, even at odds of just 2.68 on Betfair. This year, with the help of the very strong Sky-Team he has been in terrific form, winning Paris-Nice, the Tour de Romandy and the Dauphine. He looked set for a podium finish last year before breaking a collarbone on stage seven. This year it would have to be an injury that stops him being a serious competitor again.

However, if short odds favourites such as Wiggins aren’t your thing, then don’t let us put you off a punt on Robert Gesink. The Dutchman is one of the most natural climbers in the field and undoubtedly has the explosive ability to go out alone at the front of group. Whilst time-trailling has been a major weakness in the past, the last 12 months have seen him put in some impressive performances lately. He’s a 33/1 shot with Bet365 which could prove excellent each-way value.

Another value bet could be backing the Italian Vicenzo Nibali to finish in the top three. Two of the major mountain stages end with long descents to the finish and there’s no question that’ll play into his hands. If he can hang on to the leaders up the mountains, he’ll be in with a great chance of hitting the top three, which is a 15/4 chance with Blue Square.

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