Chris Froome may not be particularly favoured by the lay-out of the 2017 Tour de France but he is still fancied to give Britain a fifth triumph in six years.
The 32-year-old Team Sky rider helped Sir Bradley Wiggins to become the first Brit to win this great race back in 2012.
Since being promoted to team leader, Froome has claimed top honours in 2013, 2015 and 2016 and gets the nod again at 7/5 in our Tour de France betting tips.
Victory last year made Froome one of just eight men with three or more Tour wins to their name, as he became the first to successfully retain the crown since Miguel Indurain in 1995.
If he is wearing yellow in Paris again this year, Froome will stand alone on four overall victories and be tantalisingly close to the all-time record of five wins, held jointly by Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, Jacques Anquetil and Indurain.
His form so far this year is open to question. Each of his previous Tour wins was preceded by victory in the Criterium du Dauphine but this year he could only manage fourth, leaving him without a win on the road in 2017 so far.
However, the Briton insists he feels in mint condition and the vibes are that even more emphasis has been put on peaking for this contest, with the first of 21 stages starting in Dusseldorf on Saturday.
Froome confident of hitting peak form
Froome admits there is some strong opposition this year, led by Australia’s Richie Porte, a former teammate for two Tour victories.
Just three high mountain summit finishes and two short individual time trials also negates some of Froome’s advantages, but the defending champion still has a mental edge and insisted he is “exactly where I need to be”.
Bwin has a special price boost of 9/5 for time-trial specialist Tony Martin to win the opening stage and Germany’s four-time world champion at this discipline is hard to oppose on home turf.
In the overall points classification market, Slovakia’s Peter Sagan is 21/50 to claim a record-equalling sixth consecutive green jersey.
The 27-year-old insists he is fully focused on another triumph, commenting: “To take green is a very hard thing and you have to fight for that from the first day until the last one.”
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