Tour De France Preview And Betting Tips

It is the premiere cycle race in the world. A race that is the greatest test of endurance, speed and skill and it is the one that every top cyclist wants to win.

That race is the Tour de France. Or as it is known in France, Le Tour.

In this post, we are going to take a look at this famous event in more detail. This includes a look at its history, some of its biggest winners and controversies.

Finally, we will then look at this year’s event and give you a heads up on the cyclists you could back if you fancy a bet on the race with bet365 Sport.

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So let’s begin with a look back at the history of this famous event.

The Tour de France – A Historical Perspective

The first Le Tour took place in 1903. Since then, there have been 109 editions held with 2023 being the 110th race.

Over time, the race turned from being a small, provincial, mainly French rider-contested event, into the biggest cycle race in the world. It is also the most prestigious Grand Tour race on the calendar.

Around 20-22 teams compete in the race, each with eight riders. All stages are timed and the rider with the shortest cumulative finishing time is the Tour de France winner. This is the General Classification category in the race.

However, there are also other mini-races within the event which can be won. Sprinters can win the Points Classification, climbers can win the Mountains Classification and for riders under the age of 26, they can win the Young Rider Classification.

There is also a Teams Classification, which uses the best three finishers from each team on each stage.

Tour de France’s Most Famous Winners

Four cyclists have won the Tour de France five times and just eight have won the race three times or more.

5 Wins

  • Jacques Anquetil (Fra) – 1957, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964
  • Eddy Merckx (Bel) – 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974
  • Bernard Hinault (Fra) – 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1985
  • Miguel Indurain (Esp) – 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995

4 Wins

  • Chris Froome (GB) – 2013, 2015, 2015, 2017

3 Wins

  • Philippe Thys (Bel) – 1913, 1914, 1920
  • Louison Bobet (Fra) – 1953, 1954, 1955
  • Greg Lemond (USA) – 1986, 1989, 1990

2 Wins

  • Lucien Petit-Breton (Fra) – 1908, 1909
  • Firmin Lambot (Bel) – 1920, 1923
  • Ottavio Botecchia (Ita) – 1925, 1926
  • Nicolas Frantz (Lux) – 1928, 1929
  • Andre Leduq (Fra) – 1931, 1933
  • Antonin Magne (Fra) – 1932, 1935
  • Sylvain Maes (Bel) – 1937, 1940
  • Gino Bartali (Ita) – 1939, 1949
  • Fausto Coppi (Ita) – 1950, 1953
  • Bernard Thevenet (Fra) – 1976, 1978
  • Laurent Fignon (Fra) – 1984, 1985
  • Alberto Contador (Esp) – 2008, 2010
  • Tadej Pogacar (Slv) – 2020, 2021

Single Winners

Some of the biggest names to land single victories in the race include:

  • Maurice Garin (Fra) – the 1st Tour de France winner
  • Stephen Roche (Ire)
  • Jan Ullrich (Ger)
  • Marco Pantani (Ita)
  • Cadel Evans (Aus)
  • Bradley Wiggins (GB)
  • Vincenzo Nibali (Ita)
  • Geraint Thomas (GB)
  • Egan Bernal (Col)
  • Bjarne Riis (Den)
  • Joop Zoetermelk (Hol)

Tour de France’s Biggest Controversies

Doping has been the biggest controversy in the history in the race. While the issue has been around since the first Le Tour, it was in the late 1990s when the scale of the problem became apparent.

The 1998 Tour of Shame, the Festina team and TVM teams both were doing guilty of doping but that proved only to be the tip of the iceberg.

Over the next few years, further doping scandals came to light but none bigger than that involving Lance Armstrong. The American had won seven successive tours after recovering from cancer.

However, L’Equipe newspaper published evidence that Armstrong had tested positive for EPO in the first race he won in 1999.  Eventually, Armstrong was found guilty of widespread doping and had all his race wins removed and a lifetime ban imposed in the sport.

Doping continued to hit the headlines in 2006, when top contenders Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso were banned from competing by their teams just a day before the race started.

In total 17 riders were involved, including Floyd Landis, who won the race, but who lost his title to Oscar Pereiro after the Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected his appeal at his disqualification.

A United States Anti Coping Agency report in 2012 revealed the widespread use of EPO and other banned substances and practices. Since then, doping has diminished, at least it seems.

Tour de France – 2023

  • Dates – 1st to 23rd July 2023
  • Starts – Bilbao (Spain)
  • Finishes – Paris (France)
  • Current Champion – Jonas Vingegaard (Denmark) Team Jumbo-Visma

There are 21 stages in the 2023 Tour de France, with two rest days scheduled for Day 10 and Day 16 of the race.

2023 Tour de France – Race Stages

  • Stage 1 – July 1st – Bilbao (Esp) to Bilbao (Esp) (182km)
  • Stage 2 – July 2nd – Vitoria-Gasteiz (Esp) to San Sebastien (Esp) (209km)
  • Stage 3 – July 3rd – Amorebieta-Etxano (Esp) to Bayonne (Fra) (193.5km)
  • Stage 4 – July 4th – Dax (Fra) to Nogaro (Fra) (182km)
  • Stage 5 – July 5th – Pau (Fra) to Laruns (Fra) (163km)
  • Stage 6 – July 6th – Tarbes (Fra) to Cauterets-Cambasque (145km)
  • Stage 7 – July 7th – Mont-De-Marsan (Fra) to Bordeaux (170km)
  • Stage 8 – July 8th – Libourne (Fra) to Limoges (Fra) (201km)
  • Stage 9 – July 9th – Saint-Leonard-De-Noblat (Fra) to Puy De Dome (Fra) (182.5km)
  • Day 10 – July 10th – Rest Day
  • Stage 10 – July 11th – Vulcania (Fra) to Issoire (Fra) (167.5km)
  • Stage 11 – July 12th – Clermont-Ferrand (Fra) to Moulins (Fra) (180km)
  • Stage 12 – July 13th – Roanne (Fra) to Bellville-en-Beaujolais (Fra) (169km)
  • Stage 13 – July 14th – Chatillon-Sur-Chalaronne (Fra) to Grand Colombier (Fra) (138km)
  • Stage 14 – July 15th – Annemasse (Fra) to Morzine Les Portes Du Soleil (Fra) (152km)
  • Stage 15 – July 16th – Les Gets Les Portes Du Soleil to Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc (179km)
  • Day 16 – July 17th – Rest Day
  • Stage 16 – July 18th – Passy (Fra) to Combloux (Fra) (22.4km – Time Trial)
  • Stage 17 – July 19th – Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc (Fra) to Courchevel (Fra) (166km)
  • Stage 18 – July 20th – Moutiers (Fra) to Bourg-en-Bresse (Fra) (185km)
  • Stage 19 – July 21st – Moirans-en-Montagne (Fra) to Poligny (Fra) (173km)
  • Stage 20 – July 22nd – Belfort (Fra) to Le Markstein Fellering (Fra) (133.5km)
  • Stage 21 – July 23rd – Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (Fra) to Paris Champs-Elysees (Fra) (115.5km)

Who Are The Main Contenders to Win Le Tour in 2023?

  • Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma – 11/10

Image courtesy of Gavin AndersonCC By SA Unported 3.0

Vingegaard’s professional career came alive in 2021, after two inauspicious years in 2019 and 2020. That year he finished second in both the Tour of the Basque Country and the Tour de France.

Last year, he added second place finishes in the Tirreno-Adriatico and Criterium du Dauphine races alongside a sixth-place finish in the Tour of the Basque Country. However, it was his win in the Tour de France that catapulted him into the elite.

This year he has a 3rd place finish in the Paris-Nice race, as well as two wins in the Tour of the Basque Country and Criterium du Dauphine, setting him up nicely to defend his Tour de France title in July.

  • Tadej Pogacar (Slv) UAE Team Emirates – 11/10

The undoubted superstar of cycling, Pogacar has won Le Tour twice (in 2020 and 2021) and finished second last year to Vingegaard.

His feat of winning three different Jerseys in both his 2020 and 2021 victories (King of the Mountains, Young Rider & General Classification) was the first time any rider had achieved that treble.

He has already won the Paris-Nice Major Stage race this year, as well as the Monument race Tour of Flanders and two Classic Races, the Amstel Gold Race and La Fleche Wallonne.  

  • Jai Hindley (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe – 14/1

Jai Hindley burst onto the scene in 2020 when he finished 2nd in the Giro Italia. He then followed that with a win in the same race in 2022.

That year also saw him finish 10th in the Vuelta a Espana.

The Australian has not yet competed in Le Tour. Despite that, he is rated as the best odds option outside of Vingegaard and Pogacar to win the race.

He would be only the second Australian, following Cadel Evans, to win the Tour de France should be be successful this year.

Our Tip – Hindley’s an interesting prospect but its hard to see him winning in his first attempt. It’s almost 50/50 between Windegaard and Pogacar, but we are backing the Slovenian to land the win here at 11/10 with bet365.

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