With the year’s most anticipated cycling event just around the corner, Peter Watton, from matched betting experts OddsMonkey, takes a quick look at what’s in store.
For cycling fans, 2020 was shaping up to be a great year for the sport, but then the COVID-19 crisis arrived to disrupt and delay the season. However, after a lengthy postponement, it was announced that the Tour de France would finally go ahead at the end of August and into September.
So, if all goes to plan, you’ll be able to sit down and watch some world class cycling later this month, with over 170 competitors set to go head to head over 21 demanding stages. To make sure that you are prepared, I’ve put together this at-a-glance guide to the event that covers the details of the race, the jerseys up for grabs, and the leading contenders.
When and where is the Tour de France taking place in 2020?
You will be able to begin following all the action from the 29th August, and the race will run through to the 20th September. The Tour de France is usually held in June but, as COVID-19 was still a high risk for rider safety and international travel, it was delayed by three months. There were fears that the race might not go ahead, but thankfully it’s returning to fill a big hole in the sporting calendar.
In the 2020 edition, 22 teams will field 176 cyclists in the long distance race, and each one will have ambitions to go home wearing the famous yellow jersey. While the Tour has always been held in France for the most part, past events have seen stages held in other countries, like the UK, Germany, and Italy. This will not happen this year so that the need for travel is reduced. Instead, we can look forward to 21 stages held only in France, beginning in Nice and ending in Paris.
What jerseys should I be looking out for?
Rather than trophies, the Tour de France awards various coloured jerseys to the race leaders within certain categories, including the famous maillot jaune (yellow jersey) that is worn by the overall race leader. To help you understand this often complex system, I’ve put together a quick overview of how it works, as well as the most important jerseys to look out for.
In summary, the Tour uses something called a classification system, which sees coloured or patterned jerseys presented to the leading rider in various categories. While the overall winner in each class is given the prize permanently at the end of the race, the jerseys are awarded as the race begins, with the leader in the classification allowed to wear the shirt in the following stage. Each class has its own scoring system that determines who is leading the field.
The leading jerseys to look out for during the race are:
- The yellow jersey: This jersey is won by the leader in the general classification, which decides who is the overall winner of the race.
- The green jersey: This jersey is won by the leader in the points classification, which is based on who has been the best sprinter over the flat stages of the race.
- The polka dot jersey: This jersey is won by the leader of the mountain classification, where points are awarded to the cyclists who reach the top of each climb the fastest.
- The white jersey: This jersey is won by the leading competitor under 26 years of age. Points are awarded in the same way as the general classification.
Who will win the Tour de France 2020?
While it was feared that some of the world’s top cyclists may not compete due to fears over COVID-19, the Tour de France 2020 will boast a field of the best competitors, including reigning champion Egan Bernal and last year’s British runner-up, Geraint Thomas. So, if you’re thinking about backing one of these competitors with a bet, you will have plenty of choice.
Here are the latest odds on the top contenders:
- Egan Bernal – 9/4
- Primoz Roglic – 5/2
- Thibaut Pinot – 10/1
- Geraint Thomas – 14/1
Please keep in mind that, as we get closer to the race, the odds will be subject to change, so it’s best to check what the bookies have to say before placing a bet. There will also be much shorter odds as the race gets underway and we get a better idea of who’s in the running for the yellow jersey. This means that, if you want the chance to win more money, you should bet earlier on your pick.
I hope that this guide has provided you with a quick introduction to what to expect at the 2020 Tour de France. We’re certainly in for a fascinating and hard-fought race!