The Young Rider Classification betting odds trading for the Tour de France have Nairo Quintana priced at 9/20, with Pinot in second place priced at 4. Find out how we recommend placing your sports picks.
White Jersey (Young Riders Classification) Betting Preview
Introduced in 1975 this competition has had various criteria over the years as to who were eligible to win it, but it has now settled down to be just anyone who is under 26 years of age. Since the young rider classification was introduced in 1975, it has been won by 35 different cyclists. Of those, six cyclists also won the yellow jersey during their careers (Fignon, LeMond, Pantani, Ullrich, Contador and Schleck).
On four occasions a cyclist has won the young rider classification and the general classification in the same year — Fignon in '83, Ullrich in '97, Contador in '07 and Schleck in '10. The only cyclist to win the young rider classification and the mountains classification in the same year is Nairo Quintana in '13.
This year the competition should really be called the 'Young Rider' competition as it looks like it really is a one-horse race unless some misfortune befalls Nairo Quintana. Winner of the competition two years ago when he finished 2nd in the GC to Froome, Second favourite to win the Tour at just 5/2, it's going to be hard to see who'll beat him for the White Jersey, and that's why he is trading at just 8/13 best price in the 2015 Tour de France Betting Market. I've already spelt out his credentials for winning the race in the favourites preview, if you don’t mind backing odds-on and are willing to take a chance that he doesn’t have an accident, then you won’t get many better 8/13 shots this year.
Nairo Quintana's Possible Rivals
Thibaut Pinot had been having a good season up to now, good, but not great. His first real challenge of the season was in Tirreno-Adriatico where he finished a creditable 6th, he couldn't go with Quintana when he took off but did come home in the Contador/Uran group. He followed that with a good showing in the Critérium International where he finished 2nd overall, but lost out to old man Peraud because he didn't respond quick enough to his attack on the Col de l'Ospedale, losing to him by 10" overall. He had done a pretty good TT over the short 7km course to finish 4th, but the winning margin and the 10" bonus for Peraud on the final stage stole the race from Pinot.
He started to show increased levels of form again though in Romandie, where he took a great stage win to Champex-Lac. He beat Zakarin, Quintana, Froome, Bardet, Uran and Nibali that day and it helped him to 4th overall in the GC and to victory in the Young Riders category. And just last week he had a very good Tour de Suisse where he has finished 4th, 3rd, 8th and then 1st on the monumental climb to Sölden/Rettenbachgletscher.
He is an interesting runner though from this market's point of view, I think he will have a very good Tour but will be in the 5th to 10th bracket, but that should be enough to see him take 2nd place in the White Jersey competition. For him to win it though I think you are gambling on something happening to Quintana, and at betting odds of 9/2 I don't think it's worth the risk.
Romain Bardet could run Pinot close, there wasn't much between them in last year's race, only 3'11" in fact, with 3rd place rider Kwiatkowski a further 1hr and 10' back.. In fact, Bardet led Pinot up until the 16th stage to Bagneres de Luchon when riders were all over the road and Bardet lost nearly two minutes to Pinot. On the face of it, Pinot still probably has the edge over Bardet, but Bardet has been riding well, culminating in his fine stage win to Pra-Loup in the Dauphiné.
Bardet has an incredible record in Young Riders competitions since he burst on to the scene in 2012, finishing in the top 10 of every stage race he has completed since. He has finished in the top 3 of the Young Riders 7 out of the last 10 stage races he has completed, winning two of them and finishing 2nd 4 times.
These three guys look a class apart from the likes of Kelderman, Barguil and Kwiatkowski but there are two outsiders who could come close. Simon Yates at 33/1 and Louis Meintjes at 66/1. Yates has been riding brilliantly in the last few months, finishing 5th in Pais Vasco, 6th in Romandie and 5th in the Dauphiné. He won the White Jersey in the Dauphiné by 32" from Bardet and finished 2nd in the White competition in Romandie, 32" behind Pinot. On those sorts of form lines he will be pretty close to Bardet and Pinot, but can he keep it up over three weeks? That's the question..
Louis Meintjes is going to be a top rider in year's to come, but he's still only 23, in fact he shares a birthday with me, he's just 17 years younger! Winner of the White in the Tour of Oman, winner of the GC in the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali in March, winner of the White in the Giro del Trentino and a fine 3rd place in the Queen stage of the Dauphiné behind Froome and Van Garderen, the boy can climb. He does seem to have the odd off day though so I think he might be 4th or 5th this year in this competition.
Tour de France Betting Verdict
And that's about it really, can't see anyone else finishing above these guys. Quintana will win, Pinot will be second and Bardet probably third, with maybe Simon Yates or Louis Meintjes coming close to a podium spot at big prices, but as most bookies are not offering a normal each-way market there’s not much point in backing any of them with sports picks right now.
Free Tour de France Pick: Quintana 9/20 at WilliamHill