Tour de France King of Mountains (Polka Dot Jersey) Preview

Thursday, July 5, 2018 11:24 AM UTC

Thursday, Jul. 5, 2018 11:24 AM UTC

Warren Barguil is the favourite to take his second King of the Mountains jersey in a row, but faces stiff competition this year.    

<p>Warren Barguil was a brilliant winner of this competition last year, it was pretty much done and dusted early on, as he took a bunch of points on stage 9 to Foix and he never looked back. His closest rival, Primoz Roglic ended up with less than half the points of Barguil, with Thomas de Gendt in 3rd.</p><p>This is always a very difficult market to bet on. You pretty much have no clue who is targeting the jersey at the start and it could be any of about 20 guys who could have designs on it, and sometimes someone can decide to switch targets mid-race if they fall out of the GC battle.</p><p>Stages 10,11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 19 are the stages with all the climbs, and are the key stages for the breakaway types to target for KOM ambitions, with lots of points available out on the road. </p><p>There are 20 points on offer for the first over a HC climb, 10 for first over a Cat 1 climb and 5 points for a Cat 2. But very important to note, there are double points for the first over the final climbs in the Pyrenées, namely the Portillon, Portet and Aubisque (16,17 and 19), which could have a big bearing on the destination of this jersey. </p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;RT si tu penses que &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;@WarrenBarguil&lt;/a&gt; va remporter le Maillot à Pois &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;@CarrefourFrance&lt;/a&gt; ! RT if you think that Warren Barguil will win the &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;@CarrefourFrance&lt;/a&gt; polka-dot jersey! &lt;a href=\";amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#TDF2018&lt;/a&gt; #Maillotà&lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt; &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt; &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— humberto maia (@hmr1973) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;July 3, 2018&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><h2>Warren Barguil +$300</h2><p>Stylish winner of this jersey last year, he took the bull by the horns early on and took a lead that he never looked like losing. Probably recognising that he wouldn't get much chance to do his own thing this year he jumped ship from Sunweb in the off season, to join Pro Conti team Fortuneo Samsic. Like before the Tour last year, his results this season haven't been great though, and he was well off the pace in the Dauphiné, but he did show better legs in the French nationals to take 7th place. </p><p>His season seems to revolve completely around getting it right in July for the Tour, and he looks to be on track for it again. <a href="" title="Free Sports Picks">Stage 10 is probably where we'll see him start his assault on the jersey</a>, it’s potentially a 50-point day which could have a massive impact on the outcome of this competition. </p><p>It could well be that he has a pretty big lead coming out of the Alps, but if it's tight, he might be able to wrap it up half way through stage 19, with the Aspin and the Tourmalet coming within 30kms of each other mid-way through the stage. He is a strong favourite in my mind, he's a short price, but if you can get +$350 or +$450 he's worth backing. </p><p> </p><h2>Mikel Landa +$450</h2><p>Landa is part of the tri-star attack from Movistar, and his chances of winning this competition depend on a number of things like team orders and whether Quintana is looking like being a real challenger in this race.</p><p>He’s already won the KOM jersey in the Giro, when he put his mind to it he was devastating, a KOM points machine late in the race. And it could be similar here. He might come with a late charge in the final week with those stages in the Pyrenées, but that will depend on if the points had been shared around quite a bit and there's no one with a big lead. </p><p> </p><h2>Thomas de Gendt +$1100</h2><p>Thomas de Gendt is a rider that fans love for his relentless desire to be on the attack and his power that sees him deliver results year after year. He's also no stranger to a KOM challenge, already this year his attacking style has seen him take the jersey in Romandie and in Paris-Nice. He's also finished 3rd in this competition last year and 5th in the Vuelta, his attacking style sees him rack up lots of points out on the road. </p><p>And this race looks perfect for that sort of performance again, there are lots of big points early in stages and his powers of recovery, which often sees him go in the break on consecutive days will be of huge benefit in the Alps stages.</p><p> </p><h2>Adam Yates +$1400</h2><p>I don't think this is a good value bet at all, as I don't think the KOM will be on Yates' plans for this race, I think he will be racing it to finish in the top 10, possibly even to try to push for a podium spot. I just don't see him going in breaks that will take the big points on the Alps stages and the early climbs in the Pyrenées stages, but if he is in contention, the double points on offer there might go his way, he's good at nipping out and taking a climb from a GC group.</p><p> </p><h2>Nairo Quintana +$1400</h2><p>Again, this might well depend on where he stands coming out of the first rest day - he could well win the Alpe d'Huez stage again, he could well go on the rampage on 10 and 11 too, he could put himself right in the mix for this jersey, without really even trying for the jersey. And if he is in the hunt for the GC, he'll fancy some of these last mountain stages, he may well lead over the final, big-scoring climbs. </p><p> </p><h2>Rafal Majka +$1400</h2><p>Rafal Majka at least is a dual former winner of this race, winning it in 2014 and again in 2016 when riding for Tinkoff. That year, he beat De Gendt by 79 points despite not winning a stage, just picked up the big points when it mattered.</p><p>This season has been pretty good so far for him, he's been very much under the radar, but he has shown some great form in patches. The 2nd to Landa on stage 4 of Tirreno was very impressive, and his 6th overall in California and Slovenia show that his form is coming at just the right time. He doesn’t have a great support team for the mountains, but he doesn't really need it, if he can get in the key breaks he's likely to hoover up a lot of points. He's a decent each-way shout I think. </p><p> </p><h2>Egan Bernal +$2200</h2><p>So what do we see of Bernal? Will he be allowed ride away and take points on the big mountain stages? Or is he going to be tethered to Chris Froome and the Sky train? If he was to cut loose, there is every chance that he could take a stage or two in this race, and is also capable of taking a lot of mountain points if they were to let him loose on the attack in the Alps or the Pyrenées. </p><p>He's had a sensational season and seems to be able to win when he likes in all sorts of races, including an uphill TT in Romandie and two mountain stages in California on his way to overall victory. He is being roundly described as a 'phenomenon' and people talk about him in the same sort of way they talked about Nairo Quintana when he burst on the scene. I think there are too many doubts about what his role will be here, it might be worth waiting until the end of stage 10 or 11 to see what's going on and make a decision then. </p><p> </p><h2>Outsiders and Longshots</h2><p>Pierre Rolland, Davide Gaudu, Daniel Navarro, Lillian Calmejane, Dan Martin, Primoz Roglic and Omar Fraile are all around +$2500 or so, and out of that lot, I'd be on Omar Fraile as he's the best climber and is a regular attacker, he is the most likely to be in lots of breaks. Primoz Roglic could also go well, he finished 2nd to Barguil last year after all, but I think that he might just focus on the GC this year.</p><p>Serge Pauwels, Nicholas Edet, Robert Gesink, Luis Leon Sanchez and Marc Soler could all score well too, as could the GC men, but I think the GC might share the points around too much and also there are too many points out on the road for me for the GC guys to outdo the break riders.</p><p>But I think <a href="" title="Sports Betting Odds">Barguil is definitely the man to beat and anything around +400 should be backed if you can get it</a>. You might even be able to wait until rest day 1 and get a similar price if you don't want to risk backing him before all the tricky opening stages. Majka is another I want to back, his form seems to be coming to a boil at the right time and he knows what it takes to win this competition.  </p><h2 style="text-align:center">Free Cycling Picks:</h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Back Barguil at the end of the first week</h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Majka at +$1400 at the end of the first week each-way</h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Best Lines Offered: <a href=";book=Bet365" rel="nofollow" title="Top Rated Sportsbook">Bet365</a></h2>
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