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Tour de France: The quick route to ‘King of the Mountains’ profit

| 30.06.2014

Chris Froome is the 10/11 favourite to retain his Tour de France title and keep cycling’s biggest prize with British-based Team Sky for the third year running, although the form of 6/4 Spaniard Alberto Contador means a repeat of the 29-year-old’s 2013 stroll looks unlikely.

Contador was expected to emerge as the Kenya-born Brit’s main challenger last year, but illness hampered the Tinkoff-Saxo rider’s preparations considerably, meaning the two-time winner could only manage to finish down the field in fourth.

His early-season resurgence coupled with Froome’s impressive start to the summer – he has already defended his Tour of Oman and Tour de Romandie titles – means the potential is there for a ding-dong battle, although there could be cannier ways to make money from the prestigious event.

For instance, the Tour de France’s ‘King of the Mountains’ market is wide open in contrast to the outrights, with Contador a puzzling choice of favourite at 3/1 considering he has never claimed top-climber honours in six previous runs.

Furthermore, despite the fact that no home rider has perked up the locals with an overall victory since Bernard Hinault’s fifth win in 1985, four have been responsible for France taking ‘King of the Mountain’ honours a whopping 12 times since 1994.

With that in mind, go mob-handed into the hills with a tidy trio of Gallic peddlers, including 7/2 second-favourite Pierre Rolland and 12/1 shot Thomas Voeckler, who took this title in 2012.

Add into the mix 28/1 poke Thibaut Pinot – a 24-year-old climber who’s due a good tour following a poor 2013 run, having finished 10th on debut the year before – and you’ll be quids in if one of them does the business on home soil.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Alex Fortune