Tour de France: Brits dominate as Froome heads the order
As this year’s Tour de France takes a well-earned rest day, General Classification leader Chris Froome can take great relief from his opening nine stages, where British riders have come to the fore.
Five of the nine stages so far have been claimed by men from the British Isles, with Mark Cavendish leading the way with a trio of victories.
Froome has kept well out of trouble so far – a brush with an over-exuberant spectator aside – and holds a 16 second lead of fellow Brit Adam Yates.
The Team Sky rider has even picked up a rare downhill stage win, with Saturday’s eighth stage, though the 31-year-old’s main contender, Nairo Quintana is still right in contention.
The Colombian is just 25 seconds back, and after Sunday’s stage, it seems the two-time runner-up and his Movistar team are playing the long game.
Stage nine was seemingly tailor-made for Quintana, with its trio of category 1 climbs plus an hors incline.
Quintana shadowed Froome all the way, and everyone – including Froome himself – expected the Colombian to launch an attack and show his hand.
But he didn’t. The attack never came.
So it remains to be seen what Quintana and his team are planning.
The Tour returns to the flat for the next couple of stages, so we can expect to see Froome and Quintana back in the Peloton, while the likes of Cavendish and Peter Sagan return to the fore.
However on Thursday, it’s the Yellow Jersey favourites who will be looking to steal the headlines once again with a monumental climb to finish Stage 12.
Two-time champ Alberto Contador meanwhile has ended his trouble-laden Tour, pulling up on Sunday’s stage due to illness.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.