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2015 Tour de France Set to Begin
Written on Friday 3rd July, 4:19 pm by admin
Le Tour de France logoThe 2015 Tour de France officially sets off this Saturday and it will be the 102nd edition of the most iconic cycling event in the world.

British rider Chris Froome has been installed as the pre-race favourite to finish the event with the prestigious yellow jersey at odds of 7/4 with Sky Bet. Froome won the race in 2013 but suffered heartache early on last year after crashing out in the opening stages.

He will have to fight off competition from up and coming Colombian cyclist Jairo Quintana. Quintana is priced at 5/2 to win this year's tour. Despite being just 25 years old the South American has already sealed a victory in the 2014 Giro d'Italia and finished runner up to Froome back in 2013.

Spaniard Alberto Contador is the third favourite at 4/1. The 2007 and 2009 winner has battled controversy over allegations of performance enhancing drugs in the past but is firmly being considered as a front runner for this year's race. He is also hoping to be the first cyclist since Italy's Marco Pantani in 1998 to win the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France in the same year.

The final main contender for the yellow jersey in this year's Tour de France is Italy's Vincenzo Nibali. Nibali sealed the overall win in last year's tour and he will be hoping to repeat his feat last year of winning the yellow jersey by a massive 8 minute margin.

Cyclists will also be battling for the three other classifications that are being contested throughout the tour. These include the red spotted jersey of the King of the Mountains, the green jersey of the Points Classification, and the plain white jersey of the Young Rider Classification.

Quintana is being tipped as the 9/2 favourite with Totesport to win the King of the Mountains jersey. He won the jersey back in 2013 but was unable to retain it after deciding against cycling in last year's tour. He faces stiff competition from Pierre Rolland at 8/1, Froome at 10/1, Contador at 10/1, and Julian Arredondo at 12/1.

There is a clear favourite in the Points Classification category with the emphatic Peter Sagan hoping to become just the third cyclist in the history of the Tour de France after Erik Zabel and Sean Kelly to win the green jersey four times or more. He is the firm 8/11 favourite with Betfred with his nearest competition coming from Alexander Kristoff who is ranked at 7/2. British cyclist Mark Cavendish is priced at 5/1 and will be hoping to win his first green jersey since 2011.

The Young Rider Classification boasts an illustrious history of producing future winners. Quintana, Andy Schleck, Contador, Jan Ullrich, and Marco Pantani have all won this category before going on to triumph overall. Quintana is the outstanding 9/20 favourite with William Hill but his nearest rival is Thibaut Pinot at 4/1 with Romain Bardet at 8/1.

The first stage will consist of a 13.8km time trial on the streets of Utrecht in the Netherlands before the cyclists will endure 20 additional stages over 3,350km concluding with the final stage in Paris on Sunday 26th July, 2015.

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