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Betting Preview of the 2021 Tour de France – Who’s Going to Win the Yellow Jersey?

| June 22, 2021 6:18 am PDT

The 2021 Tour de France season is upon us! The second cycling Grand Tour of the year starts on June 26 and finishes three weeks later.

Brest, a city in Northwestern France, is where more than 150 cyclists will start their journey. A journey which will take them over 21 stages, across 2,102 miles.

On July 18, we’re going to find out who the winner of the 2021 Tour de France is, when the riders finish their odyssey on the Champs Élysées in Paris.

According to oddsmakers, the man who’s most likely to win the 108th edition of Tour de France is the reigning champ, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates). Is he a good bet to win?

Tour de France 2021 Odds

Tadej Pogačar2.37
Primož Roglič3.00
Geraint Thomas5.50
Richard Carapaz11.00
Julian Alaphilippe26.00
Richie Porte29.00
Rigoberto Uran29.00
Mark Padun41.00
Miguel Angel Lopez51.00
Tao Geoghegan Hart51.00

Tadej Pogačar won the 2020 race, so it’s no surprise that his name is at the top of the list of Tour de France favorites at most betting sites. But would it be like that if the 2019 winner hadn’t decided to pull out of the race?

The story goes that Egan Bernal, whom we saw winning the 2021 Giro d’Italia, has decided not to take part in the Tour de France, nor the Olympics, after contracting COVID.

This, however, isn’t going to make Pogačar’s job easy, as there are plenty of others who want to take over the throne. His fellow Slovenian, Primož Roglič, looks ready to challenge the title.

The world #1 in UCI Rankings is still without a yellow shirt at Tour de France. Knowing that time is ticking away for him (Roglič is turning 32 this year), he’s probably super-determined to win it this year.

In addition to the two riders from Slovenia, there’s another name that stands out – Geraint Thomas, a Welsh cyclist, who won the Tour de France in 2018.

It seems that the battle for the yellow jersey is going to be led between these three guys. Still, experience has taught us that anything can happen at Tour de France.

In the 117-years’ long history of Tour de France, we did see many underdogs passing the finish line before others. Will something similar happen at the 2021 Tour de France? Let’s see!

Why Pogačar is Favored to Win the Yellow Jersey

In the months leading to the 2020 race, Tadej Pogačar was somewhat of an underdog. Sure, everyone knew that he had it in him, but the competition was supposed to be seriously fierce.

But then, favorites started pulling out of the race. Two previous Tour de France champs announced their withdrawal just a few days before the start – Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas.

Thomas was (and still is) a part of the Ineos Grenadiers cycling team, who also had Egan Bernal on the roster. The defending champ entered the 2020 Tour de France as the strongest title favorite.

Then, more bad news for Ineos Grenadiers came (and good news for Pogačar), when Bernal decided to abandon the race.

With almost all the main faves out, Tadej Pogačar had a chance to step up. And he did!

However, it wasn’t a one-man effort – his team helped him a lot to get ahold of the title.

The UAE Team Emirates let other teams wear themselves out only to switch it to the top-gear in the later stages of the race.

His team will probably play a major role in this year’s edition of the race as well. The trouble is that this time everyone knows what to expect from them, so there won’t be an element of surprise.

Never Underestimate Primož Roglič

Last year, Primož Roglič of Team Jumbo-Visma came second in the general classification, despite being a strong favorite throughout the race.

It’s fair to say that Tadej Pogačar and his team outplayed them in 2020 with their brilliant tactics. This time, Roglič and his boys want revenge.

Even though he’s yet to win the yellow jersey at Tour de France, Roglič is already a sort of legend in the world of professional cycling.

He is the current world #1, holding the record for most time spent at the summit of UCI Rankings (71 weeks).

Roglič has also been in fantastic form, building up to the Tour de France with some impressive performances at the Tour of the Basque Country in April.

His teammates, however, haven’t been as impressive, which could mean trouble for Roglič.

Geraint Thomas to Lead Ineos Grenadiers to Another Win?

The bad news for Ineos Grenadiers is that their superstar rider Egan Bernal is out. The good news is that they have someone to replace him!

In fact, Ineos Grenadiers seem like the best team heading into the 2021 Tour de France, despite not having a lethal contender like Jumbo-Visma or UAE Team Emirates.

With the absence of Bernal, they are likely to back Geraint Thomas. Truth be told, the 35-year-old Welshman doesn’t look as sharp as Roglič or Pogačar, but he definitely has experience on his side.

The guy won the French race in 2018, becoming the first British rider to do so. A year later, he finished second, while in 2020, he opted out before the start of the race.

This year, the Tour de France odds suggest he’s the #3 favorite for the yellow jersey. Odds on Geraint Thomas winning the 2021 race are currently somewhere in the ballpark of 5.50.

They were slightly longer a few months ago, but then oddsmakers saw him doing really well in the races leading to the Tour de France.

For instance, he won the Tour de Romandie in May, while also finishing third at the 2021 Critérium du Dauphiné.

Predicting the Winner of 2021 Tour de France

Tadej Pogačar is the defending champion, Primož Roglič is the highest-ranked cyclist on the planet, and Geraint Thomas has the best team at 2021 Tour de France.

One of these three guys is going to win the yellow shirt! But, who’s it gonna be?

The Tour de France odds favor the two Slovenians over the Welshman, one of the reasons being that Thomas is already 35.

History has thought us that this race is almost always won by youngsters. In fact, the oldest winner of the Tour de France is Firmin Lambot, who won it at the age of 36. It happened almost 100 years ago, at the 1922 Tour de France.

Nevertheless, I can see a thirty-something rider winning the race this year. Relying on the collective muscle, Ineos Grenadiers should be able to push Thomas to victory.

My 2021 Tour de France prediction is that Geraint Thomas wins.

For information and advice on betting on the biggest race in cycling, check out our Tour de France betting guide.

Zarko Naric

Zarko Naric – the World's Greatest Sportswriter, according to his grandma.

Zarko started writing for GamblingSites.com in 2019, covering sports like soccer, tennis, and basketball,  as well as some more niche sports like cycling, for example.

In addition to writing news, picks, and blog pieces focused on sports, Zarko’s also been covering politics, TV/music contests, and so on.

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