Are Pinot's Tour de France Odds skewed by French passion?
Faith is firmly in Thibaut Pinot's corner this week, as the Tour de France begins it's crescendo with the French hope slashed from 6/1 (+600) into as short as 6/5 (+120) for Grand Tour victory.
But are the odds still skewed by French passion? Because although Pinot made the most gains last weekend in the Pyrenees, the Tour de France is a battle of sustained, consistent effort, which defending champion Geraint Thomas appears to be displaying better.
Pinot is the favourite, despite countryman Julian Alaphillippe continuing to wear the yellow jersey, having signalled his intent across the weekend's two mountain stages.
Attacking on Saturday to win atop the Tourmalet, he attacked his General Classification rivals again on Sunday to finish second to Simon Yates on the summit of Foix Prat d'Albis.
Having started Saturday 3'22" down on Alaphillippe, he finished Sunday in fourth position overall, merely 1'50" behind the Deceuninck Quick Step man - Steven Kruijswijk and Geraint Thomas in his crosshairs.
Pinot made up more time last weekend than any other General Classification rider, clawing back 1'32", and moving up 25 places in the Climbers standings too.
It's understandable that he is the headline act in the Tour de France betting, favourite for not just the overall but also now for the Climber's polka dot jersey, having been cut from 22/1 (+2200) into no bigger than 9/5 (+180) with Boylesports.
But there are four more mountain stages to tackle, and Thomas's more reserved approach could yet pay dividends. He did crack on Sunday, but had attacked on Saturday, and ended up losing only 9" across the two big tests.
What happened to GC favourites on Tour de France last weekend?
|Rider||Time Gap on Friday||Time Gap on Monday||+/- to Yellow||Best Odds|
Thomas, having been favourite for most of the second week, is now as big as 100/30 (+333), sitting second in the Tour de France odds behind Alaphilippe, a 5/1 (+500) shot - and drifting.
Similar to Thomas, Steven Kruijswijk shifted up the rankings just 25", Mani Buchmann and Egan Bernal creeping 50" closer to yellow and World Champion Alejandro Valverde slipping back 31".
They are all in the top 10 on General Classification - Valverde a cool 300/1 (+30000) with Bethard to be in yellow in Paris – but few still hold claims to overall victory.
One man overshadowed by Pinot's exploits in stages 14 and 15 was Mikel Landa. In his home mountains, he earned 1'06" on the yellow jersey, and with Movistar teammate Nairo Quintana now well out of contention, should become the team's priority.
Despite this, Landa is available to back at odds of 50/1 (+50000) for the overall and at 6/1 (+600) in the Top Three Finish market, where Pinot, Thomas, and Bernal are odds-on.