By Jessica Lamb | | 4 mins
Geraint Thomas Overtakes Egan Bernal in Tour de France Odds
Defending champion Geraint Thomas wakes up this morning the odds-on favourite to win the Tour De France, after the race's first major climb produced an equally mammoth shake-up in the betting.
Thomas' Team Ineos co-leader Egan Bernal had started the Tour at the head of the odds, Thomas coming in to the race off the back of a heavy crash at the Tour de Suisse, and having many questions to answer.
Up La Planche des Belles Filles to the stage six finish on Thursday, the Welshman answered those questions and more, launching a late attack on the group of General Classification favourites up the 24% gradient.
Bookies slashed Thomas from highs of 3/1 (+300) into no bigger than even-money favourite with William Hill and Betway to land back-to-back Tour de France victories, the 33-year-old now generally priced at odds-on for the overall win, some online betting sites offering a mere 4/5 (-125).
Meanwhile, having lost time to his team mate, Bernal has ballooned out to as big as 4/1 (+400) from odds of 6/4 (+150). It was only the first day of climbing, but already Thomas has signalled his intent at this Tour de France.
What happened on stage six?
Scorching past yellow jersey-holder Julian Alaphilippe at the end of the 160km test, Thomas crossed the line in fourth, some nine seconds ahead of Bernal, who now trails his team mate by four seconds in the overall standings.
Giulio Ciccone, who finished second to Belgian Dylan Teuns on stage six, did enough to take the yellow jersey from Alaphilippe by six seconds, the Frenchman moving down to second, Teuns taking third and Thomas jumping up to fifth, some 49 seconds off the leader.
?? @dylan_teuns taking his first Grand Tour stage victory, ?? @giuliocicco1 claiming the Yellow Jersey.— Tour de France™ (@LeTour) July 11, 2019
? It was a day for the rookies on the #TDF2019.!
? Here is Stage 6 summarized n 1'. Enjoy ! pic.twitter.com/qxLqrrEVcz
Explaining how he executed that crucial late attack, Thomas told Eurosport: "When Alaphilippe went pretty early, with 800m to go or something like that, I just had the confidence to let him go, ride my own tempo, then really try to drive it all the way to the line from about 350m out.
"I was starting to blow though - it was solid - but it was a pretty decent day in the end."
Though he played down the move, it left viewers and rivals in no doubt about his form, or intentions, with a sprint stage to recover on on Friday, before two mountainous tests on Saturday and Sunday leading into Tuesday's first rest day.
Ciccone Slashed For King of Mountains
Giulio Ciccone, the Giro d'Italia mountains jersey winner, is surprisingly still 14/1 (+1400) to win the Young Riders' Classification, despite taking the Yellow Jersey on La Planche de Belle Filles.
The Italian features at 250/1 (+25000) to win the General Classification, but placing focus on the Young Riders' prize, the White Jersey, could pay dividends for the Trek-Segafredo rider, who can clearly hold his own in the mountains.
That is where the top bookmakers feel the 24-year-old is going to excel again, his odds for the King of the Mountains title at this year's Tour de France slashed from 40/1 (+4000) to a general 7/2 (+350) second favourite behind Alaphilippe.
Spending the day in the breakaway, Ciccone mopped up much of the mountains points on offer on the Tour's first hilly stage on 2019, but still sits in second in the climber's classification, 13 points behind Tim Wellens, Alaphilippe taking 11th position.
Back in the Young Riders' betting, Egan Bernal's fall below Thomas in the overall standings did dent his price, but the Colombian remains the odds-on favourite, at no bigger than **1/2 (-200).