This year’s Tour was of course delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic, but the opening nine stages have certainly delivered on entertainment, with four different riders having led the way in the General Classification standings, while there have been eight separate stage winners.
With 12 more gruelling stages to come between now and the end of the three-week-long race on September 20, it is still anyone’s guess who will end up in possession of the yellow jersey with just 44 seconds separating the top seven riders.
Possession is Nine-Tenths of the Law For Roglic
Slovenian rider Roglic is the man currently leading the way in the General Classification standings, as a successful Stage Nine in the Pyrenees saw him take the yellow jersey off Brit Adam Yates, who had been leading for the previous four days.
It was a good day all round for Slovenian riders, as UAE Team Emirates’ Tadej Pogacar edged out Roglic in a sprint finish to win the stage and move to within 44 seconds of the overall lead.
Roglic seems like the man to beat though, as he has certainly proven he has the endurance to last the distance in Grand Tour competition thanks to his victory at last year’s Vuelta a Espana, and he is priced at
5/7 to go on and claim the yellow jersey.
The 30-year-old also secured his third stage success at the Tour de France on Stage Four, although his lead at the top of the General Classification standings is just 21 seconds, with none other than defending champion Egan Bernal being his nearest rival for Ineos Grenadiers.
Yates Shifts Focus to Stage Victories
Sunday’s second mountain stage proved a bridge too far for Mitchelton-Scott rider Yates, who not only lost the yellow jersey to Roglic, but he also slipped over a minute behind the leader and down to eighth in the General Classification standings.
Winning the Tour was never really on Yates’ radar coming into the race and it was seemingly a bonus for him to hold the yellow jersey for as long as he did, with the 28-year-old having confirmed he has now turned his focus back to stage victories.
Yates, who won the young rider classification at the 2016 Tour de France, has never won a stage at any Grand Tour event and it is unlikely he will buck that trend at Stage 10 of the Tour on Tuesday, as the 168.5km flat stage from Ile d’Oléron to Ile de Re is likely to favour the more accomplished sprinters in the field.
Bennett Chasing Maiden Stage Success
Deceuninck-Quick-Step rider Sam Bennett certainly has a lot still to play for on this year’s Tour, as not only is he going for a maiden stage success, he is also second in the Points classification standings behind Bora-Hansgrohe Peter Sagan.
The Irishman has a combined five stage victories to his name in the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana and he has come very close to breaking his Tour de France duck this year, most notably when Caleb Ewan edged him out by a wheel on stage three.
Stage 10 should certainly favour a renowned sprinter like Bennett and he is priced at
5/2 to finally get a stage victory on Tuesday, while the 29-year-old is priced at
11/10 to go on and overhaul Sagan and claim the green jersey come the end of Le Tour.
*All odds correct at time of writing