The Tour de France is one of the most highly acclaimed cycling races in the world. The event begins typically in June each year; however, the 2020 action kicks off from August and finishes in September this time around. Spanning across 23 days, competitors are expected to cover 21 different stages of French landscape that incorporate everything from hills and mountains to forests and valleys, plus other challenging terrains. 

Despite the event being held in summer each year, capricious weather conditions can also be a big obstacle for many participants in this race. A genuine test of stamina, bravery, and determination will be imminent and necessary for all individuals aiming for the coveted yellow jersey! 

Like any fight, race, or competition worth betting on, these are also things that gamblers need to factor in when choosing their chalk and where to put their money. In this guide, we’ll be sharing with you our top tips and strategy advice for wagering on the Tour de France in 2020, along with some popular betting markets you can explore!

A Brief History

The very first Tour de France began in 1903 and was the collaborative idea of Géo Lefèvre and Henri Desgrange, who at the time, were journalists pushing to get their local sports newspaper more exposure. In the early days, the event only covered 2,428km and consisted of six stages where the cyclists began in Paris, then proceeded through to Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, and Nantes before finishing up and returning to Paris. The first-ever victor was a young man named Maurice Garin, who won a prize of 12,000 francs and came first out of 15 exhausted competitors. 

The following year, some cyclists attempted to cheat and sabotage the bikes of others, leading to a select few — including Maurice Garin — to be disqualified from the race in 1904. By 1937, the race had doubled in length, and mountains were added as permanent stages. The general classification and points scoring was also changed from then onwards. These days, the race is no longer exclusive to France and has started and ended in major cities all over Europe, including Cologne, Brussels, Amsterdam, Dublin, London, and Luxembourg. 

Betting Options

There are a few great betting markets available for the Tour de France. Wagering on the main winner of the general classification is a popular option, but there are some good odds for placing bets on other scenarios as well. Here is a breakdown of the top ones you’re likely to find available at kiosks and sportsbooks: 

Overall Winner – This is a bet you place on who you think will win the entire race. 

Points Winner – Points winner bet is placed on who you predict will win the Points Jersey or the Green jersey. 

Outright Winning Nationality – Which nationality will win the race, i.e., French, British, Spanish, German, etc. 

Head to Head – A bet placed on two riders and which one will finish first in a stage or the whole race.

Top Three – When you bet on a rider to come within the top three. 

Top Ten – Placing a bet on the top 10 cyclists to finish the race.  

Do note that each bookmaker may offer slightly different odds for each betting market. A good way to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck is to research the previous year’s forms and statistics, such as previous winners, stages certain riders struggled with, injuries, and other factors that could come into play. 

Top Tips for Betting on the Tour de France

Betting on the Tour de France is easy and can be incredibly fun, but these tips should help you get a better handle on your bets and help you manage your funds better. 

Do Your Research – Though there isn’t too much to memorize when it comes to your betting options, you’ll want to know things like the types of obstacles and terrain the competitors will be up against, plus the stages and cities they will be set to encounter. This will give you a much better idea of what kinds of bets to place and help you delegate funds to parts of the race you know where your selections will thrive. 

Vary Your Bets – Rather than just placing a single bet on one outcome, it doesn’t hurt to vary your bets and spread them across different people competing. If you have bets on more than just one person or scenario, you are already giving yourself additional chances at seeing a return on at least one of them. 

Look for the Best Odds – Many bookmakers and sportsbooks offer different odds for every sport. It’s always wise to shop around and make sure you’re getting the best value for your head-earned money and can feel confident that the sportsbook isn’t trying to rip you off. 

Manage Your Bankroll – By keeping a watchful eye on your bankroll, you’ll be able to assess what funds you’ve got to play with and spread them out easier. There is nothing worse than losing track of what you set aside to spend, losing all your bets, and having to cut the fun short. 

Set Yourself a Limit – As with any form of gambling, it’s important to set yourself a loss limit. If you find that none of your bets are coming through and you can’t afford to spend more, don’t take any further risks and know when to call it a day. 

Tour de France: The Takeaway

While the Tour de France is usually held in June-July, it has been moved to August this year purely due to the coronavirus pandemic. At present, the event is looking to go ahead, but anyone planning to attend or place bets should be aware that the situation could change at any time; therefore, we ask you to think and consider these possibilities before you choose to gamble on the race. At least if it is canceled this year, 2021 will certainly be bigger, better, and well worth waiting for!


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Thomas McCoy was born in Bethesda, Maryland and studied finance at the Kogod School of Business at American University in Washington D.C. before heading to New York and a job as a forex trader on Wall Street. Successful enough to launch his own, online forex trading platform, Thomas has long had a keen interest in the places where the worlds of finance and technology meet. As a prolific blogger, Thomas considers himself an expert on cryptocurrencies, casino asset restructuring, and emerging technologies set to change the way people do business.