Brits Well Placed in Tour de France
You have to hand it to the cyclists; there is neither no fitter bunch of athletes, nor a more determined one, than those who complete in the Tour de France. It is a sport that really does not get enough media attention, especially when you consider that it is also a sport at we Brits often excel. We have a contingent of five Brits competing in this year’s event and all of them are placed in the top 25 contestants.
Over a period of three weeks these athletes cover 2,200 miles. There are twenty teams, each with nine riders, and riders are assessed by the cumulative time taken to cover the various stages after subtracting bonus time deductions for being first to complete a particular section. There are prizes for individual sections as well as prices for finishing in the placing in the overall event. Prizes are fairly substantial too; the winner receives around €0.5 million and there are prizes for daily placings and specific competitions from between €8,000 to €50,000.
Despite the massive distances covered and considering that collisions are not at all uncommon (there have been three so far this year) and they often result in a domino effect causing dozens of cyclists to fall, winning margins are often just a matter of seconds, the closest being in 1989 when Greg LeMond beat Laurent Fignon by 8 seconds.
This year the favourite is Andy Schleck (Luxemburg) at 11 to 8 with BetFred; followed by Alberto Contador (Spain) at 6 to 4 with Unibet; Cadel Evans (Australia) at 10 to 1 with BetFred; and Bradley Wiggins (GB Team Sky) at 28 to 1 with SportingBet.
Bradley Wiggins is the top placed Brit, so why not give him some support?