There are only a handful of annual international sporting events that captivate the audience from start to finish. The Super Bowl, Stanley Cup, NBA Finals, World Series, all are (North American) major professional sports leagues, but none of them have a global audience. From stages 1 to 21, the Tour de France, is the most physically demanding event. Minutes into the opening stage, anyone watching cycling’s most premier event, will quickly see the international appeal. The standings which display the leading cyclists throughout the season, results of races prior to the Tour, and the teams that the riders represent, all contain valuable information that will enhance the viewing experience, as well as show who is most likely to win it all.
Tour de France Background
Born in 1903, now dubbed “the World’s Biggest Sporting Event”, the Tour de France brings with it a rich history and pageantry that is unmatched in any other sporting event. Each of the 21 stages takes a full day to complete. The entire Tour de France takes place over 23 days. Establishing the lead early usually bodes well for the bearer of the yellow jersey (signifying the leader after each stage), but it is not a guarantee of a win. Traditionally, the race is held primarily in the month of July. While the route changes each year, the format of the race stays the same with the appearance of time trials. There are usually between 20 and 22 teams, with eight riders in each. All of the stages are timed to the finish; the riders’ times are compounded with their previous stage times. Since it was started, the Tour de France has long been a popular event for sports bettors. The competition is wagered on by fans around the globe with millions of dollars wagered on it. The Tour de France is just one of the big sports events this year. Sports fans can visit one of the best NJ sports betting guide to get the latest bet bonus and bet site reviews before wagering on the biggest sports events this spring including March Madness and the NHL playoffs.
Egan Bernal of Columbia, won the 2019 version of the Tour de France, and to the surprise of nobody, he is ranked #1 heading into the race. Bernal races for Team Ineos. Bernal was the first Latin-American to win the Tour, and the 3rd youngest to ever win it all. At the young age of 23, Bernal’s career is only beginning. So far, he has not done too badly; 30 podium finishes and 17 total victories, none being more important than winning the 2019 Tour de France. Finishing 4th overall in the Tour Columbia, which took place back in February, Bernal will have to wait until June to attempt to repeat as the Tour de France champion in 2020.
Geraint Thomas of Great Britain, is a teammate of Bernal representing Team Ineos. Thomas has had himself quite the cycling career; 66 podium finishes, and 25 victories. Thomas will be looking to best his 2nd place finish in the 2019 Tour de France and beat his teammate Bernal. Thomas has not yet raced in competition in 2020, which may be the difference between winning it all and another disappointing finish.
Having 2 of the top-ranked cyclists entered into the 2020 Tour de France should all but solidify a victory for Team Ineos. Ineos is based out of the National Cycling Center in Manchester, England. Ineos has been established since 2010, and the motive behind the creation of this team was to have a British-born rider win the Tour de France within 5 years of the team’s inception. Bradley Wiggins exceeded the expectations and won the Tour de France in 2012, only 2 years after the birth of Team Ineos. Ineos is reported to now have a budget of $40,000,000. With that kind of financial support, it is almost impossible for other teams to compete. Ineos simply has more financial resources to put towards funding for training of it’s athletes, and can search the globe for the best talent.
Founded in 1980, Movistar is a team that has 3 riders ranked in the top 10 heading into the 2020 Tour de France. Movistar came from humble beginnings (Telefonica, a Spanish mobile telephone company), and has had some success, the most infamous results coming from doping implications and subsequent 2 year banning of Alejandro Valverde. Valverde is also among the top 10 in the world rankings, but his last significant victory came in the 2017 Tour of the Basque Country.