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Tour de France: Epic first week comes to an end

The opening week of the Tour de France is done and the biggest race on the cycling calendar is living up to expectations as Tadej Pogacar and Jonas Vingegaard battle for the yellow jersey.

Monday was the first rest day of the three week grand tour and gave everyone a chance to take a deep breath and take in what has unfolded over the opening nine days of racing.

It has been full gas from the very first stage which is making for some enthralling viewing.

As expected it is turning out to be a two-way battle between Pogacar and Vingegaard in the general classification, and all being well, it looks like they will be going toe-to-toe all the way to Paris.

But the race to win yellow is not the only story of the Tour de France. We’ve had some exciting sprints and the battle to win stages is just as enthralling.

Sadly the Tour de France has lost Mark Cavendish, who crashed out with a broken collarbone as he chased a historic 35th Tour stage win.

The General Classification

Vingegaard is currently in possession of the yellow jersey but has just a slender 17 second lead over his arch rival Pogacar.

Many feared that the battle between the duo may not evolve as Pogacar struggled when they hit the Pyrenees for the time on stage 5.

Vingegaard dropped the Slovenian on the final climb of the day to open up a 53 second lead.

However, Pogacar has since fought back with two impressive performances on stage 6 and stage 9 to whittle that lead down.

Pogacar has looked the stronger rider on those two stages as Vingegaard could not go with him on the final climbs before the finish.

Therefore it is no surprise that Pogacar is 1.83 to win the Tour de France, while Vingegaard is available at 2.10.

Again, as long as they stay fit and healthy, one of them will win the Tour de France. However Jai Hindley is looking strong and is waiting to pounce should they slip up.

Hindley has already won stage 5, which moved him into yellow for one day, and currently sits third in the standings. The Australian is 2mins 40 secs behind Vingegaard and can be backed at 41.00.

Finishing on the podium would still be viewed as a huge success for the Bora-Hansgrohe rider, who is priced at 2.10 to finish in the top three.

The Points Classification

Jasper Philipsen currently holds the green jersey and is priced at 1.12 to still be wearing it in Paris.

The Belgian ace has dominated the sprints, winning three stages so far. Stage seven saw him pip Cavendish on the line.

Barring disaster, Philipsen will win the points classification, but he will be pushed hard by Mads Pedersen, who won stage 8.

The Dane is priced at 13.00 to win it, while Bryan Coquard is 15.00 and Wout Van Aert is 17.00.

King of the Mountains

Neilson Powless has had a great first week and currently holds the Polka Dot jersey for King of the Mountains. The American is priced at 7.50 to hold it in Paris.

However that looks highly unlikely with some brutal, super hard climbs on the agenda.

That is why both Pogacar (3.50) and Vingegaard (4.50) are expected to battle it out once again.

Stage wins

Just as exciting is the day-to-day battle for stage wins and a number of riders will be going all out over the next two weeks.

Caleb Ewan has been in the mix for the sprints without taking a stage but is priced at 2.00 to put that right.

Tom Pidcock and Giulio Ciccone will also look to win one from a breakaway and can be backed at 2.00 and 2.10 respectively.

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