A brand new month starts today, so I thought I'd get the ball rolling with my first tip for the TdF.
The odds for the team classification are here:http://www.oddschecker.com/cycling/tour-de-france/team-classification
Usually I like to pick a team at long odds, who I think are undervalued (like Cannondale-Garmin in the Giro ... who did quite well, but not well enough), but this time I'm going to suggest backing the favourite, Sky. The thing is, their team is so strong, that even if Chris Froome crashes out on day one (more likely day four), I think that Sky still have a good chance of winning the classification. They have three realistic competitors for the title:
They blew away the competition in the Giro, and are thus Sky's biggest foe. Personally, I think they're all on drugs ... well maybe not Nibali. However, whereas Aru had Landa, Tiralongo, Kangert, Cataldo and Sanchez to climb for him in the Giro, Nibali can only rely on Fuglsang (not great on the steeps), Tangert (tired after the Giro), Grivko (powerhouse), Taaramae (inconsistent) and Scarponi. So it's basically Nibali and Scarponi versus Froome and Porte (and Thomas, Kennaugh, Konig, Poels, Roche). I know who I choose.
Movistar seem to have a half climbing, half time-trial team. To win the team classification, you need at least 4 form climbers. So that's Quintana, Valverde, Anacona (bit of a stretch) and Gorka Izagirre (a bigger stretch). Sure ... Quintana and Valverde will be near the sharp end of things most days, but that won't be enough if the next guy is 20 minutes back.
They have good team pedigree. They are a threat, but only if Michael Rogers has a stonking tour (like he has done in the past), or if Basso rediscovers the form of his you (which he won't), or if Bennati doesn't blow all his energy trying to get Sagan stage wins. Contador, Majka and Kreuziger sound good on paper, but will that be enough? Too many ifs for me.Suggest £20 on Sky to win the team classification @ 7/2.
Tour De France 2015 Sky (Team Classification - Race) Odds: 7/2 Stake: 20.00 Possible Return: 90.00