iBet: Hungry Columbian Quintana could attack in the mountains

Gareth Purnell

Tour De France, King of The Mountains

The sprinters have had their fun for the time being and the Tour De France now gets really serious we move into the mountains for the first time and a brutal Stage 8 in the Pyrenees. There is no way of being confident about who will be wearing the Polka Dot jersey when the race arrives in Paris on July 21. These stages where there are sharp climbs at the finish are where small groups or individuals can get away and stay away, but the winner will be decided by who can do consistently well on the toughest climbs.

Last year Thomas Voeckler was triumphant. The betting this year has Pierre Rolland as clear 11/8 favourite, with Voeckler available at 6/1, Thomas Gendt 12/1 and Chris Froome 14/1. Movistar’s Nairo Quintana might be interesting at 16/1. The Columbian proved that he is a climber of the highest order first in 2012 with by winning the Vuelta and again in April this year when pipping favourite by Tony Martin to the Tour of The Basque Country.

He’s a good time trialist too and is being tipped as a future Tour winner, and while this might come too soon for the 23-year-old, he is a great, hungry climber who will want to prove himself on the biggest stage. He was the only rider to take on and beat Team Sky in their otherwise faultless build up to the successful assault on last year’s Tour De France when winning the hardest climb on the 2012 Dauphine and is the type of rider who is likely to be in an attacking frame of mind.

The vultures are circling around Wayne Rooney as the ball has been expertly put in his court by David Moyes. Although he’s favourite to stay at Manchester United, reading between the lines it’s getting more and more likely that he will be on the move and there has been strong support in the last week for his next club to be Chelsea (3/1), Arsenal (5/1) and Paris (4/1).

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