Froome’s rival Quintana favourite to be King of the Mountains
Miles Crosby | July 4, 2015
You’ve already seen Coral’s look at the overall favourites and also the contenders for the sprinters’ green jersey, now it’s the turn of the King of Mountains competition. Tour de France contender Nairo Quintana is the favourite at 9/2, just ahead of Chris Froome at 15/2.
As explained in the beginners’ guide to the Tour, the King of the Mountains competition awards points to the first riders over the major climbs of the race. The rider with the most points wears the the polka-dot jersey.
Performance in the mountains will be crucial for the yellow jersey, especially with this year’s mountainous route, and so the overall contenders for Tour victory are likely to also be in the running for the Mountains classification.
Quintana is favourite for good reason. The Columbian has been one of cycling’s best climbers and most exciting talents of recent years, and has proven himself in several major competitions. He won the mountains classification in the 2013 Tour whilst finishing in second place overall and went on to triumph in the 2014 Giro d’Italia. This year, Quintana is targeting the overall Tour de France victory and may well take the jersey on the way due to attacking on the mountain heavy route. Little wonder that Coral place him as favourite for the mountains competition.
Britain’s Chris Froome will also be in contention for the mountains jersey. The 2013 Tour de France champion narrowly came second to Quintana in the mountains classification that year, impressive considering he was not targeting that competition. Froome is bound to use the mountains to attack and gain time on his rivals and will rack up many King of the Mountains points in the process.
Another overall contender, Spanish cycling legend Alberto Contador, is also likely to feature in the battle for the polka-dot jersey. Although Contador has never won the mountain classification in any of the three Grand Tours (in France, Spain, and Italy) he has won the overall competitions in all multiple times with his explosive attacks in the mountains. Contador has already won the Giro d’Italia this year, and if he finds himself too fatigued for the yellow jersey he is sure to target the King of the Mountains. He stands at 10/1 to be wearing polka-dots at the finish.
One rider in the running for the King of the Mountains is not a serious contender for the yellow jersey. Pierre Rolland is the best cyclist to come out of France in recent years, finishing in the top 10 in the 2011 and 2012 Tours and third in the 2013 mountains competition. The Frenchman also came fourth in the 2014 Giro d’Italia but skipped the race this year to focus on the Tour de France, and will be in good form to challenge for the polka-dot jersey. He sits third in the odds at 17/2.