Stage 1 of the 2023 Tour de France, a 183 km run that starts and ends in Bilbao, is the hardest in recent years and it takes the riders through a hilly and explosive course in the Basque Country. Who will wear the first Yellow Jersey of the Grand Boucle? This post contains our Tour De France Stage 1 betting tips, odds, recommended bets on Winner, Top 3 & Head to Head, promotions & no deposit free bets!
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TOUR DE FRANCE STAGE 1 BETTING PREVIEW
Stage 1 of the 2023 Tour de France, a 183 km run that starts and ends in Bilbao, is the hardest in recent years and it takes the riders through a hilly and explosive course in the Basque Country. Who will wear the first Yellow Jersey of the Grand Boucle?
Starting in Spain’s Basque region and packed with the short, steep climbs for which the area is famous, Stage 1 might be the most intense for the simple reason that the stage winner is guaranteed to pull-on the first maillot jaune of the Tour.
It will be a day where the overall classification can be played, a different scenario to a Tour de France Grand Depart as there are 3200 meters in altitude gain on this day, with a few hilltops right from the start.
This stage features five categorized climbs:
The Category 3 Côte de Laukiz (2.2km at 6.9%), the first of the day’s five categorized climbs, arrives just 11.6km into the stage. It will probably mark the first breakaway of this year's TDF.
The second climb of the day is the Category 2 Côte de San Juan de Gaztelugatxe (3.5km at 7.6%) and then the riders will face the Category 4 Col de Morga (3.9km at 4.1%).
The fourth ascent, the Côte de Vivero, marks the start of the finale of the stage. It’s a cat 2 climb, 4.4km at 7%, and promises attacks.
Côte de Pike (Pike Bidea) is the main event of the day, 2km at 9.4%, with a maximum of 18.8%. To further increase the importance of that climb, there are bonus seconds (8-5-2) available for the first three riders over the top.
It’s just 9.6km from the top of the climb to the finish line, with a fast, technical descent taking the riders down into the city of Bilbao.
From the bottom of the climb there’s about 3km to the finish line.
Stage 1 Favourites
Tadej Pogaçar is the odds-on favorite. The young Slovenian has been quiet in recent months, slowly recovering from his injury sustained in April and dialing in his training for the Tour de France. UAE have a strong enough team to control the final two climbs and set up his attack on the final climb.
Wout Van Aert already wore the Yellow Jersey last year. He is not a GC contender, so he could risk an attack even on the penultimate climb. Maybe the final ascent is too steep for him - the final kilometre of the climb averages 12.4%, there’s no guarantee he can be the best on that type of gradient.
Mathieu Van Der Poel won on Mur de Bretagne but this stage is much tougher. That climb is 2km at 6.9%, not as steep as the ascents they will find on Saturday afternoon. He needs a career best to manage to stay with the pure climbers. Anyway, after the summit of Cote de Pike there will be 10 kilometers remaining, and the final stretch will be only ascending at 5.4%.
Tom Pidcock loves this kind of gradients. The Brit is ever-present at the front of one-day races, but has tended to fall just short of the winner. Furthermore, his form doesn't seem good enough at the moment.
Julian Alaphilippe is past his prime but he has plenty of talent and experience. His form is questionable but he would love to wear the yellow jersey.
Jonas Vingegaard doesn’t have much racing in his legs but he won a similar stage of the Dauphiné in June. He could be looking to take advantage of the fact that Pogacar heads to the Tour a bit behind in his preparation and go all out attack since Day 1.
Mattias Skjelmose is a rising star. He won a stage and the GC in Tour de Suisse and followed that up by winning the Danish Road Race. The youngster could take advantage of Pogaçar and Vingegaard marking each other.
What about the Basque riders? Pello Bilbao has surely targeted this stage, winning on home roads would be a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Neilsen Powless is also one to watch: he won the Clásica San Sebastián in 2021, so he knows these roads well.
Biniam Girmay, Michael Woods, Matej Mohoric, Giulio Ciccone and Adam Yates are other riders that should be in the mix. They are all capable to deliver a major upset.
Mads Pedersen, Christophe Laporte, Matteo Trentin, Tiesj Benoot and Dylan Teuns are decent climbers but this stage is too tough for them and can be ruled out.
TOUR DE FRANCE STAGE 1 PREDICTIONS
The section below contains our experts' betting tips on the Tour De France Stage 1 (Winner, Top 3 and Head To Head recommended bets).
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