With the Tour de France only a few days away, we look at the battle for the maillot à pois rouges, aka the Polka Dot Jersey.
With only four uphill finishes, there’s a good chance for a non GC rider to win the jersey. Stage 9 is stacked with over 50 points up for grabs and no MTF finish, so if someone can collect maximum points that day, they are on their way to win the jersey.
So let’s look at the contenders. Their odds thanks to Unibet Australia are in brackets.
Thibaut Pinot ($4)
After a tough Giro d’Italia, finishing in 4th, Pinot will be stage hunting here. That puts him in prime position to be one of the riders that can win this jersey. He also has the ability to stick with the GC guys on the mountaintop finishes should his form be okay, so that’s an extra bonus.
Rafal Majka ($6)
The two time winner of this jersey is second favourite and he’s in great form at the moment. He’s riding for a top GC spot and is a genuine smokey for a podium finish. He’d need to win a stage to be in contention with the route the way it is, however. But, he’s quality, so anything is possible.
Pierre Rolland ($10)
The value rider. After 2 miserable years, Rolland finally picked up another Grand Tour stage victory, this time at the Giro d’Italia. The pressure is off him and with it off, he’s back to his best. Rolland is not riding for a GC spot so he will be free to attack and attack he will do. This is probably going to be a battle between Rolland and Pinot and I give the edge to Rolland.
Thomas De Gendt ($10)
We know one thing for sure about De Gendt – he’ll be in breakaways so he’ll rack up the points. With that said, his main objective is a stage victory, but that won’t stop him from picking up the points. It all depends on if he can outclimb riders like Pinot and Rolland who are better climbers than him.
Rigoberto Uran ($41)
Uran and Talansky are both riding for GC, but if Uran slips out of the GC, he has the ability to contend for this jersey as he’ll be stage hunting and he can match the likes of Rolland and Pinot on the climbs. With Rolland, they could form a two-pronged attack depending on how the race turns out.
Thomas Voeckler ($67)
This is Voeckler’s last Tour de France so he would want to go out with a bang. A stage victory will be his first priority but we know he’ll be on the attack stage after stage so he has a chance to accumulate points. It will be too tough for him, however, especially is Rolland and Pinot are contending.
Tony Gallopin ($101)
With no GC rider to look after Gallopin will be hunting stage wins. His form in the Dauphine was worrying, but, if he has the form he had in Paris-Nice, he’s a good option for this jersey. A nice outside chance.
Other contenders, if they fall out of GC contention include; Fabio Aru ($23), Alberto Contador (26), Chris Froome ($26), Richie Porte ($26), Nairo Quintana ($26), Romain Bardet ($29), Jakob Fuglsang ($29), Simon Yates ($34)
As for my prediction I can’t go past Pierre Rolland. I think he’ll do enough to win the polka dots as well as a stage win.
- Pierre Rolland
- Thibaut Pinot
- Tony Gallopin
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