As the race covers more than 2,000 miles over three tortuous weeks, successful Tour de France betting is about picking the individuals and teams who have the history, determination and sheer bloody-mindedness to be there when the final places are determined on the Champs Elysee.
Other than the record winner Lance Armstrong, now retired and no longer a factor in Tour de France betting odds, the odds have always favoured European riders for whom the tournament is the pinnacle of their careers. It follows that the likes of Spain's 2010 winner Alberto Contador will always feature prominently in Tour de France bets.
There are a number of sub-plots taking place within the main event which provide plenty of added interest for those placing their Tour de France bet before the final stages are negotiated.
Highlights of the race involve the sprint stages, king of the mountains, the competition for young riders and, of course, the overall team event which offers scope for a variety of predictions in include in your Tour de France bets.
Increased television and internet coverage has created an opportunity for UK fans of the competition to indulge in live Tour de France betting and, as the scope of online Tour de France betting expands, so online bookmakers are taking an extra interest and are offering an increasing number of free bets relating to the event.
One expert in Tour de France betting commented: "The event is one of the highlights of the sporting calendar, right up there with the best of them. Tour de France betting odds offer lots of profitable opportunities because the different types of stages and challenges facing the riders and enormously varied.
"Team and individual honours will also be seen by some as most important in Tour de France betting, but results away from the main classifications can be equally rewarding.
"There is a strong British presence on the tour, and not surprisingly, they feature prominently in online Tour de France betting markets as riders move from Olympic racing and into the professional ranks. Recent results (and the odds) suggest there will be a British winner in the next few years. Several online bookmakers are already posting odds against the nationality of the 2011 winner, while Mark Cavendish will be amongst the favourites to win the coveted green jersey.
"Results might not have shown it this year, but the final and most significant triumph for Britain would be to have a winner in the tour, and can you imagine what that would do to live Tour de France betting?
"Online bookmakers offering a free bet on ‘Le Tour’ will always be looking for the edge and the punter / predictor should be aware of the opportunity for racing carnage in the early stages of the race, especially if it is held at new venues unfamiliar to the riders.
"That's when the scope for live Tour de France betting really opens up. And that's when the well-considered Tour de France bet can really be rewarded.”