Bookmakers are offering free bets on the 16th Stage of the Tour de France which climbs the epic Col du Tourmalet on the 199.5km route from Luchon to Pau today.
Betting odds for the Tour changed dramatically after defending champion Alberto Contador regained the yellow jersey from Andy Schleck in controversial style yesterday.
Breaking the unwritten rule of cycling, Contador took advantage of a mechanical problem to sprint away from Schleck on Port du Bales.
Schleck lost almost a minute when slipping his chain as he pulled away from Contador on the final climb in an attempt to give himself a defendable lead going into the time trial on Saturday.
Although an angry Schleck vowed revenge, he will need an effort emulating the ride by the great Eddy Merckx on this route in 1969 to have a realistic chance of winning this Tour.
Bookmakers have just about written him off with Paddy Power offering odds of 1/5 for Contador to take his third Tour de France.
Punters who still have faith in the abilities of the exceptional young rider from Luxembourg can get odds of 9/2 with Betfred.
The riders are suffering in what has been described one of the toughest ever Tours but Schleck was looking strong before his mishap and then produced an Herculean effort to reduce his overall deficit to 8 seconds.
Today will be tough for him with a long descent after the monstrous early climbs. There is a rest day tomorrow then Schleck will have his final opportunity to break Contador on Thursday’s summit finish.