Bookies slash odds on Wiggins winning Tour
Bradley Wiggins continues in race lead, Criterium du Dauphine 2011, stage four
Bradley Wiggins' odds of winning the 2011 Tour de France in July have increased significantly - and that's according to bookmaker William Hill.
In the light of Wiggins' continued success at the Criterium du Dauphine, where the Brit leads the race overall with two stages remaining, William Hill has dropped the odds of the Sky man winning the Tour from 66/1 to 28/1.
That puts Wiggins ahead of of the likes of Roman Kreuziger and Alexandre Vinokourov (both 40/1), but behind a list of other favourites including Andy Schleck (4/6), Frank Schleck (10/1), Ivan Basso (17/1) and Denis Menchov (18/1).
Riccardo Ricco is offered at odds of 20/1, despite being recently banned from competing by the Italian cycling federation on health grounds... and the fact that his team is not taking part in the race.
Odds quoted here exclude Alberto Contador, whose participation in the race remains in some doubt after he tested positive for clenbuterol at last year's race. The Spaniard won the Giro d'Italia in May, but is awaiting a hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport to find out whether he will be served with a suspension. The hearing is due to take place after the Tour de France finishes, so it is possible that he will ride.
The 2011 Tour de France starts on Saturday July 2 and finishes three weeks later in Paris on Sunday, July 24.
Wiggins finished the 2009 Tour de France in fourth place, equalling the previous British record set by Robert Millar in 1984.