Tour de France 2024: GC Favourites

Tadej pogacar - Tour de France 2023: GC Favouritesfoto: Cor VosTadej Pogačar is on fire this season, just as he was last year. And the year before. Yet, Jonas Vingegaard managed to dislodge the Slovenian on both occasions. Who'll win the Tour de France? presents the pre-race favourites to win the biggest cycling race on the planet.

Over the past few years, two riders have been dominating the peloton. Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogacar. They consistently clinch victories whenever they compete, often by a considerable margin. Primoz Roglic and Remco Evenepoel are among the best of the rest, also securing victories, but typically when the other two aren’t competing.

This season, the four super stars have had a unique preparation. Vingegaard, Evenepoel, and Roglic unintentionally, as they crashed so hard in the Tour of the Basque Country in early April that they barely raced afterwards. The defending champion didn’t race at all since then. It was huge setback for Vingegaard as he started his season in brilliant form. The Dane won the Tirreno-Adriatico and O Gran Camiño in commanding style. And then that crash… Vingegaard suffered the most damage of the trio. It’s impossible to tell what shape he’s in now.

Roglic and Evenepoel also spent weeks recovering before they returned to racing in early June. Roglic won the GC of the Critérium du Dauphiné, and he added two stage wins, but it wasn’t all sunshine and roses, as he struggled on the last climb of the final stage. He barely held on to yellow, as Matteo Jorgenson fell just 8 seconds short of taking it from him.

Evenepoel initially performed well in the Dauphiné, claiming the yellow jersey with a time trial win, but struggled in the mountains. Whether he’s ready to contend for the Tour de France victory remains to be seen, but he’s had three weeks between the end of the Dauphiné and the Grand Départ to prepare.

Pogacar wasn’t in the Basque Country, so he didn’t crash in that race. He shone everywhere he competed. Starting with a solo 81 kilometres victory in Strade Bianche, he then dominated the Tour of Catalonia with four stage wins and the GC triumph. He also pocketed Liège-Bastogne-Liège (soloing for 34 kilometres) before he took on the main goal of his spring campaign. He emerged as the grand victor of the Giro, with five stage wins and the overall victory.

Yet, the big question remains, does he have enough left in the tank for another three-week blitz? Two years ago, Van der Poel exhausted himself in the Giro and then abandoned the Tour de France halfway through, completely spent. Let’s hope Pogacar has learned from that and can perform at the top level for three weeks in France as well.

How about the others?
The revelation of the season has to be Matteo Jorgenson. He didn’t really shine much at Movistar, but since moving to Jumbo | Lease a Bike, he’s become one of the top GC contenders, while also excelling in the Classics. The American outdid Evenepoel in Paris-Nice and gave Roglic a run for his money in the Critérim du Dauphiné, plus he came out on top in Dwars door Vlaanderen.

Carlos Rodriguez also had a good run in the Dauphiné, but he ended up in fourth place. It’s not realistic to think he’ll just slot in between the Big Four. He did win the Tour of Romandie in May, but the other top riders weren’t in the mix there. Vlasov, Roglic’s main support, came second.

And then there’s the backup for Pogacar, which is – by any means – impressive. His main domestiques would have been the undisputed leaders in virtually all teams. This season, Juan Ayuso won the Tour of the Basque Country, while Adam Yates didn’t race much, but we all know who came home third in last year’s Grande Boucle, don’t we? So yes, if the Slovenian sinks early, both Ayuso and Yates could try to fill his shoes.

Long story short
In terms of the overall victory in the Tour de France, it will likely come down to a battle between defending champion Vingegaard and Pogacar, with Evenepoel and Roglic in eager pursuit. The form of the defending champion is anyone’s guess, while the winner of 2020 and 2021 has been blazing like an erupting volcano all year, which raises the possibility that he might run out of steam during another three-week blitz.

The latter two hope to keep up with the two cycling superstars who have dominated the Tour for the past four years, silently wishing for a moment of weakness on their part.

GC Favourites Tour de France 2024

***** Jonas Vingegaard, Tadej Pogacar
**** Remco Evenepoel, Primoz Roglic, Matteo Jorgenson
*** Sepp Kuss, Juan Ayuso, Adam Yates, Carlos Rodriguez
** Richard Carapaz, Aleksandr Vlasov, Egan Bernal, Simon Yates
* Enric Mas, David Gaudu, Geraint Thomas, Giulio Ciccone, João Almeida

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