Tour de France 2024 favorites, ranked by their chances of winning

The biggest event on the cycling calendar, and one of the most noteworthy sporting events in the world, is upon us: the 2024 Tour de France will start this weekend.

The 111th edition of the race will be kicked off in the Italian city of Florence on Saturday, June 29. A total of 21 stages and 2,170 miles will take riders to Nice on the French Riviera.

This year’s Tour projects to be as memorable a Grande Boucle as any in recent history. Look no further than a star-studded start list that includes some of the biggest names in the sport — including the so-called “big four” of Tadej Pogačar, Jonas Vingegaard, Primož Roglič and Remco Evenepoel going at each other for the first time ever.

So, who will come out on top? That is anybody’s guess at this point in time, but here is our overview of who to keep an eye on over the next three weeks.

The phenomenon

Given what has transpired so far this season, there is one out-and-out favorite for this race. It’s none other than the best rider of his generation.

1. Tadej Pogačar (SLO), UAE Team Emirates: A two-time Tour de France winner already, the 25-year-old wunderkind is in the middle of what could end up being a historic season. His 2024 palmarès so far includes some dominant victories, including at the Giro d’Italia in May. Will he show any signs of fatigue after beating his competition by almost 10 minutes in the first grand tour of the season? Or was it just a three-week appetizer for what lies ahead? For what it’s worth, Pogačar himself — who changed his training regimen and personal coach since the last Tour de France — seems to think his best is yet to come. A scary thought.

The defending champion

One big reason why Pogačar is the favorite is that his main rival of the last three editions of the Tour de France was involved in a devastating crash in early April. Nonetheless, you can never count another two-time champion out either.

2. Jonas Vingegaard (DEN), Visma | Lease a Bike: Vingegaard was able to beat Pogačar in back-to-back years, and at a full 100 percent should be able to challenge the Slovenian megastar yet again. The question is: will he be at a 100 percent? The Dane suffered a punctured lung as well as rib and collarbone fractures at the Tour of Basque Country less than three months ago, and hasn’t raced since. His form is a mystery, and something his rivals might want to try to exploit early on in the Tour. If the 27-year-old is able to keep things close heading into the final week, however, his superb climbing abilities might put him right back into the conversation after all.

The uncertain stars

The last three years in particular were the Pogačar and Vingegaard show, and when at their best they are a clear step above the rest of the peloton as far as stage racing is concerned. However, two other riders are actually within striking distance themselves — even though they crashed alongside Vingegaard in April.

3. Primož Roglič (SLO), Red Bull-Bora-hansgrohe: Vingegaard’s former teammate still has some unfinished business in France after narrowly losing the 2020 Tour to his compatriot Pogačar and failing to finish the race in both 2021 and 2022. At age 34, however, time is running out for the ex-ski jumper. Despite being on the older side compared to his closest rivals, Roglič is still a world-class rider — something he showed in the lead-up to the Tour de France when he won the Critérium du Dauphiné, despite a serious wobble on the final stage.

4. Remco Evenepoel (BEL), Soudal Quick-Step: Evenepoel was among the riders beaten by Roglič at the Dauphiné, but he appeared to focus more on his own build-up toward the Tour de France rather than the result in that particular race. Considering that he too crashed at Basque Country, this makes sense, but it creates an aura of uncertainty around the Belgian — especially when comparing himself to the Pogačars and Vingegaards of the world in a grand tour setting for the first time. Still, the talented youngster is a realistic podium contender in this race and might even be able to push for the top spot himself due to his time-trialling capabilities.

The outsiders

It would be quite a surprise if the winner wasn’t one of the big four of Pogačar, Vingegaard, Roglič or Evenepoel. That said, anything can happen in a three-week race and teams might be forced to adapt due to crash, crack, or illness. If so, a member of this group might end up on the top step of the podium when all is said and done.

5. Carlos Rodriguez (ESP), Ineos Grenadiers: Rodriguez may lack the star power of the top-ranked riders on this list, but he is no slouch either. He finished second, first, and fourth in his last three stage races this season, and was fifth in the Tour last year. With a strong Ineos Grenadiers team supporting him, he could jump onto the podium in 2024 in case the big four show some weakness.

6. Adam Yates (UK), UAE Team Emirates: Fresh off a win at the Tour de Suisse, Yates will serve as Pogačar’s right-hand man and top lieutenant the next three weeks. He is a quality general classification racer in his own right, however, and finished third behind his captain and Jonas Vingegaard in 2023. Another podium result is not out of the realm of possibility even with a support role as his primary job.

7. Matteo Jorgenson (USA), Visma | Lease a Bike: With Vingegaard’s form best classified as “TBD” and with fellow American Sepp Kuss scratched from the Visma | Lease a Bike start list due to medical reasons, the 24-year-old Jorgenson might be part backup leader, part super domestique starting off the race. Regardless of his role, he is more than capable of a top-three finish considering how his season has been going so far: he won Paris-Nice in March, and finished only 8 seconds down to Roglič at the Dauphiné earlier this month.

8. Juan Ayuso (ESP), UAE Team Emirates: Ayuso would be a leader on most teams, but being on the one headlined by Tadej Pogačar means he too will have to work for the big boss. That doesn’t mean he will not compete for a general classification spot as well, and be kept close to the race lead as a possible break-glass-in-case-of-emergency option.

9. Egan Bernal (COL), Ineos Grenadiers: One of four former Tour de France champions to start this year’s race alongside Pogačar, Vingegaard, and Ineos Grenadiers teammate Geraint Thomas, Bernal is in the middle of a good season. He has yet to win, yes, but for the first time since a career-altering crash in 2022 is competing at a top level again. A podium finish might still be out of reach, especially with Carlos Rodriguez ahead of him in the pecking order, but stranger things have happened.

10. João Almeida (POR), UAE Team Emirates: Almeida has finished in the top-10 in 13 of his 15 career stage races, including as No. 2 at the Tour de Suisse earlier this month. He is still only the fourth favorite among a stacked UAE squad, but similar to his teammate Ayuso might be kept in the running for as long as possible especially after showing some promising form in Switzerland.

11. Aleksandr Vlasov (RUS), Red Bull-Bora-hansgrohe: Vlasov was Primož Roglič’s top helper at the Dauphine, and himself riding a good race to finish sixth overall. It was his fourth top-10 result in a stage race this year, and he could end up making some noise at the Tour de France as well if allowed to go for his own result on top of helping protect Roglič.

The best of the rest

Despite a clear hierarchy to the list of favorites, general classification ambitions will not end with the names above. In fact, plenty of riders will consider a top-10 result as a success and could even have their eyes on the podium under the right — or wrong, depending on how you look at it — circumstances.

That being said, the chances of somebody like Felix Gall, Tom Pidcock, Geraint Thomas, Enric Mas, Jai Hindley, Mikel Landa, Simon Yates, or Derek Gee winning or even podiuming this year’s Tour de France are fairly low. That does not mean they won’t play their part in making the race exciting, but they have not shown they can consistently challenge the top dogs.

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