Six Favorites For The 2019 Tour de France

The 2019 Tour de France embarks from Brussels on Saturday with a mountain-packed course and a more open field than in recent editions.

Here, we look at six of the main contenders hoping to pull on the winner's yellow jersey at the iconic Champs-Elysees finish line in Paris on July 28:


Geraint Thomas (Ineos)

The 33-year-old defending champion, who arrived at the race in peak condition in 2018, left his preparations a little tight. He then suffered a setback with a fright on the Tour de Suisse when he fell heavily and took a knock to the head. Having Ineos teammate Egan Bernal alongside him may actually play into his hands by causing a smokescreen to rivals. A great time-trialist, the Welshman has proved he can fight in the mountains thanks to his strong team.


Egan Bernal (Ineos)

On paper Bernal has all the ingredients to steal the show on the Tour on only his second appearance. Not only a gifted climber but also a solid all-rounder with a knack of closing out victories with seemingly hidden reserves. But at just 22 it remains to be seen if the success he has garnered in the Tour of California, the Paris-Nice and the Tour de Suisse can be reproduced at the much longer three-week Tour de France.


Nairo Quintana (Movistar)

Long in the shadow of four-time winner Chris Froome, Nairo Quintana has finished on the Tour podium three times, but ended the 2018 edition in 10th having suffered a costly fall on stage one. The 2019 route will play to the pure climber's strengths due to reduced time-trialling, and crucially, seven ascents above 2,000 metres, three of them summit finishes on what might be his last real roll of the dice. Now 29 and in his seventh season at Movistar he races as co-leader with some heavyweight back-up in another potential winner, Mikel Landa, and wily world champion Alejandro Valverde.


Jakob Fuglsang (Astana)

The Danish veteran won the key classic Liege-Bastogne-Liege in April, saying that in the closing kilometres he took the decision to win or die, having come second or third so many times. With his wife watching from the sidelines Fuglsang credited her with support and said he had finally grown into a winner at 34. The Astana captain then went to the Criterium de Dauphine one-week Tour warm up and won it, and can count on a powerful climb posse to protect him in France.


Rigoberto Uran (Education First)

The feisty climber came second in the 2017 Tour. He was the leader of a powerful Colombian team at the 2018 world championships ahead of Nairo Quintana and Miguel Angel Lopez, although all of them faded on the so called 'Hell Hill' at Innsbruck. He fell in March's Paris-Nice but declared last week: "My season begins now". The newly recruited American rider Tejay Van Garderen leads a handy back-up crew for Uran.


Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida)

Known as the shark because of his devastating knack of taking out opponents at key moments, Nibali almost pulled off a fourth Grand Tour win in May when he came second in the Giro. With just four weeks recovery time since then Nibali has to be an outsider to clinch a second Tour de France, but the 34-year-old Bahrain Merida captain can climb with the best, is an accomplished time-triallist, is possibly the best downhill rider in the game, and in the absence of Froome and Dutch master Tom Dumoulin, will surely target at least the podium.


Rohan Dennis To Compete At Worlds On Unmarked Bike

Rohan Dennis has confirmed he will defend his time trial crown at cycling's road race world championships in Britain after his abrupt withdrawal from the Tour de France mid-event.

Roglic Wins Vuelta, Jakobsen Takes Final Stage

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Primoz Roglic was too fatigued following the Giro d'Italia to compete in the Tour de France, but he had the last word when avoiding any final day mishap on the Vuelta a Espana's ceremonial ride into Madrid on Sunday to become the first Slovenian to win one of cycling's three Grand Tours.

Pogacar Stuns In Stage 20, Roglic Defends Red

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Slovenia's Primoz Roglic assured victory in the Vuelta a Espana on Saturday and needs only to complete the short ceremonial run to Madrid on Sunday to lift his first Grand Tour after another "good day" in the saddle.

Van der Poel Wins Final Stage To Seal Tour of Britain Victory

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Highly-rated Dutch cyclist Mathieu van der Poel underlined his dominance of the Tour of Britain by winning the eighth and final stage on Saturday to seal his overall victory.

Roglic Survives Stage 19 Crash, Cavagna Solos To Vuelta Win

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Frenchman Remi Cavagna of Deceuninck-Quick Step, the lone survivor of a breakaway, won stage 19 of the Vuelta a Espana on Friday as leader Primoz Roglic again rode his luck to keep overall victory in sight.

Van der Poel Breaks Trentin In Stage 7 Hill Top Finish

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Mathieu van der Poel cemented his overall lead in the Tour of Britain as the Dutchman powered to victory in the seventh stage on Friday.

Higuita Goes Long For Stage 18 Victory At La Vuelta, Lopez Attacks Roglic

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Colombia's Sergio Higuita of the Education First team won stage 18 of the Vuelta a Espana on Thursday as the overall leader Primoz Roglic came second in another assured step towards the title.

Race Recap: Tour Of Britain Stage 5

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Dutch rider Dylan Groenewegen won his third stage in five days at the Tour of Britain as Italy's Matteo Trentin moved into the overall lead on Wednesday.

Gilbert Wins Wind Whipped Stage 17, Quintana Back In Contention

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Belgian veteran Philippe Gilbert claimed a second win at this year's Vuelta a Espana on Wednesday as Slovenian Primoz Roglic remained in the lead but with a new challenger.

Mathieu van der Poel Scorches Final Climb To Win Tour of Britain Stage 4

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Mathieu van der Poel took over as the Tour of Britain's overall leader after winning Tuesday's fourth stage from Gateshead to Kendal.