Famed as both the toughest and most popular of the three Grand Tour cycling events held each year, nothing quite compares to the anticipation and excitement that comes with every Tour de France. For some of the competitors, briefly getting to wear the yellow jersey as race leader is the highlight of their career, while for others, nothing less than topping the general classification will do. These are the five leading candidates to win the 2020 Tour.
Slovenian cyclist Primoz Roglic has yet to win the most famous road race in the world, and this will arguably remain the top challenge of his exciting career, having finished third at the Giro d’Italia and won the Vuelta a España in 2019. Thanks to excellent form and victories in key races over the last two years, 11/8 odds on the winner of the Tour de France make 30-year-old Roglic the starting favourite in 2020. If performances at the recent Criterium de Dauphine are any indication, there’s no better time to take that form into the Tour.
Widely renown for his powerful ability on steep climbing stages at the toughest races, Egan Bernal has quickly risen to prominence in the professional cycling scene. When he won the Tour de France last year, few eyebrows were raised following an outstanding effort from start to finish, making him a worthy champion. The 23-year-old is keen to defend that title, and with odds as low as 2/1 for the Colombian ace, the bookies certainly believe he can do that.
Surprising as this may sound, there hasn’t been a homegrown winner of the Tour de France since 1985, when legendary Bernard Hinault claimed his fifth title in the space of eight years. 30-year-old Thibaut Pinot is looking to end the French drought in 2020, having enjoyed numerous stage victories and top ten positions at the trio of Grand Tour events over recent years. Tipped at 8/1 odds, Pinot is clearly one of the main contenders this year.
Widely considered to be one of the best road racing cyclists in the sport, 29-year-old Tom Dumoulin has consistently performed highly at the leading events over the years. Quite literally a flying Dutchman in every sense, his speed at time trials and one-day races has landed many titles. Winner of the 2017 Giro d’Italia, Dumoulin was second at the same event and second at the Tour de France in 2018, and as a 9/1 shot this year he can’t be ignored.
Since turning professional in 2007, British racer Geraint Thomas has matured into one of the finest riders you’ll encounter at the Grand Tour events. Considering that he finished 140th in 2007, triumphing at the 2018 Tour de France was clearly a career highlight for Thomas, before finishing second at the 2019 event. The 34-year-old is priced at 14/1 odds this year, although he will undoubtedly be up there alongside the leading competitors.
Will there be any surprises?
When the 107th edition of the Tour de France gets started on 29th August 2020, as always, it will be the most viewed cycling event in the world. While any of the five riders mentioned could easily claim victory, there’s always the chance of surprise contenders emerging, which makes watching the twists and turns of every stage all the more thrilling to watch.