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Who are the favourites for the 2022 Tour de France?

23 Jun 2022

Cyclist breaks down the credentials of the riders hunting yellow at the 2022 Tour de France

Words Will Strickson Photos Chris Auld

It’s Tour de France time again and we couldn’t be more excited. Christian Prudhomme and co have put together an absolute gem of a course for the ultimate showdown to decide the winner of the most prestigious title in cycling.

On Friday 1st July, the world’s best cyclists will set off from Copenhagen in Denmark for the toughest race on the calendar and, at the end of it all, one rider will have the privilege of standing on the winner’s podium, draped in the iconic maillot jaune.

The million dollar (for the pedants, here’s our guide to the Tour’s prize money) question is: Who will be that rider wearing yellow in Paris joining the exclusive club of riders to win cycling’s biggest race?

Tour de France 2022 favourites

Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates)

After the last two editions, it’s no surprise that there is actually only one favourite for the 2022 Tour de France and it’s Tadej Pogačar.

Odds-on with all bookies, the Pogačar’s complete domination of the 2021 Tour alongside some outrageous Classics performances – including at the Tour of Flanders, and there’s a cobbled stage in the Tour this year – and all-too-easy stage race victories mean he looks virtually untouchable.

Does that mean it won't be an entertaining race? No, because barring circumstances like last year there is theoretically a stronger field to try to stop him taking a third maillot jaune, maillot blanc and maillot à pois in as many years. This man could actually win ten Tours in his career and it wouldn’t be a surprise.

However, the man is still only 23, so he’s probably also still getting stronger. Sorry everyone. It’s Tadej’s Tour now.

Strengths: He might actually be the GOAT  
Weaknesses: Possibly, maybe, at a push, his team

Tour de France 2022 outsiders

Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma)

It’s not a stretch to say that Primož Roglič deserves a Tour de France win. He’s a generational talent who has come so, so close, while experiencing more than his fair share of bad luck, and stayed humble and jovial throughout it all.

But you don’t get any prizes for being likeable. If it weren’t for his compatriot above, Roglič would be the odds-on favourite. He’s one of the world’s best climbers and time-triallists, and packs a punch in sprints, so can fight for bonus seconds. It’s not clear how he’ll fare on the cobbles.

If he stays upright, this will be one hell of a battle, and this time out Roglič has the advantage of having a teammate that can not only support him in the highest mountains but actually compete for the win himself. It worked in last season’s Itzulia Basque Country.

Strengths: All-round super talent, elite team  
Weaknesses: Propensity for crashing 

Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma)

Stars align regularly in this great sport, as we saw with Mark Cavendish last year, after all, it is cyclical. So it may be more than just a happy coincidence that Denmark is hosting the first three stages of the Tour in the year it has its best chance of one of its countrymen winning yellow since Bjarne Riis – however contentiously – triumphed in 1996.

Jonas Vingegaard’s career burst into life in 2021 with impressive performances at the UAE Tour, Coppi e Bartali, Itzulia Basque Country and the Dauphiné before he was thrust into a leadership role at the Tour after Roglič dropped out. He went on to finish comfortably second and even distanced Tadej Pogačar atop Mont Ventoux in the process.

This season, with his number firmly marked by the rest of the peloton, he’s nonetheless been fairly strong. More importantly he seems to be improving as July approaches – his Dauphiné second place behind Roglič was his best outing yet in 2022.

If allowed to be co-leader, Vingegaard’s performance will be vital in deciding this race, even if he doesn’t win it himself. If he does, then Denmark will have one hell of a month.

Strengths: Another all-rounder, elite team, dropped Pogačar on Ventoux in 2021
Weaknesses: May end up as a domestique for Roglič

Tour de France 2022 dark horses

Enric Mas (Movistar)

Enric Mas quietly had one of the better 2021 Grand Tour seasons, finishing sixth in the Tour before coming second at the Vuelta. If he’s all in for France, he may actually be able to cause an upset.

Romain Bardet (Team DSM)

Provided he has managed to return to form after dropping out of the Giro d’Italia with a bug, this is the best version of Bardet we’ve seen. If he loses time he’ll almost certainly win a stage and challenge for the polka dots.

Jack Haig and Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious)

Both of these riders had excellent campaigns in 2021, with Haig third at the Vuelta and Caruso second at the Giro. If that form can be replicated or bettered, they’ll be challenging for top five here.

Geraint Thomas, Adam Yates and Dani Martínez (Ineos Grenadiers)

In theory, this is a really strong selection with several cards to play, however it’s hard to believe any of them will be able to keep pace with the top three riders.

Ben O’Connor (AG2R-Citroën)

The Australian’s growth was one of the best stories of the 2021 Tour, taking an impressive solo breakaway victory and thrusting himself into the GC battle where stayed until Paris, finishing fourth.

In 2022 so far, he’s shown that wasn’t a fluke and will be looking to replicate – and hopefully improve on – that showing one year later.

Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe)

Vlasov’s Tour could be over before it even starts considering he has just dropped out of the Tour de Suisse from the leader’s jersey due to Covid. He’s having some year so far otherwise, showing well at the UAE Tour and Itzulia Basque Country, and winning the Tour de Romandie and Volta Comunitat Valenciana. He’ll definitely part of the second tier of contenders if he’s well and rides.

Chris Froome (Israel-Premier Tech)

Okay probably not, but just imagine.…

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