First held in 1903 and initiated by motoring newspaper L’Auto, the annual Tour de France is considered the most prestigious cycling road race in the world. Forming part of the Grand Tour which includes the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España, the Tour has become an institution in France.
Covering roughly 2,200 miles, while the route may vary slightly each year and sometimes pass through neighboring countries, the final stage is always in the French capital of Paris and since 1975, takes in the magnificent Champs-Élysées as riders head for the finishing line and ultimate victory. Let’s look at the riders aiming for glory at the 2020 Tour.
Having secured such a monumental triumph at the Tour de France in 2019, there’s no surprise to find Egan Bernal leading the way as the +250 favorite in 2020. The Colombian cycling sensation became the first-ever Latin American to win the Tour, looking most comfortable in the mountain stages and climbs.
At 22 years of age, Bernal also became the youngest winner of the Tour since Henri Cornet back in 1904, indicating that he could be a leading force at the world-famous French road race for many years to come. This year, the key debate will be his role with Team Ineos, given they have so many supremely talented riders vying for team leadership.
After his first Tour victory in 2013, followed by three consecutive wins between 2015 and 2017, Chris Froome was hotly tipped for victory in 2019, yet a freak practice accident ended his participation. Now completely recovered, the British road racer will be out to prove he’s lost none of his fearsome competitive edge in 2020.
Likewise, with odds of +400 to win the Tour de France in the cycling betting, he is certainly expected to return at his very best by the sportsbooks. The only doubt is around which team he’ll be riding for, amidst talk that the 35-year-old could be looking to leave Team Ineos ahead of the Tour.
Winner of the 2019 Vuelta a España and third at the 2019 Giro d’Italia, there were plenty of eyebrows raised when Primoz Roglic didn’t compete at the 2019 Tour de France with Team Jumbo-Visma, despite an excellent fourth position finish at the 2018 event. Nevertheless, the Slovenian cyclist enjoyed an excellent season overall and is looking strong in 2020.
Indeed, there are no doubts about Roglic competing at the 2019 Tour, which he will start as a genuine +500 contender for victory. The 30-year-old is more determined than ever to triumph in France and really does fancy his chances this year, setting his sights firmly on wearing the yellow jersey as race leader, when the Tour reaches the final stage in Paris.
Casual observers might have been taken by surprise when Geraint Thomas claimed victory at the 2018 Tour de France. Were it not for an exceptional race by his Colombian teammate Egan Bernal, it’s fair to say that Welshman could well have been celebrating another triumph, instead of the highly creditable second position he registered at the 2019 Tour.
This year, Thomas has been working hard to ensure he’s in top form ahead of the Tour and ready to challenge amongst the leaders. Although tipped at +700 odds as an outside contender, the 34-year old should be capable of a podium finish at the very least, although his sights will be firmly set on topping the overall classification by the end of the race.
Local favorite Tom Dumoulin wants to be the first Frenchman since 1985 to claim victory in his homeland, which means he will make a strong challenge. Dutch cyclist Tom Dumoulin can’t be ignored either, having finished second at the 2018 event. Also keep an eye on Colombian ace Nairo Quintana, who has done everything in cycling but win the Tour itself.