Time for the biggest cycling race of them all: the Tour de France. The race starts tomorrow (July 1st) in Copenhagen as does our season game – let’s have a look at the overall contenders.
Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates)
Winner of the last two editions of the TDF and the best stage racer on the planet right now. Just 23 years old, Pogačar has done three stage races this year (UAE Tour, Tirreno-Adriatico, and the Tour of Slovenia), and he’s won them all.
Pogačar has a solid team around him. Rafał Majka comes in with terrific form, and Brandon McNulty and George Bennett are both super-strong lieutenants.
Pogačar’s biggest challenge will perhaps come from Jumbo-Visma, which contains two big threats for the GC
Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma)
Primož Roglič has won the Vuelta a España three times and finished on the podium at the Tour back in 2020 (behind Pogačar). This year he’s won Paris-Nice and the Criterium du Dauphine, putting him in the ideal form before the Tour.
Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma)
Roglič’s exited early last year and it was the Dane Ningegaard who really stepped up, eventually finishing runner-up to Roglič and he’s been great since then.
He finished second behind Roglič at the Dauphine this month and was second at Tirreno behind Pogačar, among other strong results.
Jumbo-Visma has a great team in support of Roglič and Vingegaard that includes Steven Kruijswijk, and Sepp Kuss. Pogačar is set to have a real fight on his hands.
The Ineos Grenadiers are set to start the Tour with three GC leaders in 2018 winner Geraint Thomas, Colombian Dani Martínez, and former white jersey winner Adam Yates.
Geraint Thomas (Inios Grenadiers)
Thomas has had a slow build-up into this season but he did win the Tour de Suisse very recently which bodes well. Perhaps peaking at just the right time?
Dani Martínez (Inios Grenadiers)
Martínez won Itzulia Basque Country earlier this season, and in his three other stage races, he finished third, third, and eighth. He was also top five at Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Flèche Wallonne and eighth at Tour de Suisse in what has been the best season of his career so far.
Adam Yates (Inios Grenadiers)
Yates comes to the Tour after a winless season and after leaving Tour de Suisse with COVID but Yates does have two GC top-10s at the Tour to his name.
Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe)
Vlasov was leading the Tour de Suisse when he was forced to abandon the race with COVID. Before that he won the Tour de Romandie where he claimed a stage win, he was third at Flèche Wallonne, and he also finished third overall at Itzulia.
Romain Bardet (DSM) has looked in good form since joining DSM. He was sitting fourth overall at the Giro d’Italia earlier this year when he was forced to abandon due to illness, and he won the Tour of the Alps just before that.
It’s a possibility Bardet will be looking for stage wins if the GC starts to look unattainable.
Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroën)
O’Connor returns to the Tour after a breakout fourth place overall last year. West Australian has had a very solid run-in, snagging top-seven finishes overall at the Ruta del Sol, Volta a Catalunya, Tour de Romandie, and most recently, at the Dauphine where he was third behind the Jumbo-Visma duo of Roglič and Vingegaard.
Ben is another who could switch to stage hunting mode depending on how things fall.
Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious). Haig has had strong stage-race results this year: sixth at Paris-Nice and Ruta del Sol, and fifth at the Dauphine. Haig also was third overall at the Vuelta last season.
Nairo Quintana (Arkéa Samsic)
Not quite the force he used to be but is having a solid season. Quintana won the Tour de la Provence and the Tour des Alpes and was fifth at Paris-Nice, fourth at the Volta a Catalunya, and seventh at Route d’Occitanie.
Starting tomorrow is our first ever Tour De France season game on Fanteam. We know a lot of you therefore won’t have played Fantasy Tour De France before so Click here to read our How To Play article.
Then make sure to head to the contests themselves here to start creating your teams.