The 2021 Tour de France will get underway later this month, having been rescheduled from its original start date of July 2nd. Not only that, but the Grand Departee was also moved from Copenhagen, Denmark, to Brest, France amid the Euro 2020 schedule – with a bumper sporting calendar this summer. The route has been confirmed, and the teams have revealed their squads. Cycling fans can find the leading favourites on any online betting platform, but let’s take a look at some of the front runners in more detail.
The young Slovenian is gearing up to defend his title, as last year’s yellow jersey winner. Pogačar who rides for UCI WorldTeam UAE Team Emirates, made history on last year’s race – not only securing the general classification, but also winning the young rider, and mountains classifications. In doing so, he became the only rider to win all three of those classifications in the same year.
So far this year, Pogačar has won the UAE Tour, also winning the young rider classification; the Tirreno–Adriatico, in which he also won the young rider and mountains classifications; and most recently, the Tour of Slovenia. On winning the Tour in his home country, Pogačar expressed his readiness for the Tour de France:
“My legs are getting better and better and I’m almost ready for the Tour de France. I still have two weeks to prepare myself for what will be my next big goal.”
Also hailing from Slovenia, Roglič has been riding for UCI WorldTeam Team Jumbo–Visma since 2016, and is looking to secure his first yellow jersey, having finished second on last year’s Tour. The 31-year-old had been leading in the general classification from stage nine, up until stage 19, and was just 59 seconds short of the pace in the final standings.
Pre-Tour, Roglič has chosen to train rather than race, and his team as a whole aren’t as dominant as they were last year in the lead up to the Tour. That said, the Slovenian has won two races this season – the Paris-Nice race on the UCI World Tour in March; and the Tour of the Basque Country the following month, in which he was also awarded the Points and Mountains Classifications.
The 2018 Tour de France winner, who made it a podium finish in 2019, after losing out to teammate Egan Bernal, Thomas didn’t feature in Ineos Grenadiers Tour squad last year – instead, focusing his efforts on the Giro d’Italia. That didn’t go to plan, with the Welshman crashing out in stage three, with a fractured hip curtailing the end of his season.
But Thomas is back, and last month, won the Tour de Romandie. Earlier this month, in the Tour’s most iconic warm-up race, the Critérium du Dauphiné, he finished in third place – with teammate Richie Porte securing the yellow jersey.
Ineos Grenadiers’ sporting director, Servais Knaven has full faith in his leader, and told the Dutch media:
“Thomas is super-motivated. You could see that in the Tour de Romandie which he won in an impressive way.
G realises very well that it could be one of his last chances to compete for the overall victory.”