Tour de France 2021: Who will take home the Yellow Jersey?
With the 108th edition of the Tour de France starting on Saturday, last years winner Tadej Pogacar will be looking to defend his Tour de France title after winning in such dramatic fashion last year. However, he will not be the only racer aiming for the yellow jersey, Primoz Roglic who suffered such heartache last year will be looking for revenge, as well as many other cyclists who will be aiming to rival the standards set by the Slovenian duo last time out.
In last years Tour de France, Roglic who led for the majority of the race let a 57-second lead slip during a difficult individual time trial on the last day of racing. This meant that Pogacar would lead the peloton into Paris on the Sunday wearing the infamous yellow jersey, which he ultimately won. This year Roglic will be looking to do one better this year.
The race will span over three gruelling weeks, where there will be 21 different stages, ending in Paris on July 18th. Covering a total of 2,124 miles. This year’s race will feature two time trials, one at stage five, from Change to Laval, as well as the penultimate race, from Libourne to Saint Emilion.
Halfway through the race there will be the double assault on Mont Ventoux on stage 11. A 199 km run from Sorgues to Malaucene. There will also be five mountain stages in the Pyrenees during the final eight days. As road cycling takes place on public roads, it means that it is one of a few major sporting events this year to have been help in front of fans.
Here is a list of potential candidates that look to take the yellow jersey home.
🤩 Here is the official #TDF2021 route!
— Tour de France™ (@LeTour) November 1, 2020
Tadej Pogacar – UAE-Team Emirates
The current Tour de France champion took his form from Paris straight into this season. He has managed to win the prestigious Tirreno-Adriatico stage race, ‘monument’ classic Liege-Bastogne-Liege, the UAE Tour and his native Tour of Slovenia all this year.
He is the Tour favourite ahead of the Grande Start on Saturday, after flying under the radar last year becoming the surprise winner. This year however, the UAE Emirates have invested in a much stronger team then last year with Marc Hirschi and Rafal Majka joining their ranks.
At only 22, Pogacar has the potential to become one of the all-time Tour greats, and there is no reason why the Slovenian cannot go and win the Tour in back to back seasons.
— GlobalCyclingNetwork (@gcntweet) June 23, 2021
Primož Roglič – Team Jumbo-Visma
Veteran Roglic, 31, also responded in the best way he could after narrowly losing to Pogacar in the Tour de France, by winning Liege-Bastogne-Liege as well as defending his title at Vuelta a Espana.
Despite not racing much this year, the Slovenian has preferred to train at altitude. He will go into this years Tour de France with hope after defeating Pogacar to win the Tour of the Basque Country title. However, will the heartbreak of last year remain. Either way, he will certainly be a podium contender.
Mark Cavendish – Deceuninck-Quick-Step
After a knee injury to Sam Bennett, Deceuninck-Quick-Step have turned to one of cycling’s most successful riders. The 36-year-old’s participation at this years Tour de France was never to be expected, but he now has a chance to add to his tally of 30 stage wins, just 4 short of the all time record. Although the man once known as the pocket rocket, it could be age that denies Cavendish a the chance of breaking the record for stage wins.
Instead, Deceuninck-Quickstep will be looking to the world champion, Alaphilippe who is expected to win at least one stage in the opening weekend. He thrives on pressure and has the extra incentive of being a new father too.
— Mark Cavendish (@MarkCavendish) June 23, 2021
Simon Yates – BikeExchange
BikeExchange said goodbye to Adam Yates last year, his departure seemed to have a detrimental effect on the team as they appeared underpowered. However, since bringing in the Lancastrian, Simon Yates, he has managed a third and a mountain stage at Giro this year. Very tactical brain and strong climbing legs makes Yates a stages contender.
As well as Yates, BikeExchange boast a strong team. A former green jersey in Michael Matthews and Esteban Chaves are riders to look out for.
Geraint Thomas – Ineos Grenadiers
The British 2018 winner had a poor season last time out, which saw him left off of the Ineos team last year. However, Thomas is now back and in search of his second title in much better form. The Welshman, 35, won the Tour de Romandie back in May. As well as a stage win and finishing 3rd overall at the Criterium du Dauphine and finished third at the Volta a Catalunya earlier in the season.
The British team are by no means short of numbers, former Giro d’Italia champions Tao Geoghegan Hart and Richard Carapaz, aged 26 and 28 respectively. As well as 36-year-old and last year’s third place finisher Richie Porte. All of them are able to pose a considerable threat and should not be taken lightly.
Chris Froome – Israel Start-Up Nation
The man himself has already ruled out winning a record-equalling fifth Tour title this year. He has said that he will be riding in support of Michael Wood instead of racing for the yellow jersey.
Woods, the former ice hockey player and middle distance runner, only started pro cycling at age 29. He now looks to lead the Israel Start-Up Nation to some stage success at the Tour de France this year.
However eyes will be on Froom as he has lost time in a lot of his race this season, meaning there will be plenty of intrigue around him. Injuries have set him back as he seems to still be recovering from his crash in 2019. There will also still be question marks over whether Froome can rediscover the form he had when competing at the highest level.
— Tour de France™ (@LeTour) June 23, 2021
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