Of course, other riders will be in the battle and nothing is certain in November. However, as the 2024 Tour de France takes shape and riders talk about their interest, we've got an idea of what will be taking place in July. How do you think Tadej Pogacar, Jonas Vingegaard, Primoz Roglic and Remco Evenepoel will do next July?
Jonas Vingegaard - The defending champion. Jonas Vingegaard is a man for the Tour de France, he's won it twice in a row now and is an incredible Grand Tour specialist - the way few are in modern cycling. Although the explosive start and gravel may be a pebble in his shoe, Jumbo-Visma have proven to be a well capable team of resolving problems in any field. If the gaps are left to be made against the clock and in the mountains, then it will be hard to overcome Vingegaard.
His run of form from the Criterium du Dauphiné all the way to the Vuelta a Espana this year was nothing but impressive, this is a rider capable of tackling 21 days of all-out racing and arriving at the end fresher then the rest. The colossal mountain days are also his terrain and where the biggest gaps may form. This should mean that in normal circumstances he will be the man to beat, but Tadej Pogacar could be able to seize any weak spot.
“The third week seems harder than it was this year. It’s always in the third week where you can really make a big difference. For me, that’s what suits me – I’m still good in the third week, so this course suits me."
Profiles & Route Tour de France 2024 | Italian start, Galibier on stage 4, gravel, two time-trials, brutal Pyrenees and finale in Monaco
Tadej Pogacar - Two-time winner and main rival of Jonas Vingegaard. Pogacar is a rider that puts more emphasis into other goals throughout the year - with great success, such as the spring classics and Il Lombardia. Whilst this other focus may hamper his Tour chances slightly, he's proven to be at the same level as Vingegaard throughout the grand majority of mountain stages, and above when it comes to hilly and explosive terrain.
With a gravel stage present, tension will certainly be high but this terrain highly favours the Slovenian, a former winner of Strade Bianche and tremendous bike handler. UAE Team Emirates are unlikely to stand behind Jumbo-Visma, it is highly likely that Juan Ayuso and João Almeida will race alongside Pogacar. He has expressed desire to race the other Grand Tours, but showing such love for the 2024 course is a great indicator that he will not miss it.
"Spending the Tour on roads where I train most of the year will be special. Just seeing the profiles, this end of the journey makes me smile. It really is full of promise."
Tadej Pogacar on Jonas Vingegaard: "We will meet in the other races as well and have a rivalry that will go in the history books"
Primoz Roglic - Winner of the Vuelta a Espana on three occasions and now the Giro d'Italia. Primoz Roglic was a winner of almost everything he raced in 2023, with the exception of the Vuelta - where he won two stages and finished third. The Vuelta exactly stirred his departure from Jumbo-Visma, as he seeks sole leadership and a team fully behind him. He's got one now at BORA - hansgrohe and he is set on one sole and specific victory: the Tour de France.
It will be very interesting to see how he will do against former teammate Jonas Vingegaard, and how he hangs on in the high mountains. Hilly terrain and time-trials shouldn't see him lose time on his rivals. The high mountains may be a bigger issue, but one where he obviously still has the legs. A new big team joins the fun to fight for the Tour de France in BORA and we'll have to see the block that will be formed around the Slovenian to tackle this mammoth task.
“It's no secret that we want to win the Tour of France. That may sound absurd, but we believe in it and will do everything we can to achieve it."
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Remco Evenepoel - The wildcard. Remco Evenepoel had it clear that 2024 would be his Tour de France debut year, after several attempts at the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana. Both Grand Tours this year had mishaps which didn't see him end high in the GC - once for Covid-19, but at the Vuelta a Espana a bad day which created worries within Soudal - Quick-Step. Whilst he continues to lead the team (which almost merged with Jumbo-Visma) and has the likes of Mikel Landa and Ilan van Wilder likely to support him, it will be a new and different experience.
It's a climbing-heavy route with a gravel stage which he was clearly not a fan of. Patrick Lefevere also expressed doubts about his focus on the Tour, and hinted that he may go for the pink jersey in May once again. Uncertainty still rules of the Belgian's camp. If he prepares fully and avoids mishaps he is a podium contender at worst, the time-trials will suit him well and he's proven to be able to climb extremely well, he will either ways want to gather the experience regardless of the legs he presents in France.
"There are specific events and championships for gravel racing. Why do they need to add such stages to a Grand Tour? I don't think that's necessary."