While the 109th edition of Tour de France starts Friday July 1 from Copenhagen in Denmark, it’s time to review the workforce. Which French people will we have to follow? Who are the big favorites this year? France Bleu takes stock.
The French who can shine in the general classification
In an interview with AFP, Christian Prudhomme, boss of the Tour, said “happy to see you again Thibaut Pinot“ after a year and a half”ruined by her back injury“. He also quoted Romain Bardet “in dazzling form in the first ten days of the Giro d’Italia“.
The names of William Martin and of david gaudu were also pronounced. If Christian Prudhomme believes it will be difficult to get Pogacar or Roglic, he is considering the possibility of seeing a Frenchman finish in the top ten in the general classification or in a good fight for the polka dot jersey.
Romain Bardet will lead a DSM team composed in its majority of neophytes. Twice on the Tour podium (2nd in 2016, 3rd in 2017), the Frenchman is one of the two training executives with the German John Degenkold. At 31, Bardet is participating in his ninth Tour and will try to add at least a fourth stage victory to his record.
The French who are likely to win stages
France has a pool of riders with very different profiles who can claim stage victories. Notably Benoit Cosnefroy Where Warren Barguil whose qualities as a puncher could be appreciated, especially during the first week of the Tour, cut for men of their quality.
The just Champion of France Florian Senechalrecalled at the last minute to the Quick-Step team due to a covid teammate, could be a nice surprise, especially in the Northern events taking place on the cobblestones.
Victor Lafay, stage winner last year on the Giro but neophyte on the Tour will make his debut under the colors of the Cofidis team. Also a great first for Jeremy Lecrocq (27) who will evolve alongside Pierre Rolland and Cyril Lemoine in the B&B Hotels team.
There is no age to discover the Grande Boucle. At 30, Geoffrey Bouchard will participate for the first time in his career with the AG2R Citroën team. The climber won the mountain classification in 2021 on the Giro and in 2019 in the Tour of Spain.
A new one also from the side of the Arkea-Samsic team, led by Nairo Quintana. Matis Louvel discovers the Tour de France and could well continue to make a name for himself among sprinters.
The French who are absent
His absence will be sorely felt. Julian Alaphilippethe darling of the French public, will not participate in the Tour de France This year. The double world champion is not sufficiently recovered from his heavy fall during Liège-Bastogne-Liège and was not retained by his Quick-Step team.
The big favorites this year
Once again, the two big favorites this year are both Slovenian and stunning on a bike. In the first place, Tadej Pogacar who, at 23, has won every race he has entered this year. Already a double winner of the Tour, the rider arrives as the big favorite for this 109th edition. Within the UAE team, the Slovenian will be able to count on shock teammates to take him to the Champs-Elysées on July 24: Rafal Majka, Mikkel Bjerg, Brandon McNulty, Vegard Stake Laengen, but without the Swiss Mark Hirschi .
One of the few other men who can disturb him is also Slovenian: Primoz Roglic. Less fresh and older (32 years old), the leader of the Jumbo-Visma nevertheless won the Dauphiné at the end of June. More than ever, he will want to try to win the Grail that narrowly escaped him in 2020. The three-time Vuelta winner will be in direct competition with his teammate Jonas Vingegaard. The Dane, who came second in the Tour in 2021, is in great shape and will be keen to shine at home during the first stages.
Alexander Vlasov (Bora), Jack Haig (AUS, Bahrain), Enric Mas (ESP, Movistar), Daniel Felipe Martinez (COL, Ineos) will be ones to watch, like the former winner Geraint Thomas (GBR, Ineos).