Tour de France 2024: Vingegaard and Pogacar are the top favorites, but not the only ones

"The Grande Boucle" starts on Saturday in Florence and, for the first time since 1905, the finish line will not be in Paris.

Tour de Francia
Jonas Vingegaard Jonas Vingegaard en un entrenamiento con el equipo Visma-Lease a Bike en Florencia y luciendo la nueva tricota del equipo, que no podrá vestir el tradicional amarillo por ser el color del líder del Tour de Francia. (Jerome Delay/AP)

When Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogacar faced off in the hot July of 2023, the most important question was whether Pogacar would be physically ready to compete. This year, as both cyclists prepare to write the next chapter in one of the most important rivalries in the history of the Tour de France, the scenario has changed and now it is the Danish rider who arrives with doubts.


Pogacar, the Slovenian who has won the Tour de France twice and who finished behind Vingegaard in the last two editions, is in great physical shape before the start on Saturday in Florence, Italy. However, the physical condition of the current Danish champion is a concern after a serious crash that derailed his season.


What happened to Jonas Vingegaard?

Vingegaard was hospitalized for almost two weeks in Spain in April after a crash in the Itzulia (the Tour of the Basque Country) in which he suffered a fractured collarbone and ribs, as well as a collapsed lung.

"Of course, we don't know how far we can go. We are being cautious because he hasn't been able to compete and his preparation has not been ideal," admitted Merijn Zeeman, sports director of Team Visma-Lease a Bike, which last year achieved a record by winning, with different riders, the Giro d'Italia, the Tour de France, and the Vuelta a España.

Since the accident, Vingegaard has not had any competitive races, but he will be immediately put to the test with the first stage that will take the cyclists through a series of challenging hills and ascents in Tuscany.

Why does Pogacar arrive so well?

Regarding Pogacar, he just won the Giro d'Italia and will seek the unusual double with the Tour in one season, something that was last achieved in 1998 by Marco Pantani.

"We have worked hard all year as a team to prepare for this and we hope that we can give everyone something exciting to watch," said the Slovenian talent.

“Pogi” has a luxury team at UAE Emirates and will be supported by his teammates Juan Ayuso, Pavel Sivakov, Marc Soler, Nils Politt, Adam Yates, Joao Almeida, and Tim Wellens. They could be crucial to Pogacar's victory, as having competed and won the Giro, which also lasts three weeks and ended in late May, could take its toll on the Slovenian in the tough final stages of the Tour de France.

Are there any other candidates for the Tour de France?

At the level of Vingegaard and Pogacar, only the Slovenian Primoz Roglic can be considered. Last year, he won the Giro with Team Visma and this season he switched to BORA-Hansgrohe. The 34-year-old veteran comes from winning the Critérium du Dauphiné, considered a good warm-up for the Tour.

The young Belgian Remco Evenepoel, 24 years old, and rider of Soudal Quick-Step, is also considered a generational talent, as evidenced by his titles in the 2022 Vuelta a España, the 2022 Road World Championships, and the 2023 Time Trial World Championships. However, in the crash during the Itzulia where Vingegaard was also involved, he suffered a fracture of the right clavicle and right scapula. He raced in the Dauphiné, even donning the leader's jersey after the third stage, but the injury took its toll in the final stages and significantly lowered his chances for the Tour.

Other candidates to consider, at least for the podium, are the Spaniards Carlos Rodríguez (INEOS) and Juan Ayuso (UAE Emirates), the American Matteo Jorgenson (Visma-Lease a Bike), and the British Adam Yates (UAE Emirates).

What are the main innovations of the 2024 Tour?

For the first time since 1905, “La Grande Bouclé” will not finish on the Champs-Élysées in Paris because the schedule coincides with the Olympic Games. Due to logistical and security issues, the final stage will be in Nice on July 21, five days before the start of the Olympics.


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