4 Riders to who Might Just win The Tour de France 2019
On 6th July, one of the biggest and prestigious sporting events on the planet, the Tour de France begins in Brussels. It is an event packed with emotion as pro riders take on 3,460 kms across France in 21 stages. Every year sees heartbreak, triumph and surprises as the event unfolds. This is one of the most watched sporting events in the world and one of the most famous.
So, who is going to win it? With Chris Froome out due to a high-speed cycling accident, the field is arguably a little more open than it would have been. One of the following could be standing on the podium in Paris at the end of the race.
Jakob Fuglsang – Astana
Jakob Fuglsang is an experienced rider who won this year’s Liège–Bastogne–Liège and the Critérium du Dauphiné, the eight-day event. He goes into Le Tour on a high with victory in the Dauphiné. Given that he lost two races under controversial circumstances, one by a jury decision in the Itzulia Basque Country that saw the Dane relinquish his third-place podium finish to fourth, and the second down to an arguably bad team decision in the Amstel Gold, the Dauphiné win can be seen as a turning point in Fuglsang’s season.
Although the team decision cost him in the Amstel Gold, the Asana Team has been outstanding this year. It has won 28 races, 14 of which has been at WorldTour level and a further four victories have come in the form of a Grand Tour stage or Monument. Given the nature of the Tour de France having a good and disciplined team is crucial to the ‘star’ rider clinching the win. If the team performs, Fuglsang has to have a fighting shot at winning this great race.
Egan Bernal – Team Ineos
The young Columbian’s season was unfolding well having won Paris-Nice and was due to lead Team Ineos in the Giro d’Italia. It was not to be for Bernal, however, who crashed during a training ride in Andorra fracturing his collarbone.
Ineos has a lot of faith in Bernal who fulfilled his domestique duties in last year’s tour brilliantly, allowing Thomas to win and Froome to clinch third. Some publications have stated that he was the architect of this victory.
The 22-year-old is one of the rising stars of Ineos. The question is, will he be in the best condition to repeat his performance of last year?
Geraint Thomas – Team Ineos
Geraint Thomas’ recent crash has cast further doubt on the ability of Team Ineos to produce the winner in this year’s Tour de France. Thomas, last year’s winner, is a key player in the team. Although the crash left the Welshman with only a minor injury, it will dampen his preparation for Le Tour.
That said, in a recent interview, he was ready to go and feeling optimistic about another Yellow Jersey win.
His season has had a slow start, but he achieved a podium finish at the Tour de Romandie which saw a return to form for the rider.
With Froome out, Ineos will be looking to Thomas to plug the gap and produce.
Adam Yates - Mitchelton-Scott
Adam Yates’ form so far this season has been consistent and impressive. On a personal level, he must be pleased that he is finally stepping out of the shadow of his twin brother Simon Yates who has often been cited as having the edge.
The highlight of the season so far is the stage win in Volta Ciclista a Catalunya. The Englishman took the win following a group sprint from the summit of Vallter 2000 beating Ineos’ Egan Bernal and UAE Team Emirates’ Dan Martin. He finished second overall to Astana’s Miguel Angel Lopez.
He took another stage win at Itzulia Basque Country beating both Dan Martin and Astana’s Jakob Fuglsang.
In a dramatic change of fortunes, Yates who had a strong chance of winning the Critérium du Dauphiné dropped out with just 50 kms to go in the final stage due to a stomach upset.
Could Yates be the surprise rider of the tournament?
Le Tour comes to a close on the 28th July 2019 and the winner crowned. Nobody predicted last year’s winner, maybe a rider will come from ‘nowhere’ to win the Tour de France again. We’ll see.