Tour de France 2024: the Yellow Jersey Favorites


Excitement is coming up! Only a few days remain until the start of the Tour de France in Florence. How fit are the contenders for the yellow jersey, with the battle likely beginning on stage one?

>>>This text is based on the theses of Bernd Landwehr (

What can fans and spectators expect from defending champion Jonas Vingegaard, challenger Tadej Pogacar, debutant Remco Evenepoel, and veteran Primoz Roglic?

Alpecin Cycling analyzes the preparation of the favorites for the yellow jersey, evaluates their performances, and provides an outlook on the possible overall standings.

Jonas Vingegaard | Team Visma-Lease a Bike

27 years old | Grand Tour wins: 2 x Tour | Tour appearances: 3

© ASO , Pauline Ballet

Starting the Tour de France marks Jonas Vingegaard’s return to racing since his severe crash at the Tour of the Basque Country in April. Exactly 86 days have passed since the accident in which the defending Tour champion broke his collarbone and ribs and suffered a pneumothorax.

How good is the form of the two-time Tour winner? The race will provide an answer to this question. Of course, his team, Visma | Lease a Bike, would not have nominated the Dane for the year’s most important race if they feared he would be dropped right away. However, whether Vingegaard can truly compete for the overall victory is uncertain. The training performance data has been thoroughly analyzed, showing how strong he is compared to last year. But returning to racing after a long training break is no simple task, especially not at the Tour de France – the most stressful and hectic race in the world.

Vingegaard will undoubtedly be well-protected by his team in the initial days – as much as possible in the Tour. Whether he can stay out of trouble on the first tricky stages remains to be seen. A clear indication of his climbing form will come on the fourth stage – when the race tackles the Alpine giant Col du Galibier!

Whether Vingegaard becomes stronger relative to his rivals during the Tour or if his disrupted preparation affects his consistency will likely be revealed in the third week.

His team has made significant efforts to attribute the favorite role to the competition. Whether this is a tactical move or realism remains to be seen. From recent impressions, Vingegaard should not be underestimated and certainly ranks high among the favorites.

Tadej Pogacar | UAE Emirates Team

25 years old | Grand Tour wins: 2 x Tour, 1 x Giro | Tour appearances: 4


He dominated the Giro d’Italia, and now he’s aiming for the Tour victory. Will he be the first rider since Marco Pantani in 1998 to win both the Giro and the Tour in the same year? Many have tried since then, but all have failed. The double was considered nearly impossible. But now comes Pogacar, perhaps the greatest cycling talent of all time. His team, UAE, devised a plan in the winter and have been executing it consistently.

Strade Bianche, Milan-San Remo, Volta a Catalunya, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, and the Giro d’Italia – Pogacar has raced these five events this year, winning all but Milan-San Remo (where he finished third). With just 31 race days in his legs, Pogacar comes to his second Grand Tour of the year – only five more race days than Jonas Vingegaard had before his victories in the past two years.

Winning the Giro has certainly given Pogacar confidence and reduced some of the pressure. However, the Giro has also undoubtedly cost him some energy – both physically and mentally. How well he copes with the double burden will be seen in the race – but the Slovenian enters this Tour de France as the top favorite for the overall victory. After two defeats by Jonas Vingegaard, he aims to reclaim the yellow jersey and take revenge.

Team UAE is sending an extremely strong squad to the Tour. Rouleurs like Nils Politt and Pavel Sivakov, along with excellent climbers like Adam Yates and Joao Almeida. The strongest rider currently has the strongest team by his side – the favorite role is clearly assigned.

Primoz Roglic | Team Bora-Hansgrohe

34 years old | Grand Tour wins: 3 x Vuelta, 1 x Giro | Tour appearances: 5

Primoz Roglic Tour de France
© Stefan Rachow

Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España, Monuments, Olympic Gold – Primoz Roglic has won almost everything in his career. However, one major goal still eludes him – winning the Tour de France. Roglic has moved to Team Bora-hansgrohe to seize his last chances for a Tour victory – something that likely wouldn’t have been possible alongside Jonas Vingegaard. He has fully focused on the Tour, with the entire team built around him. The 34-year-old may not have many opportunities left – it’s now or never.

Primoz Roglic’s year hasn’t been ideal. At the start of the year, he struggled to find his rhythm. It took a while for him to settle into his new environment and start performing at his best. Then, he had a crash at the Tour of the Basque Country. Although not as severe as the injuries suffered by Vingegaard and Evenepoel, it still set him back.

The Critérium du Dauphiné served as a test run for the entire Bora team for the Tour de France. Roglic won the overall title and gained confidence. However, he didn’t perform so dominantly that he could be considered a top favorite for yellow alongside Pogacar. Roglic enters the Tour as a challenger – a candidate for a podium finish. For his team, which will compete as “RedBull-Bora-hansgrohe,” a podium finish would be a success. But for Roglic, it’s all about the victory. He already has a podium finish at the Tour – now he wants the win.

His team is very strong on all terrains – but so is the competition. In top form, he might challenge Pogacar and Vingegaard, but delivering a flawless, top-level performance over three weeks will be a significant challenge. Yet, this is what it will take to challenge Pogacar & Co.

Remco Evenepoel | Team Soudal-Quick Step

24 years old | Grand Tour wins: 1 x Vuelta | Tour appearances: 0

© Stefan Rachow

The Belgian prodigy embarks on his first Tour de France. Countless fans are eager to see how well Remco Evenepoel will perform in this Tour de France. His preparation was not ideal, as he was involved in a crash at the Tour of the Basque Country, breaking his collarbone and shoulder blade. At the Critérium du Dauphiné, he initially won the individual time trial convincingly, but then fell again and was not on the same level as the top riders, including winner Primoz Roglic, during the mountain stages.

Evenepoel has won the Vuelta, was world champion, and has multiple Monument wins – yet he is among those competing for the White Jersey for the best young rider in the Tour. This is his first Tour de France, and while he is undoubtedly highly motivated, the 24-year-old will likely have many more opportunities in the future at the world’s biggest race.

Evenepoel is not entering the Tour de France as a favorite for a podium spot. He aims to learn the race, gather valuable insights for the future, and return soon to compete for yellow. Every one of his races is closely followed in his Belgian homeland, with every statement and performance analyzed. He does not yet seem to be able to keep up with Pogacar and Vingegaard, and Roglic also appears stronger. A significant leap in performance between the Dauphiné and the Tour is unlikely. However, we will have to wait and see how the Belgian performs.

Remco Evenepoel is a star in Belgium. He is considered a prodigy and the “next Eddy Merckx,” expected to bring Belgium its next Tour triumph. For his debut, expectations are not extremely high, partly due to his relatively weak performance at the Dauphiné. This might actually benefit him during his first Tour.