Cycling news reports make it clear that we’re in the golden age for British cycling with Chris Froome riding like a legend. UK riders like Chris Froome have dominated the Tour de France along with famous Italian cyclists in recent years. Legendary Italian rider Fausto Coppi would never believe the Giro d’Italia rivalries we’re seeing in 2022. The trend in new cyclists becoming top riders may just be happening because cycling is no longer one of the most expensive sports to get involved in.
Six of the last seven editions of the world-famous Grand Tour event have gone to cross-Channel raiders. First, Bradley Wiggins triumphed in 2012, then Chris Froome won four of the next five, and Geraint Thomas became the latest Briton to sport the yellow jersey.
While Team Sky is now Team Ineos and looks as strong as ever, challengers emerge. In light of that, we look at three riders who can challenge the British dominance of the Tour de France.
Former Giro d’Italia winner Tom Dumoulin is the apparent pick from outside UK duo Thomas and Froome for Grand Tour glory in France this year.
The 28-year-old Dutchman is nicknamed The Butterfly of Maastricht after his hometown. Dumoulin is out to put the Belgian border town on the map for reasons other than European politics.
He crucially got in amongst Thomas and Froome as Tour de France runner-up last year but won’t be content with second place again. While he has almost two minutes to find on Thomas his total time from 2018, Dumoulin has youth on his side compared to both Britons.
While Froome is a hot favorite to regain his Tour de France crown and Thomas right behind him at 5/1, Dumoulin looks a solid each-way alternative at 6/1. A quarter of the outright odds are available on three places, so he’s essentially 6/4 to replicate what he achieved last year.
Making the switch from a ski jumper to a cyclist marks Slovenia’s Primoz Roglic as a unique athlete. He was about a minute behind Froome when completing the 2018 Tour de France in fourth.
Roglic has started 2019 in fine form, winning the UAE Tour and Tirreno-Adriatico across the breadth of central Italy. If he continues throughout the year in this vein, then the 29-year-old will fancy his chances of going even better in France.
A top-price of 14/1 for the improving Roglic also has an each-way value from a Tour de France betting perspective. He has won individual stages during the race in each of the last two years.
Colombia’s climbing cyclist specialist Nairo Quintana has gone close to besting the Britons before, when second in 2013 and 2015, then third in 2016. Although only 10th in last year’s Tour de France, his record of always completing the race in five previous attempts commands respect.
Quintana rides for Movistar, who topped the team classification in three of the last four years. That shows you their roster, which includes previous year’s individual seventh Mikel Landa, is consistently producing riders that complete the rigors of this Grand Tour.
Quintana cannot be discounted; the 14/1 price on winning the Tour de France could again be a bit of each-way value. It’s the one Grand Tour that has eluded him following triumphs in the Giro d’Italia in 2014 and Vuelta an Espana in 2016.