Tadej Pogacar from UAE Team Emirates won the yellow jersey in back-to-back years, and the two-time defending champ is the consensus betting favorite to win the 2022 Tour de France at -165 odds. But, can anyone challenge the Slovenian wunderkind and deny him a Tour de France three-peat? Primoz Roglic (+250 odds), Jonas Vingegaard (+550), and former champ Geraint Thomas (+2500) are all hoping they can.
Pogacar snatched the yellow jersey away from fellow Slovenian Primoz Roglic on the penultimate stage of the 2020 Tour de France during an individual time trial.
Last year, Roglic suffered two gnarly crashes early in the 2021 Tour and dropped out. Roglic is itching to wear the coveted yellow jersey, and he’s the closest cyclist on the betting board at +250 odds to win his first Tour de France.
|Wout Van Aert||+5000||+5000|
|Miguel Angel Lopez||+8000||+8000|
This year’s Grand Depart will take place in Copenhagen, Denmark, with Stage 1 slated for July 1. The peloton will enter Paris for the final stage on July 24.
Bernal recovering from crash
Egan Bernal made history when he rode to victory in 2019. Bernal, from Team Ineos Grenadiers, became the youngest rider to win the Tour de France since World War II, and also made history as the first champion from Colombia. He failed to defend his title when he dropped out of the 2020 Tour due to a back injury. Bernal skipped the 2021 Tour de France to focus on winning another Grand Tour event. The gamble paid off and Bernal won the 2021 Giro D’Italia. He’s trying to become the youngest rider to win a Triple Crown, and only the Vuelta (aka Tour of Spain) eludes him.
Bernal has an uphill battle to get back into his old form. In late January, he suffered a near-fatal crash while training in Colombia. He smacked into the back of a bus and underwent multiple surgeries to repair a fractured vertebra. He also suffered a punctured lung and broken ribs, not to mention a fractured femur and patella.
“Racing is still far away,” said Bernal. “Winning or taking part in a race is not in my head. There is no sure date yet. It is difficult to know when I will be able to come back.”
The tough-as-nails Bernal is back to training less than four months after his accident. Ineos didn’t give a specific timetable for his return, but they hinted that Bernal could start racing again as early as July. Does that mean he’ll make a heroic effort at the Vuelta, which begins in late August and runs through early September in Spain?
Don’t sleep on Jonas Vingegaard
You can back Bernal at +5000 odds to win the 2022 Tour de France, but save your money because he’s not even guaranteed a spot on the Ineos roster. Instead, take a flier on one of Bernal’s teammates at Ineos, Geraint Thomas (+2500), who won the 2018 Tour de France.
Richard Carapaz — the runner-up at the Giro d’Italia — recently said he won’t ride the Tour de France this year. He finished in third place last year, but he’ll wait until 2024 before he takes another shot at the yellow jersey.
Heading into the 2022 Tour, Team Jumbo-Visma has two strong riders trying to pick off Pogacar, with veteran Roglic and up-and-coming superstar Jonas Vingegaard.
Roglic is currently racing at the Criterium du Dauphine to prep for the Tour de France.
“It’s going OK, but definitely I’m not at my best,” said Roglic. “I need these kind of things to improve. Mentally I’m good.”
Roglic has been getting all the non-Pogacar money at +250 odds.
Vingegaard made a name for himself at the 2022 Tour when he finished in second place in Paris. The former fisherman has a difficult task in trying to overcome Pogacar while also being a good teammate for Roglic.
Vingegaard was supposed to be a domestique for Roglic and Jumbo-Visma last year, but after Roglic dropped out of the 2021 Tour, Vingegaard became the team’s main GC contender.
Viva la France
A French rider hasn’t won the yellow jersey since 1985 — a long drought lasting 37 years and counting. Cycling fans in France wonder if they’ll ever claim the top spot on the podium ever again.
Julian Alaphilippe came the closest a couple of years ago, and his epic and insane stage wins in the mountains fired up French fans for the first time in decades. Alaphilippe is +5000 odds to win the 2022 Tour de France. He’s a long shot, but keep an eye on him to win an individual stage early in the race.
Other French riders of note include Thibaut Pinot at +6500 odds and David Gaudu at +8000 odds.
Bernard Hinault, aka the Badger, is the last Frenchman to win the yellow jersey. In 1985, Hinault won a close race against his teammate Greg LeMond. The two were featured in one of the best 30 for 30 documentary films titled “Slaying the Badger.”
Check out OG’s coverage of the Tour de France.