Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogačar at the 2023 Tour de France.

Preview: Who will win the 2024 Tour de France?

A closer look at the GC favorites and the outsiders for the 2024 Tour.

Dane Cash
by Dane Cash 26.06.2024 Photography by
Kristof Ramon and Cor Vos
More from Dane +

The 2024 Tour de France is just days away and now that Red Bull-Bora-Hansgrohe is official, all 22 teams have announced their rosters for the race. Now that we know who will be at the start line in Florence, we can try to tackle the big question: Who will win the 2024 Tour?

There will be no shortage of stars vying for yellow this year, even despite a crash earlier in the season that sidelined several big names for a time. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) is hunting for the Giro-Tour double, Jonas Vingegaard (Visma-Lease a Bike) will hope to be healthy enough to defend his Tour title, Primož Roglič (Red Bull-Bora-Hansgrohe) has switched teams in his pursuit of an elusive first Tour win, and beyond those favorites, there are plenty of other notables on the start list who will try to step up and upset the favorites.

We have already taken a stage-by-stage look at the 2024 Tour (you can check that out here if you haven’t seen it yet), so now let’s break down the field of GC contenders.

Pogačar vs. Vingegaard

It wasn’t that long ago that the 2024 Tour de France seemed destined to deliver a third straight Vingegaard victory, what with Pogačar deciding to race the Giro d’Italia first. Three months after Vingegaard’s major crash at the Itzulia Basque Country, however, Pogačar is the pre-race favorite – but it’s close. Vingegaard’s form is a huge question mark, but if he is fit, this could be a great duel between the two best GC riders in the world.

Trying to predict who will win the race really comes down to that great unknown more than anything else, but for the sake of argument, let’s say that Vingegaard is healthy enough to be a contender. Pogačar does still have some advantages here. For one thing, the route probably favors him as much as any Grand Tour route could today. There is a gravel stage and there are a few punchy days early on where Pogačar will have an edge, and there are fewer truly brutal high-mountain climbs – where a healthy Vingegaard would have the edge – than we’ve seen in recent years.

Tadej Pogačar at the Giro d'Italia.
Tadej Pogačar was unstoppable at the Giro.

Pogačar’s team also looks stronger thanks to Visma-Lease a Bike’s uncanny run of crashes and health woes this season, including the latest news that Sepp Kuss will miss the Tour as he recovers from COVID-19. Meanwhile, Pogačar’s support riders Adam Yates and João Almeida just went one-two overall at the Tour de Suisse with two stage wins each. UAE is in a position to put Vingegaard under pressure early in a Tour with some tough first-week stages, which means he could struggle to build his way into form.

That said, the difficulty of the Giro-Tour double should not be underestimated. It hasn’t been done in more than 25 years. Everyone who has tried it in this millennium has come up short – even four-time Tour winner Chris Froome. Pogačar has a tendency to look invincible (and he did at the Giro) right up until he suddenly doesn’t, and if Vingegaard is close to his 2023 form, he will remind the world why we thought that this Tour was a foregone conclusion before his crash. At full strength, Vingegaard is the best Grand Tour rider in the world. Even at a little bit less than full strength, and even facing a strong UAE team, he could still beat a Pogačar with a Giro in his legs.

Jonas Vingegaard at Tirreno-Adriatico.
Jonas Vingegaard dominated Tirreno-Adriatico before a crash derailed his spring.

We may know relatively soon just how Vingegaard is feeling; the first few stages feature some steep climbs, and then the peloton will tackle the Col du Galibier on stage 4. If Vingegaard can handle those early challenges, we could be in for a thrilling battle.

The third man

For all the focus on Pogačar and Vingegaard, there is another four-time Grand Tour winner on the Tour start list at the head of a new team. Primož Roglič could be forgiven for feeling a bit slighted by preview writers like yours truly leaving out of the top tier of Tour contenders, though perhaps he’s happy to be flying a bit under the radar despite his palmarès. In any case, he looked strong if not perfect at the Critérium du Dauphiné, and, as we’ve already explained, there are reasons to doubt both Pogačar and Vingegaard.

Primož Roglič in the yellow jersey during stage 8 of the 2024 Critérium du Dauphiné.
Primož Roglič won the Dauphiné earlier this month, but it was close.

A balanced Tour suits Roglič as much as it suits the other major GC contenders in this race, all of whom are capable on the steep stuff and against the clock, and his Red Bull-Bora team is as good as it has ever been with former Giro winner Jai Hindley and Aleksandr Vlasov as top lieutenants. This squad has come a long way since its stage-hunting NetApp days, when a top 10 for Leopold König was a crowning achievement of the season; Roglič has what it takes to fight not just for the podium but for the win.

Roglič has already won a Tour stage going over the Galibier in his career. Stay tuned on stage 4 for the other Slovenian GC contender to show people that he belongs at the top of the favorites conversation.

The outsiders

Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-Quick Step) leads the third tier of GC hopefuls. He would probably rather be seen as a second- or even first-tier favorite, but he just wasn’t good enough at the Critérium du Dauphiné to merit such a designation. In the two years since his Vuelta win, Evenepoel has enjoyed great success as a one-day racer and as a stagehunter, but he has not had the GC results to justify consideration as a true Tour favorite – at least not yet. Still, he will like the route, with its two time trials and lack of super-steep high-mountain climbs, and he has a new and valuable lieutenant now in the form of Mikel Landa.

Remco Evenepoel wins the final stage of Paris-Nice.
Remco Evenepoel has proven to be an excellent stagehunter and one-day racer, but top-tier GC wins have been a bit harder to come by.

Speaking of lieutenants, behind Evenepoel on the list of favorites are several superdomestiques who could very well be in the mix for the GC battle, starting with several on UAE: Yates, Almeida, and Juan Ayuso. Yates was third at the Tour last year and although he will be less thrilled about the two time trials than most other contenders, he did show us at the Tour de Suisse that he is quite handy against the clock now. Ayuso is an up-and-comer whose ceiling remains unknown, but who seems poised for a breakout in a Grand Tour, while Almeida is usually reliable for at least a top 10.

Matteo Jorgenson is another lieutenant with the potential to lead a big team (i.e. Visma) to success, especially given the question marks around Vingegaard’s form. This is a good Tour route for the American and he did just take runner-up honors at the Dauphiné only eight seconds behind Roglič. Unlike the other names that we have mentioned thus far, he has yet to deliver a particularly noteworthy GC result in a Grand Tour, but that should change this year given the season he has had.

The aforementioned Hindley and Vlasov are other lieutenants with potential to get into the GC mix should something waylay Roglič on the journey from Florence to Nice, and to be frank, Roglič does have a history of misfortune in Grand Tours.

The once-mighty Ineos Grenadiers have put their faith in Carlos Rodríguez after his fifth place at last year’s Tour, and the Spaniard can’t be counted out. Still just 23 yeas old, he is constantly improving. He won the Tour de Romandie earlier this year and took a stage and fourth overall at the Dauphiné. He is also flying more under the radar than is normal for an Ineos GC leader. Hopefully (for the sake of an entertaining race), his team will let him ride aggressively in the mountains. He took a stage win ahead of none other than Pogačar and Vingegaard last year, after all.

Carlos Rodríguez wins stage 8 of the Critérium du Dauphiné.
Carlos Rodríguez has climbed very well in 2024.

Ineos also has former Tour winner Egan Bernal looking better now than he has since his 2022 crash, as well as other past Tour winner and regular GT podium finisher Geraint Thomas. Then there’s Tom Pidcock, who is still looking for a big GC result to justify all the hype around his Grand Tour ambitions, but says he’s targeting stage wins this year. For at least two of those three riders, it would not be a big surprise to see them in the top 10, but nor would it be a big surprise to see them completely out of contention early.

2018 Vuelta champ Simon Yates (Jayco-AlUla) rode to fourth at last year’s Tour behind his brother Adam and he might merit more attention if he had found more success thus far in 2024, but his stage win and overall victory at the AlUla Tour, which did not have a particularly impressive field, are the sum total of his strong results this year. Still, he’s an experienced racer who will like the punchy start to the Tour.

The best of the rest

Former Giro winner and Tour podium finisher Richard Carapaz will lead the charge for EF Education EasyPost, but his form is a very large question mark after a crash at the Tour de Suisse. Enric Mas gives Movistar a very reliable top-10 contender, though anything more than that would be a surprise against the best in the world and amid a so-so season. David Gaudu will lead Groupama-FDJ but is iffy after testing positive for Covid-19 last week, up-and-comer Felix Gall will see what he can do for AG2R Citroën, and Pello Bilbao will try to improve on last year’s sixth-place ride for Bahrain Victorious.

Lastly, we will give a mention to newly minted GC contender Derek Gee (Israel-Premier Tech), who has followed up his run of near misses at last year’s Giro with more success this year, taking a stage and even third overall at the Dauphiné. It’s hard to know what to expect from Gee, seeing as that Giro was the only Grand Tour he has ever raced, but he has sure looked good this year, and he is an all-around talent who could be in the mix across several different kinds of stages. The sky is the limit for the 26-year-old Canadian.

The Escape Collective star ratings:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐: Tadej Pogačar, Jonas Vingegaard
⭐⭐⭐⭐: Primož Roglič
⭐⭐⭐: Remco Evenepoel, Matteo Jorgenson, Adam Yates
⭐⭐: Carlos Rodríguez, Jai Hindley, Simon Yates
⭐: Juan Ayuso, João Almeida, Aleksandr Vlasov, Richard Carapaz, Enric Mas, David Gaudu, Pello Bilbao, Felix Gall, Derek Gee

What did you think of this story?