Skip to main content

Brits on Tour – the eight British riders taking on the Tour de France

Froome Thomas Pidcock Tour de France 2022 Brits on Tour
Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Tom Pidock are among the eight British rider taking on the Tour de France (Image credit: Getty Images composite)

Riders from all around the world will be rolling down the start ramp in Copenhagen to kick off the 2022 Tour de France on Friday, with the peloton consisting of men from nations as varied as Norway, New Zealand, Colombia, and South Africa.

There are, of course, plenty of riders from the traditional cycling powerhouses of central Europe taking the start, while nine Australians and now – with the late addition of Canadian Guillaume Boivin (Israel-Premier Tech) to the start list – 11 North Americans will also be racing. There's also a small British representation at the race, with eight riders taking the start in Denmark this week.

It's down a few riders on last year, when a record 10 British riders started the race, equal with 2015, with big names such as Mark Cavendish, Simon Yates, Tao Geoghegan Hart, and Hugh Carthy not lining up.

There are still two former winners racing the Tour this year, though, as well as another GC contender, stage hunters, and domestiques. Read on to get the full rundown of the British riders starting the 2022 Tour de France.

Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers)

VADUZ LIECHTENSTEIN JUNE 19 Geraint Thomas of The United Kingdom and Team INEOS Grenadiers celebrates winning the yellow leader jersey on the podium ceremony after the 85th Tour de Suisse 2022 Stage 8 a 256km individual time trial stage from Vaduz to Vaduz tourdesuisse2022 WorldTour ITT on June 19 2022 in Vaduz Liechtenstein Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Thomas is in form having won the Tour de Suisse (Image credit: Tim de WaeleGetty Images)

At the age of 36, 2018 winner Thomas is back as Ineos Grenadiers co-leader this time around and a real podium contender after winning the Tour de Suisse earlier this month.

There he got the better of riders like Sergio Higuita, Jakob Fuglsang, and Remco Evenepoel, during what was really the first week of the season where he has shown his top form.

Of the top two favourites – Tadej Pogačar and Primož Roglič – he hasn't been in a head-to-head battle with either since taking third at the 2019 Tour de Romandie, which Roglič won. Even if he was impressive in Switzerland, logically he's behind the pair in the pecking order until he can prove otherwise.

Ineos do have strength in numbers, though, with Dani Martínez and Adam Yates (see below) co-leading the squad with Thomas. While a leadership 'trident' hasn't worked out for other teams in the past – see Movistar's recent history – Ineos going on the offensive in the mountains could spring a surprise.

Chris Froome (Israel-Premier Tech)

British Chris Froome of IsraelPremier Tech pictured at the start of the first stage of the Criterium du Dauphine cycling race 192 km between La VoultesurRhone and Beauchastel France Sunday 05 June 2022 BELGA PHOTO DAVID STOCKMAN Photo by DAVID STOCKMAN BELGA MAG Belga via AFP Photo by DAVID STOCKMANBELGA MAGAFP via Getty Images

Froome is a wildcard having recently achieved his best result since 2019 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Four-time champion and Thomas' old teammate Froome has had a very tough time of it since his major crash at the 2019 Critérium du Dauphiné. It's been a battle to get back to anything like the dominant form he showed before that career-threatening accident, but things are looking up.

A month ago, at the Classic Alpes-Maritimes he achieved his best result since 2019 with an 11th place, even if it was four minutes down on teammates Fuglsang and Michael Woods, who took the one-two.

The 37-year-old was hit by illness at the Dauphiné, so we don't have much else to go on and no real idea of what he's capable of at the Tour. A return to GC contention is a pipe dream but expect him to be seen working for Fuglsang and Woods and taking his own chances in the break if he has the form.

Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers)

KUSNACHT SWITZERLAND JUNE 12 Adam Yates of United Kingdom and Team INEOS Grenadiers competes during the 85th Tour de Suisse 2022 Stage 1 a 1776km stage from Kusnacht to Kusnacht 679m ourdesuisse2022 WorldTour on June 12 2022 in Kusnacht Switzerland Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Yates is recovering from a COVID-19 infection suffered at the Tour de Suisse (Image credit: Tim de WaeleGetty Images)

Yates is part two of the Ineos leadership trio, the 29-year-old returning to the Tour after missing last year's race. His form is in question after he admitted that he struggled with COVID-19 after testing positive for the virus at the Tour de Suisse.

In a pre-Tour press conference, he said that he didn't lose much form during his illness but would have to wait for the opening time trial in Copenhagen to find out how he's going.

As such, it's hard to make any major proclamations about what Yates can do in France. He started the season well with second at the UAE Tour and fourth at Paris-Nice, though both were behind Pogačar and Roglič, and as is the case with Thomas, it's tough to envisage a scenario in which he'll beat them – even if he is in top form from Friday onwards.

Fred Wright (Bahrain Victorious)

Ronde van Vlaanderen 2022 - Tour of Flanders - 106th Edition - Antwerp - Oudenaarde 272,5 km - 03/04/2022 - Fred Wright (GBR - Bahrain Victorious) - photo Gregory Van Gansen/SprintCyclingAgency©2022

Wright starts his second Tour in a row for the embattled Bahrain Victorious team (Image credit: Sprint Cycling Agency)

After making his Tour debut last year in service of Jack Haig, who was forced to abandon on stage 3, Wright returns to the police raid-prone Bahrain Victorious team, again as a domestique for the Australian GC hopeful.

Last October, the 23-year-old was a couple of seconds away from becoming British road champion, and this year he still awaits the first breakthrough win of his three-year career. A seventh place that few expected at the Tour of Flanders is his standout of 2022 so far.

With Haig and Damiano Caruso leading the GC fight and Matej Mohorič and Dylan Teuns set to hunt stages, Wright likely isn't going to get a lot of leeway to go for his own chances during the Tour. He will be a key domestique for the team leaders, though.

Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers)

WAREGEM BELGIUM MARCH 30 Thomas Pidcock of United Kingdom and Team INEOS Grenadiers on third place poses on the podium ceremony after the 76th Dwars Door Vlaanderen 2022 Mens Elite a 1837km one day race from Roeselare to Waregem DDV22 DDVmen WorldTour on March 30 2022 in Waregem Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Pidcock is 'a free electron' at his debut Tour (Image credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)

The Olympic mountain bike and world cyclo-cross champion is the only British rider making his Tour de France debut this year. Like teammate Yates, though, he's on the comeback from COVID-19 after catching the virus in Switzerland.

His form, too, is under question, then, but he'll have a chance to grow into the race rather than being 'on it' from day one. Of course, the 22-year-old will be expected to work for Thomas, Yates and Martínez, but there will be opportunities for him and other teammates to fight for their own glory.

Pidcock confirmed in a pre-race interview that he's hoping to "maybe try and win a stage" in addition to working for others. As the squad's lead directeur sportif Steve Cummings told Cyclingnews earlier this week – Pidcock has "a role as a 'free electron', to take his chances where he can."

Connor Swift (Arkéa-Samsic)

KNOKKEHEIST BELGIUM JUNE 16 Connor Swift of United Kingdom and Team Arka Samsic during the team presentation prior to the 91st Baloise Belgium Tour 2022 Stage 2 a 1756km stage from Beveren to KnokkeHeist BaloiseBelgiumTour on June 16 2022 in KnokkeHeist Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Expect Swift to be on lead-out and breakaway duty (Image credit: Luc ClaessenGetty Images)

26-year-old Swift makes his third Tour appearance in a row for French squad Arkéa-Samsic, who he joined back in mid-2019. Since then, he's been working in the sprints for André Greipel and Nacer Bouhanni.

This time he'll be helping out Amaury Capiot and Hugo Hofstetter in the flat finishes, though neither are top favourites for stage wins – Capiot hasn't raced the Tour before while Hofstetter collected a top-four place in 2020.

Swift won't be expected to assist team leaders Nairo Quintana and Warren Barguil in their natural terrain of the high mountains, so should have some leeway to infiltrate the breakaways here and there.

Luke Rowe (Ineos Grenadiers)

MOOSALP SWITZERLAND JUNE 17 Luke Rowe of United Kingdom and Team INEOS Grenadiers leads the peloton during the 85th Tour de Suisse 2022 Stage 6 a 1775km stage from Locarno to Moosalp 2048m ourdesuisse2022 WorldTour on June 17 2022 in Moosalp Switzerland Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Road captain Rowe will be working for his team as ever (Image credit: Tim de WaeleGetty Images)

The fourth and final Ineos Grenadiers rider on our list, Luke Rowe is one of the most experienced British riders at the Tour, his seven appearances second only to Thomas' 11.

Unlike the three GC leaders and stage hunters Pidcock and Filippo Ganna, though, Rowe's glory will come when the team wins rather than any personal stage victories. The 32-year-old is the road captain of the squad, helping out on all terrain however he can.

While the Welshman will be expected to be at the service of the team leaders throughout the race, his skills on the cobbles should come in very handy as the team navigates the Paris-Roubaix pavé on stage 5.

Owain Doull (EF Education-EasyPost)

COPENHAGEN DENMARK JUNE 29 A general view of Alberto Bettiol of Italy Stefan Bissegger of Switzerland Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio of Colombia Owain Doull of United Kingdom Ruben Guerreiro of Portugal Mark Padun of Ukraine Neilson Powless of United States Jonas Rutsch of Germany Rigoberto Uran Uran of Colombia and Team EF Education Easypost with special Rapha x Palace Skateboards during the Team Presentation of the 109th Tour de France 2022 at Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen City TDF2022 on June 29 2022 in Copenhagen Denmark Photo by Stuart FranklinGetty Images

Doull forms part of a versatile – and unmissable – EF team this July (Image credit: Stuart FranklinGetty Images)

Rounding out the British Tour selection is a third Welshman, Doull. The 29-year-old transferred from Ineos during the off-season and this July makes his Tour de France debut with his new squad EF Education-EasyPost.

A veteran of the track and an Olympic champion in the Team Pursuit, Doull possesses a quick finish, though is a level below the top sprint contenders like Wout van Aert, Caleb Ewan, and Fabio Jakobsen.

In an eclectic and versatile EF team, he'll be expected to help others, with several of his teammates strong options for a stage win on all different terrain. Doull said he's realising a "childhood dream" this July, and he could make the breakaway a few times himself, too.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

after your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Daniel Ostanek
Daniel Ostanek

Daniel Ostanek is production editor at Cyclingnews, having joined in 2017 as a freelance contributor and later being hired as staff writer. Prior to joining the team, he had written for most major publications in the cycling world, including CyclingWeekly, Rouleur, and CyclingTips.

 

Daniel has reported from the world's top races, including the Tour de France and the spring Classics, and has interviewed many of the sport's biggest stars, including Wout van Aert, Remco Evenepoel, Mark Cavendish, Demi Vollering, and Anna van der Breggen.

 

As well as original reporting, news and feature writing, and production work, Daniel also runs The Leadout newsletter and oversees How to Watch guides throughout the season. His favourite races are Strade Bianche and the Volta a Portugal, and he rides a Colnago C40.