From AG2R Citroën through to UAE Team Emirates, this is a complete team-by-team guide of all 22 squads and 176 riders taking part in in the 2022 Tour de France, which starts in Copenhagen on Friday, July 1.
All 18 WorldTour teams and the best-ranked ProTeam, Alpecin-Fenix, are automatically invited to the Tour de France this year. Organisers ASO have also designated wildcards to three more French ProTeams: B&B Hotels-KTM, Arkéa-Samsic and TotalEnergies.
Pre-race objectives vary enormously for each Tour team and their respective eight-man rosters reflect that. Some, like Tadej Pogačar’s UAE Team Emirates and Ineos Grenadiers, are looking for a top general classification result. Others, like Israel Premier-Tech and DSM, are more focused on stage victories. Yet others will be trying for bunch sprints, secondary classifications, time trials or just placing riders in as many breakaways as possible. And some, like Jumbo-Visma, have multiple goals that combine some or all of these possible targets.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that teams’ goals can vary enormously once the Tour is underway and unforeseen developments, like illnesses, abandons or major changes in the GC ranking, affect the race. But there is one factor in common: the Tour de France is the biggest bike race in the world and nobody wants to watch the sun set over the Champs-Elysées on the evening of July 24 without some kind of success in the previous three weeks to their name.
There are plenty of famous faces, in-form riders and new names to watch and discover. We have analysed every team, picking out their leaders and predicting each squad’s hopes and objectives.
Team leader: Ben O'Connor
Objective: GC and stage wins
Rider to watch: Bob Jungels
The French team return for their 29th Tour de France and set out targeting a third podium finish in nine years through Ben O'Connor. The Australian was a pick-up punt at the end of the 2020 transfer market but has been a resounding success at AG2R, finishing fourth at last year's Tour and quickly becoming their focal point with a new three-year contract.
Expectations were raised but O'Connor, who has had an inconsistent career, showed it was no flash in the pan and has only strengthened his status in the build-up to this Tour. At the Dauphiné, he was the clear 'best of the rest' behind the Jumbo-Visma duo of Primož Roglič and Jonas Vingegaard. With Tadej Pogačar and Ineos Grenadiers also to enter the equation, the podium is a tall order but not out of the question.
AG2R's squad will support O'Connor but not ignore the prospect of stage wins. Oliver Naesen will be O'Connor's henchman on the flat, in the wind, and especially on the cobbles on stage 5. Likewise Geoffrey Bouchard in the mountains, while Aurelien Paret-Peintre is more of a last-man and back-up GC rider.
The punchy Benoît Cosnefroy will look to attack wherever possible and it's worth keeping an eye on Bob Jungels, whose performance at the Tour de Suisse suggested he could be on his way back to his best after two difficult years of injury.
Full line-up: Ben O'Connor, Geoffrey Bouchard, Michael Cherel, Benoit Cosnefroy, Stan Dewulf, Oliver Naesen, Aurélien Paret-Peintre, Bob Jungels
Team leaders: Jasper Philipsen, Mathieu van der Poel
Objective: Stage wins
Rider to watch: The leaders
The Belgian team make their second Tour de France appearance after last year's blistering debut that saw Mathieu van der Poel win two stages and wear the yellow jersey, plus another stage win for Tim Merlier. It would have been the perfect Tour had Jasper Philipsen converted one of several near misses.
Philipsen has been given the nod over Merlier for the sole sprinter's slot, and he'll be given a solid lead-out service. That could even include Van der Poel, who set up Merlier's win last year and has ruled himself out of any bid for the green jersey. But while Philipsen is the nominated man for the flat stages, Van der Poel is the star of the team and capable of shining wherever he feels like it.
The cobbled day on stage 5 stands out, as do punchy finishes at Longwy and Lausanne in the first half of the race, while hilly and mountainous breakaways are on the cards and even a shout at the opening time trial in Copenhagen.
Elsewhere, Alexander Krieger will have extra lead-out responsibility in the absence of the injured Jonas Rickaert, while the likes of Silvan Dillier and Michael Gogl provide horsepower on the flat and rolling terrain.
Full line-up: Mathieu van der Poel, Jasper Philipsen, Michael Gogl, Alexander Krieger, Silvan Dillier, Kristian Sbaragli, Edward Planckaert, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck.
Team leaders: Jack Haig, Damiano Caruso
Objective: GC, stage wins
Rider to watch: Matej Mohorič
The Bahrain Victorious team ride the Tour on the back of an eventful appearance last year. They won three stages and the teams classification last year, but also saw their hotel raided by French police in an anti-doping operation.
Matej Mohorič, winner of two of those stages last year, returns as a formidable breakaway threat on the undulating days, while Dylan Teuns can do the same on the more mountainous stuff, as he did into Le Grand Bornand last year.
Meanwhile, they return with bolstered GC ambitions after Jack Haig crashed out with a broken collarbone on stage 3 last year. The Australian returns to the fold but does so alongside Damiano Caruso, who shed off his career-long domestique status with his 2021 Giro podium and has seamlessly settled into leadership life ever since.
Caruso finished fourth and Haig fifth at the recent Critérium du Dauphiné and both go in on a similar level, in the bracket of riders looking for the top-five and maybe even the podium. They don't have quite the climbing team sent to accompany Mikel Landa at the Giro but the pair can quietly have their say.
Full line-up: Damiano Caruso, Jack Haig, Matej Mohoric, Luis Leon Sanchez, Dylan Teuns, Jan Tratnik, Fred Wright, Kamil Gradek
Team leaders: Dylan Groenewegen
Objective: Stage wins
Rider to watch: Michael Matthews
The identity of the Australian team has chopped and changed over the past decade, from happy-go-lucky stage hunters to GC team. For this Tour, they're a sprint outfit, led by Dylan Groenewegen and with serious resources devoted to his success.
Things might have been a little different had Simon Yates recovered more quickly from the knee injury that wrecked his Giro d'Italia. In his absence, Nick Schultz is the only rider who gives the team a real presence in the mountains.
Groenewegen won four stages of the Tour during his time at Jumbo-Visma and signed for BikeExchange following his ban for the crash involving Fabio Jakobsen at the 2020 Tour de Pologne. He has won five times this season and, even though they've all been in lower-level races, there's a real conviction among the management that he can deliver at the Tour. Luka Mezgec will be his lead-out man, while Jack Bauer, Amund Grondahl Jansen and Luke Durbridge are all capable of mucking in.
That leaves Michael Matthews feeding off scraps. Once a surefire green jersey contender, the Australian's win rate has dipped dramatically in the past few years. He'll get his chance on the hillier days where Groenewegen gets dropped but will otherwise have to carve out his opportunities in the breakaways.
Full line-up: Dylan Groenwegen, Michael Matthews, Luka Mezgec, Nick Schultz, Luke Durbridge, Jack Bauer, Amund Grondahl Jansen, Chris Juul-Jensen
Team leaders: Aleksandr Vlasov
Objective: GC and stage wins
Rider to watch: Max Schachmann
Fresh off their victory at the Giro d'Italia, Bora-Hansgrohe head into the Tour de France with a sharpened focus on the overall classification. That means there's no room for sprinter Sam Bennett, the Irishman who won the green jersey in 2020. Bennett returned to the team this year but has struggled for form and has been deemed surplus to requirements.
That means the team are getting fully behind Aleksandr Vlasov, who is a legitimate contender for the final podium.
Vlasov had to leave the recent Tour de Suisse with COVID-19. A lot will depend on how badly he was affected, and how much of his preparation training load has been written off. If fully fit, he's seen by many of his rivals as a podium threat, just below the Pogačar, Roglič, Vingegaard trio in the overall hierarchy. At 26, he's really started to hit his stride this season, with stage race victories at Tour de Romandie and Volta a Catalunya, a podium at Basque Country and a sense of 'what might have been' at Suisse.
Patrick Konrad and Felix Großschartner provide the climbing support. Lennard Kämna, for all the attention garnered by his turn for Jai Hindley when dropping Richard Carapaz at the Giro, is more of a lone breakaway hunter. Max Schachmann is an all-rounder who can go deep into the mountains but also shine on many stages himself, while Nils Politt is a Classics-style rider for the transition-day breaks.
Interestingly, Bennett's lead-out man Danny van Poppel has made the cut and could get involved in the sprints instead, with Marco Haller bumped up the lead-out train.
Full line-up: Aleksandr Vlasov, Max Schachmann, Danny van Poppel, Patrick Konrad, Felix Grosschartner, Nils Politt, Marco Haller, Lennard Kamna
Team leaders: Pierre Rolland
Rider to watch: Franck Bonnamour
The French team set up by Jérôme Pineau have had a trying season, with question marks over the spirit in the camp. They go into this Tour without an obvious source of success, with no GC outsider and no real sprint option after Bryan Coquard moved to Cofidis. Instead, it's all about the breakaways, and it'd be surprising to seem them miss one between now and the end of July.
Pierre Rolland won the polka-dot jersey at the recent Dauphiné and will surely be out for more of the same from the start of the race. The Frenchman was top 10 with stage wins at the 2011 and 2012 Tours and, having hinted at retirement, will want to make the most and satisfy the fans' desire for attacks.
Elsewhere, Franck Bonnamour was awarded the 'super-combativity' prize for his constant breakaway efforts at last year's Tour, and this year while he's looking to stay aggressive the plan is to bring in a more targeted approach by taking on the stages where there is a real chance of success. Alexis Gougeard is also never shy when it comes to a break.
Full line-up: Cyril Barthe, Franck Bonnamour, Alexis Gougeard, Jérémy Lecroq, Cyril Lemoine, Luca Mozzato, Pierre Rolland, Sebastian Schonberger
Team leaders: Guillaume Martin, Bryan Coquard
Objective: GC, stage wins
Rider to watch: Victor Lafay
The French team clock up their 26th Tour de France appearance, but do so looking to scratch a long and uncomfortable itch. They have not won a stage since 2008. For a respected French team, it's not ideal, especially now they're back in the WorldTour.
The team are led by the familiar figure of Guillaume Martin, the French philosopher having earned a reputation as a 'yo-yo' man. In his recent Grand Tour appearances he has lost time in the mountains but gained it back by slipping into breakaways, and the only thing stopping him doing that here is if he decides that, after doing the Giro d'Italia, he should focus squarely on stage wins.
Elsewhere, Ion Izaguirre is a former stage winner and quality campaigner while 26-year-old Frenchman Victor Lafay is an up-and-coming puncher who has come close to a few wins this year and could spring a surprise.
Pierre-Luc Perichon gets the late call-up to replace sprinter Bryan Coquard, who tested positive for COVID-19.
Full line-up: Guillaume Martin, Ion Izagirre, Simon Geschke, Victor Lafay, Anthony Perez, Benjamin Thomas, Max Walscheid, Pierre-Luc Perichon
Team leader: Rigoberto Urán
Objective: GC and Stage wins
Rider to watch: Alberto Bettiol
Rigoberto Urán has had a slow 2022, scoring a solitary top-10 finish at Itzulia Basque country – where he edged into a paltry 10th on stage 3, and 10th in the GC. It’s not a result that will put him on the radar of the Tour de France’s major GC contenders. Nonetheless, the veteran Colombian remains the highest pedigree climber and the most proven GC campaigner in the EF Education-EasyPost squad, and will likely enter the race as team leader.
He has company, though. With his fourth place finish at the Tour de Suisse, Neilson Powless could have the potential to crack into the top 10 in the GC, while Ruben Guerreiro showed a decent level at the Dauphiné and an even higher one to win the Ventoux Challenge.
Despite some GC potential, we expect EF Education-EasyPost will be primarily hunting stage wins at this year’s Tour, where breakaways will probably offer the best opportunities. After Alberto Bettiol’s stage victory at last year’s Giro d’Italia, he’s certainly a dangerous rider when in an escape, and will be one to watch on the Tour’s more sedate transition stages.
While Magnus Cort hasn’t made much of a dent in 2022, after his three stage wins at last year’s Vuelta the puncheur will certainly have a Tour stage win on his bucket list, and in the right conditions every chance of getting one.
Finally, Stefan Bissegger is one of only a few riders with a chance of upsetting Filippo Ganna in the Copenhagen time trial.
Full line-up: Rigoberto Urán, Neilson Powless, Alberto Bettiol, Magnus Cort, Stefan Bissegger, Ruben Guerreiro, Owain Doull, Jonas Rutsch
Team leaders: David Gaudu, Thibaut Pinot
Objective: GC and stage wins
Rider to watch: Stefan Küng
Groupama-FDJ, the long-running French team run by Marc Madiot, unveiled their Tour de France plans at the start of the year and outlined a leadership trio of David Gaudu, Thibaut Pinot, and Michael Storer. At this point, it seems clear that Gaudu is the main man when it comes to the general classification.
After two troubled years, Pinot has shown signs he's on his way back to his best – not least with his recent stage win at the Tour de Suisse – but he's surely not ready for a yellow jersey challenge. Still, mountain stage wins and, why not, the polka-dot jersey are realistic ambitions. Storer, meanwhile, has had a mixed year since signing from DSM on the back of his brace of stage wins at last year's Vuelta, and perhaps looks more suited to mountain support and stage hunting.
There's no Arnaud Démare, so no sprint ambitions. Luxury support comes from puncher Valentin Madouas and rouleur Stefan Küng. The latter is the European time trial champion and in with a shout for the opening stage and penultimate stage, but also produced an astounding climbing performance to finish fifth at the recent Tour de Suisse.
Full line-up: David Gaudu, Thibaut Pinot, Michael Storer, Stefan Küng, Valentin Madouas, Olivier Le Gac, Kevin Geniets, Antoine Duchesne
Team leaders: Adam Yates, Dani Martínez, Geraint Thomas
Objective: GC and stage wins
Rider to watch: Tom Pidcock
Ineos' plans are an area of particular intrigue, and not just because Adam Yates left the Tour de Suisse with COVID-19. Even before that news, there was a sign that they were re-shaping their approach for July. For so long the dominant team with the dominant rider, the British team won seven Tours in eight years but have now run up against a Pogačar-shaped problem.
With Bernal out due to a long-term injury, they don't have their favourite status of old, with Yates and Martínez drawn together in an open-ended leadership duo. Throw in Geraint Thomas and you have another question mark.
The Welshman has been spoken about as a domestique not even guaranteed of a start but he remains the 2018 Tour winner and, despite lengthy dips in form, has done nothing to suggest he cannot raise his level to a very competitive one when required. He sent that message with victory at the Tour de Suisse and, with Yates' preparation compromised, he has to be part of the leadership conversation, especially with more than 50km of time trialling on the route.
Beyond all that, it appears Ineos may not limit themselves to backing the yellow jersey cause as they have over the past decade. Tom Pidcock and Ethan Hayter are both on the longlist and it's not beyond the realms of possibility that both start. If so, stage wins – and not just those as a byproduct of the GC battle – enter the agenda. Hayter can compete in reduced sprints while Pidcock can do just about anything and his Tour debut would likely not be dull.
Either way, Ineos have spoken about their new adventurous racing style since becoming 'Grenadiers' and we could see it rolled out in the Tour for the first time.
Full line-up: Geraint Thomas, Dani Martínez, Adam Yates, Tom Pidcock, Dylan van Baarle, Filippo Ganna, Luke Rowe, Jonathan Castroviejo
Team leaders: Louis Meintjes, Alexander Kristoff
Objective: GC, stage wins
Rider to watch: Taco van der Hoorn
The Belgian team used to be a second-division outfit and earned three Tour invites thanks to Frenchman Guillaume Martin, who's now with Cofidis. They were widely ridiculed when they took CCC's licence to step up to the WorldTour in 2021, but have looked every inch their top-tier status this year. As such, confidence will be high for the Tour.
There's no Biniam Girmay, the new superstar of African cycling, but they do have a team that can fight on a number of fronts. Louis Meintjes looks to be on his way back after a few years in the wilderness following his back-to-back top 10s at the 2016 and 2017 Tours. He won the recent Giro dell'Appenino and placed sixth at Tour de Suisse, so could certainly have an impact this July.
Alexander Kristoff is 34 and has seemingly been fading in recent years but always seems to pop up with big wins, as he did at Scheldeprijs this spring. The Norwegian will lead the line in the sprints, while Quinten Hermans has surprisingly been left out of the squad ahead of an expected transfer to Alpecin next year.
Dutch attacker Taco van der Hoorn could be one to watch. He doesn't take many wins but when they do they're nailbiters from the break – see last year's Giro and the Brussels Cycling Classic three weeks ago.
Full line-up: Alexander Kristoff, Louis Meintjes, Kobe Goossens, Georg Zimmerman, Taco van der Hoorn, Adrien Petit, Andrea Pasqualon, Sven Erik Bystrøm
Team leaders: Michael Woods, Jakob Fuglsang
Objective: Stage wins
Rider to watch: Chris Froome
Israel-Premier Tech set out on their third Tour de France and in desperate need of having an impact on the race after two relatively anonymous outings. They're very much in the WorldTour relegation battle, but the recent form of Jakob Fuglsang and Michael Woods will give them hope they can shine on the biggest stage of all and lift themselves out of trouble.
Fuglsang won the recent Classic Alpes-Maritimes and placed third at Tour de Suisse, while Woods finished second at the former and then won the Route d'Occitanie. The pair have both appeared reluctant to go for a GC bid this time around but stage wins are well within their grasp, while the polka-dot jersey will surely become an ambition for one of them.
Hugo Houle, Krists Neilands, and Simon Clarke comprise a strong and in-form support unit. Chris Froome, meanwhile, is very much the rider to watch. A four-time winner, he has struggled badly since his massive 2019 injury but has shown glimpses of form in recent weeks. He's done enough to earn his spot but we should find out more about whether he might indeed return to his levels of old.
Guillaume Boivin and Guy Niv got late call-ups to replace the COVID-positive Omer Goldstein and Daryl Impey.
Full line-up: Michael Woods, Jakob Fuglsang, Chris Froome, Krists Neilands, Simon Clarke, Hugo Houle, Guillaume Boivin
Team Leaders: Primož Roglič, Jonas Vingegaard, Wout Van Aert
Objective: Yellow jersey, green jersey
Rider to watch: Christophe Laporte
The Dutch team formerly known as Rabobank have joined the very top echelon of world cycling in recent years but are still searching for their first Tour de France victory. They came agonisingly close through Primož Roglič – three-time Vuelta winner – in 2020, and placed second again last year through the revelatory Jonas Vingegaard, who stepped up once Roglič crashed out.
With Tadej Pogačar a dominant double winner, Jumbo have tweaked their approach for 2022, going in with a leadership duo. Both Roglič and Vingegaard underlined their form with a one-two at the recent Dauphiné, but in order to crack Pogačar they'll likely have to play their cards more creatively. How they do so will be one of the most intriguing narratives of the whole Tour.
On top of all that, Jumbo-Visma also have Wout van Aert to think about. The Belgian star has had to stifle his personal ambitions in recent years but has still managed six stage wins in three editions, on a wide variety of stages to boot. As such, this year he wants to target the points classification. Whether Jumbo can support a green jersey bid as well as two riders going for yellow is another of those central narratives.
As for the rest of the squad, it's five support riders. Sepp Kuss and Steven Kruijswijk are the mountain men, while Christophe Laporte will be Van Aert's lead-out and right-hand man. Tiesj Benoot will be expected to do a bit for both camps while Nathan Van Hooydonck – a late replacement for Rohan Dennis – is set to be the engine doing the heavy lifting in the earlier phases of stages.
Full line-up: Primoz Roglic, Jonas Vingegaard, Wout van Aert, Tiesj Benoot, Sepp Kuss, Steven Kruijswijk, Christophe Laporte, Nathan Van Hooydonck
Team leaders: Caleb Ewan
Objective: Stage wins
Rider to watch: Tim Wellens
The Belgian team once again go into a Tour de France targeting stage wins. In 37 starts they have never won the Tour and haven't had a GC contender since Jurgen Van den Broeck in 2012. Andre Greipel flew the flag for a long time but in the new John Lelangue-led era it's Caleb Ewan who leads the way for the third year in a row.
Ewan won three stages in 2019 and two in 2020 but crashed out on stage 3 last year with a a broken collarbone. At his best he's one of the most dynamic and aerodynamic sprinters in the world and a key breadwinner for Lotto Soudal in their relegation fight. There is slight cause for concern as his lead-out man Jasper De Buyst is injured and Roger Kluge similarly not racing. In their absence Reinardt Janse van Rensburg takes responsibility, while Frederik Frison can also chip in.
However, there's more of an emphasis on breakaways in Lotto Soudal's plans. Philippe Gilbert will want to make an impact in his final Tour de France, while Brent Van Moer has been touted as a new Thomas De Gendt. Florian Vermeersch can target the cobbled stage and Andreas Kron will look at the hilly ones if recovered from COVID-19.
Finally, Tim Wellens has announced he is leaving at the end of the year but retains a great deal of affection for the team where he has spent his whole career so far. The Belgian remains a top-class attacking rider who can complete the Grand Tour set of stage wins in what is only his fourth Tour appearance.
Full line-up: Caleb Ewan, Philippe Gilbert, Tim Wellens, Andreas Kron, Brent Van Moer, Florian Vermeersch, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, Frederik Frison
Team leaders: Enric Mas
Rider to watch: Matteo Jorgenson
Movistar, the Spanish team formed in the 1980s, line up for their 40th Tour de France. They've won it seven times, five of those coming through Miguel Indurain in the 1990s, but haven't done so since Oscar Pereiro in 2006. In recent years, they've been regular winners of the teams classification but have become confused and at times chaotic in their handling of multiple leaders.
This year, there's far more clarity. Enric Mas will lead the line and shoot for the podium. The Spaniard, a breakthrough runner-up at the 2018 Vuelta, has been a consistent if unspectacular Grand Tour presence since signing in 2020, placing fifth and sixth in the past two Tours, as well as another second at the Vuelta last year.
While Movistar have not yet unveiled their final line-up, a key rider appears to be Matteo Jorgenson, the US all-rounder who's steadily improving. He's looking to develop into a GC rider and could become the last line of support for Mas, and he could even decide he's not going to throw away time unless he absolutely has to.
Full line-up: Enric Mas, Carlos Verona, Imanol Erviti, Matteo Jorgenson, Nelson Oliveira, Albert Torres, Gregor Mühlberger, Gorka Izagirre
Team leaders: Fabio Jakobsen
Objective: Stage wins
Rider to watch: Mattia Cattaneo
The Belgian squad have dominated Tour de France sprints over the years, with the likes of Marcel Kittel, Fernando Gaviria, Sam Bennett, and Mark Cavendish all sweeping up in recent years. The next man up is Fabio Jakobsen, who has been given the nod over Cavendish despite the Manxman winning four stages and the green jersey last year and tying Eddy Merckx's record of 34 stage wins.
There's no room for sentiment or history at Patrick Lefevere's stable, however, and he has given the reins to the rider he considers the future of his team's sprinting ambitions. You can't argue with the decision on form. Jakobsen has returned from nearly losing his life at the 2020 Tour de Pologne to re-establish himself as one of the fastest in the world, winning 10 times already this season.
As always, the bulk of the team is devoted to the lead-out, with Kasper Asgreen and Yves Lampaert and, lastly, Michael Mørkøv, widely regarded as the best in the business. Florian Sénéchal is a late call-up for the COVID-positive Tim Declercq, though it's unclear who will replace the Belgian's long stints on the front of the peloton this July.
The big hole in QuickStep's line up is in the shape of the world champion, Julian Alaphilippe, who suffered a heavy crash at Liège-Bastogne-Liège-Liège in April and hasn't been deemed fit enough to make his usual impact at the Tour. Alaphilippe has won several stages, finished top five on GC, and injected electricity into the race over the past few years.
His absence is a major blow for the team and the race, with Andre Bagioli, the Italian puncheur who's taken his spot, having a lot to live up to. His compatriot, the 31-year-old Mattia Cattaneo, has a shot at a top-10 overall place, having finished 12th last year.
Full line-up: Fabio Jakobsen, Michael Mørkøv, Kasper Asgreen, Yves Lampaert, Mikkel Honore, Mattia Cattaneo, Andrea Bagioli, Florian Sénéchal
Team leaders: Romain Bardet, Alberto Dainese
Objective: Stage wins
Rider to watch: Andreas Leknessund
The Dutch team formerly known as Sunweb have a general philosophy that's both open and rigid. They eschew hierarchy in favour of a collective approach where everyone gets a chance, but there's relatively little flexibility when it comes to individual preferences.
This has divided opinion, with the alarming number of riders looking to leave the team seen by many as a cause for concern. On the road, it has divided their results. The free-flowing Sunweb (as they were then called) of the 2020 Tour were great to watch and hauled in three stage wins, but they were anonymous last year and struggled for much of this season.
They go into this Tour in typical fashion, an open and exciting line-up, but not without its controversy as Søren Kragh Andersen – not only one of their bigger-name riders but also a native of the Danish Grand Départ – has been left at home.
In his absence, Romain Bardet returns to the Tour after a year's absence. A GC bid is no priority given he was targeting the Giro and had to pull out when in a strong position, but the Frenchman will want to add to his stage win collection from 2015, 2016, and 2017.
John Degenkolb is on the start list and returns to the cobbles where he famously won a stage in 2018, but Alberto Dainese is the team's lead sprinter. The Italian won a stage at the Giro with a fearsome sprint that suggested a breakthrough, and he will be an outsider but a danger man in the bunch finishes. Elsewhere, Kevin Vermaerke is an exciting young US talent but the Norwegian Andreas Leknessund is already hitting his stride at 23, winning a stage at the recent Tour de Suisse in a solo breakaway. Expect him to go out in search of more of the same.
Full line-up: Romain Bardet, Alberto Dainese, John Degenkolb, Kevin Vermaerke, Andreas Leknessund, Martijn Tusveld, Nils Eekhoff, Chris Hamilton
Team leader: Peter Sagan
Objective: Stage wins
Rider to watch: Pierre Latour
When it comes to TotalEnergies’ 2022 objectives, it’s hard to look beyond Peter Sagan. Arguably the most exciting riders in men’s cycling, Sagan has had an unfortunate 2022, plagued by illness. The Tour de Suisse gave us a glimpse of Peter the Great at his best when he won stage 3. His positive test for COVID ahead of the final time trial seemed like a predictable kick in his run of bad luck.
However, Sagan returned to win yet another Slovakian road race title on Sunday, an indication he's on track for the Tour. He'll also have loyal lieutenants Daniel Oss and Maciej Bodnar at his disposal. Sagan will target sprints on flat and hilly days, but a record-extending eighth green jersey is complicated by the presence of Wout van Aert.
There'll be no shortage of breakaway interest for Jean-René Bernaudeau's French team, especially after Mathieu Burgaudeau scooped a stage of Paris-Nice and Valentin Ferron and Alexis Vuillermoz took home a stage apiece from the Dauphiné. Anthony Turgis could certainly be a contender on the cobbles, but he’ll need an early break to separate himself from the fastmen such as Mathieu van der Poel to stand a chance at a win on the pavé.
Finally, there's Pierre Latour, who has so much energy he sometimes doesn't know what to do with it. The Frenchman won the white jersey and placed 13th overall while riding as an AG2R domestique in 2018 and, while his career has faded since, there remains a great deal of talent.
The experienced and versatile fastman Edvald Boasson Hagen was called up three days out from the start after Cristian Rodríguez fell ill.
Full line-up: Peter Sagan, Pierre Latour, Mathieu Burgaudeau, Alexis Vuillermox, Daniel Oss, Maciej Bodnar, Anthony Turgis, Edvald Boasson Hagen.
Team leader: Giulio Ciccone
Objective: Stage wins
Rider to watch: Bauke Mollema
Having taken a third career Giro d’Italia win on stage 15 of this year’s race, Giulio Ciccone is showing excellent climbing form and seems sure to be Trek-Segafredo’s team leader at this year’s Tour de France. Only one year ago he lay in sixth place on the Tour’s second rest day, before crashing out on stage 17 and abandoning the race.
While a GC bid isn’t beyond comprehension, with Ciccone and Bauke Mollema’s proclivity for successful breakaways, individual stage wins in the mountains are Trek’s most likely target.
Milan-San Remo winner Jasper Stuyven and former World Champion Mads Pedersen will both be riders to watch on the cobbles of stage 5 of this year’s race. Both will also be contenders for individual stage wins on fast finishes. For Pedersen, there's the extra motivation of starting on home roads, with a strong short time trial and a fast sprint at the end of a windy day, he'll be going all-in on the Denmark days.
US debutant Quinn Simmons will no doubt offer good support to both riders on the cobbles, and has shown an appetite for breakaways so far this season.
Full line-up: Guilio Ciccone, Bauke Mollema, Mads Pedersen, Jasper Stuyven, Quinn Simmons, Tony Gallopin, Alex Kirsch, Toms Skujiņš
Team leaders: Tadej Pogačar
Objective: Yellow jersey
Rider to watch: Brandon McNulty
About as one-dimensional as it gets, the UAE-funded team are here to win the Tour with Pogačar for a third straight year. The rest of the team is entirely at his service, and you get the impression he could do it without them anyway.
Not that UAE are weak. The criticism they faced last year was unfounded, and in any case they are stronger again this time around. They have added George Bennett and Marc Soler, while Brandon McNulty is another year older and – when not the victim of bad luck – has shown his strength this season. Rafał Majka, who came good last year and has been even better this season, has struck up a great relationship with Pogačar, the pair dominating the recent Tour of Slovenia. It's a super solid mountain unit.
Beyond that, Mikkel Berg did huge pulls on the flat and in the middle mountains last year and will be pivotal again, while Vegard Stake Laengen is the big workhorse for the early phases. Pogačar is in a league of his own, but he has a team that can provide a platform for a third straight yellow jersey.
Swiss rider Marc Hirschi is a late call-up after Matteo Trentin returned a positive COVID-19 test two days before the race start.
Full line-up: Tadej Pogačar, Rafal Majka, Brandon McNulty, Marc Soler, Vegard Stake Laengen, George Bennett, Mikkel Bjerg, Marc Hirschi
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Deputy Editor - Europe. Patrick is an NCTJ-trained journalist who has seven years’ experience covering professional cycling. He has a modern languages degree from Durham University and has been able to put it to some use in what is a multi-lingual sport, with a particular focus on French and Spanish-speaking riders. After joining Cyclingnews as a staff writer on the back of work experience, Patrick became Features Editor in 2018 and oversaw significant growth in the site’s long-form and in-depth output. Since 2021 he has been Deputy Editor - Europe, taking more responsibility for the site’s content as a whole, while still writing and - despite a pandemic-induced hiatus - travelling to races around the world. Away from cycling, Patrick spends most of his time playing or watching other forms of sport - football, tennis, trail running, darts, to name a few, but he draws the line at rugby.