The anticipation of the 2014 Tour de France start on July 5 in Leeds, Yorkshire, is building and cycling fans are gauging which riders will be the most capable of winning the maillot jaune in three weeks time.
Defending champion Chris Froome from Team Sky heads into the race as one of the outright favorites but with 3,656km of road to cover, which includes a new cobbled stage, six mountainous stages with five altitude finishes and a 54km time trial on the penultimate day, there’s no definite path to the overall title. The Kenyan-born Briton will need to improve his game if he hopes to win the yellow jersey for a second consecutive year.
Spain’s Alberto Contador from Tinkoff-Saxo, who has won the Tour on two occasions, is the most likely candidate to give Froome a head-on fight for the top spot on the podium, but there are a series of other talented contenders that just might pull off a surprise victory by the time the race makes it to the finale on July 27 along the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
Other potential candidates for the overall podium are Italian road champion Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar). American riders Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) and Tejay van Garderen (BMC) also made the cut.
Preview the full list in our latest video, where Cyclingnews picks the top 10 general classification riders to watch at this year’s Tour de France.
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