All against Pogacar

The Slovenian defends the title against his compatriot Roglic and the powerful Ineos of Thomas, Carapaz, Tao and Porte. Enric Mas, the best Spanish option.

All-against-Pogacar

In the last decade, only Evans (2011), Nibali (2014) and Pogacar (2020) beat the Sky / Ineos roller on the Tour. Wiggins (2012), Froome (2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017), Thomas (2018) and Bernal (2019) consolidated the hegemony of the British team, a domain that is now discussed by the Slovenians Tadej Pogacar, defender of the title, and Primoz Roglic, double winner of the Vuelta and second in the French round last year. To regain control, Ineos presents at the start of Brest three grand tour winners, Thomas, Carapaz (Giro 2019) and Tao (Giro 2020), and the third classified of the last edition, Porte. Not even so the peloton and the bookmakers consider them the top favorites. That poster corresponds to the Slovenian duo.

The current champion will not have the surprise factor in 2021 and will become the rival to beat. He knows it and does not care: "I come with the motivation to repeat the title." Roglic also does not hide his ambitions: "After finishing second, I want to go up to the first step of the podium." Below both, both in terms of form and recent career, are the other applicants. From the four ineos to the bicefalia of the Movistar, Superman and Mas ("I look at the Paris drawer"); Alaphilippe, with a tour designed for his show off; Urán, Gaudu, Fuglsang, Kelderman, Martin, Nairo, Woods or Nibali. Of course, Pogacar and Roglic skipped Switzerland and Dauphiné, races that drove the last 15 Tour winners. "As long as you pedal more than the rest, it does not matter where or how you do the preparation ... if it works," the former ski jumper clears. Froome returns after his serious injuries at the 2019 Dauphiné, but will do so with a secondary role.

Britain hosts the Grand Départ for the seventh time, after those of 1952, 1964, 1974, 1985, 1995 and 2008, and welcomed the runners as usual, rainy and cool. Classic mountain difficulties return such as Mûr de Bretagne, La Colombière and Tignes in the first block, so that Ventoux and the Pyrenees (with Andorra, El Portet, Tourmalet or Luz Ardiden) dictate sentence between the second and third week together with both times (58 km in total). A fairly balanced track in which 17 Spaniards will compete, the third largest nationality of the event (behind France, with 33, and Belgium, with 22), and ten great winners: Pogacar, Roglic, Thomas, Carapaz, Tao , Froome, Nibali (to the 2014 Tour add the 2013 and 2016 Giros and the 2010 Vuelta), Nairo (2014 Giro and 2016 Vuelta), Valverde (2009 Vuelta) and Simon Yates (2018 Vuelta). As always, the best, to the maximum of their potential, will fight for glory and the most precious garment: yellow.



Photos from as.com
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