As much as we can try and predict what will happen in the race, the best thing about the Tour de France is its unpredictable natureHugo LUC / Wikimedia Commons /

Choosing which channel to watch is a difficult choice for sports fans this summer. However, with the Tour de France already underway, it is already looking to be a fantastic few weeks of viewing. The Tour promises much this year: an exciting contention for the yellow jersey, potential cycling history in the making, and an important insight into riders’ form before the Olympic bike races.

This year, I feel it is Tadej Pogacar’s turn to reclaim his crown. After surprising the cycling world in 2020 by winning the Tour on his debut and then defending his title the following year, the Slovenian has been overtaken the last two years by Jonas Vingegaard – the only other athlete that has appeared anywhere near his level. However, the Dane was heavily supported by his strong Jumbo-Visma team in both 2022 and 2023. Their yellow jerseys always seemed to dominate the front of the peloton and at times it felt more like Pogacar by himself taking on the whole Visma squad. Without much team support, Pogacar still came bitingly close to taking the title, but I fear that will change this year.

“Of course this is the Tour de France, a race always full of surprises”

UAE has a great team consisting of strong athletes such as the UK’s Adam Yates and other big names including Nils Politt, Marc Soler, and Tim Wellens. They have just proved this strength on Stage Four (the first of the mountains) as UAE headed the tête de la course, peeling off before letting Pogacar do his thing, which was crazily attacking on the Galibier with still 20km of descending to go. However, this all paid off and Vingegaard could not stay with Pogacar on the descent as he took his first win of the Tour so far (which I am sure will not be the last) and made a dent in the general classification. Pogacar is already in yellow and I think it will be tough to take it off him now, even for Vingegaard.

There are big questions over whether Vingegaard can perform the way he has previously. Both he and his superhuman teammate Wout van Aert have come into the Tour after missing significant chunks of training due to crashes earlier in the year. He has managed to limit his losses thus far but, by the third week, it is difficult to believe his stamina will be enough to match Pogacar. Of course, this is the Tour de France, a race always full of surprises, and I would not want to dismiss the Dane too early nor neglect other contenders. Remco Evenepoel, for example, has started the race off incredibly well and I would not be shocked to see him on the podium come the final stage.

As a cycling fan, Pogacar is a fantastic rider to watch. He is exciting, dominant, and never afraid to attack and fight for the stage and overall glory. Already this season he has won Strade Bianche, Liège–Bastogne–Liège, dominated the Volta a Catalunya, and won his first Giro d’Italia. Regardless of whether he is wearing the yellow jersey in Nice or not, it is sure that he will give us an entertaining few weeks of cycling.

“Pogacar is already in yellow and I think it will be tough to take it off him now, even for Vingegaard”

Although I try to watch the Tour as much as I can, my knowledge is no match for my dad and brother. My dad works as a bike mechanic and coach and spends all his free time either riding his bike, watching cycling, or reading possibly every book ever written about cycling. If a bike race is being shown on Eurosport, he’s watching it. On the other hand, my younger brother, Frankie, has a scary encyclopedic knowledge of anything to do with cycling. He can name every single Tour de France winner and he watches old highlights programmes from previous Tours just for fun. Therefore, I think it is worth listening to their (expert) opinions:

Mike (61): Pogacar to win the yellow jersey, Remco Evenepoel in 2nd, and Carlos Rodriguez in 3rd. For the other jerseys, Mads Pederson in green, Remco Evenopoel in white, and Romain Bardet in the polka dots. Jonas Vingegaard to lose over 10 minutes to Pogacar by the end of the race and finish in 17th place. If he does better than that he is surely not human.


Mountain View

Wimbledon 2024: A year for the tennis history books

Frankie (18): Pogacar to win the yellow jersey, Jonas Vingegaard in 2nd, and Primož Roglic 3rd. The jerseys will go to Jasper Philipsen in green, Carlos Rodriguez in white, and Remco Evenopoel in the polka. I predict Pog will win by a lot, but Jonas will still be the best of the rest. Remco will collapse on one of the harder mountain stages and go for stages and polka dots.

As much as we can try and predict what will happen in the race, the best thing about the Tour de France is its unpredictable nature. For example, Pogacar winning his first Tour when he shockingly thrashed Roglic in the time trial on the penultimate stage was some of the best sporting entertainment I have ever seen. Any of these riders could be dropped or could attack; it all depends on who has the legs on the day. That is why the Tour de France is so exciting!