This year will mark the 106th edition of the Tour de France during which the race will celebrate two landmarks events: the 100th anniversary of the Maillot Jaune and the 50th anniversary of legedary Belgian Eddy Merckx’s first Tour victory, with the grand depart fittingly taking place on the 6th July in Brussels.
Tour de France 2019 Stages
The race comprises seven flat, sprinter’s stages, five medium ‘hilly’ stages and seven mountain stages including five mountain top finishes and several climbs which exceed 2,000m of elevation. There are fewer time trial kilometres in this year’s race in comparison to previous years, stage two in Brussels is a 27km team time trial and stage 13 in Pau will be a 27km individual time trial on Friday the 19th of July, the date which marks the 100th anniversary of the Yellow Jersey. The total distance of this year’s edition is 3,460km and the startlist will include 22 teams of eight riders therefore there will be 176 riders on the road.
What Type of Rider Does this Year’s Tour de France Course Suit?
Of course the winner of a ‘general classification’ must be an all-rounder. With five mountain top finishes in the 2019 edition the winner of the Tour de France must have the ability to climb, well and consistently, from La Planche des Belles Filles at the end of the first week right up until the penultimate stage which includes a 36km climb in the form of Val Thorens.
They will also need technical skills as there are a number of tricky descents including some stage finishes on descents which, as proven by Chris Froome’s top tube descent to the win of stage 8 of the 2016 edition, can prove decisive. Finally, the ability to stay out of trouble on the messier, flatter, sprint stages will be essential although as we see year after year this is often a matter of luck!
The Contenders for the 2019 Tour de France
With the anticipation levels rising for this years Tour de France it’s time to have a look at some of the contenders who can challenge for the 100th yellow jersey. We have them broken down into 3 categories for you: those who made the podium in 2018, the usual suspects and our co-founder Brian Canty’s outside bet.
The 2018 Podium Finishers
Can last year’s top three make it onto the podium again in 2019? They are definitely in the mix and ones to watch!
- Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos)
What are the chances of the Welshman repeating last year’s feat? He may have pulled off the win in 2018 but prior to that Thomas had never finished higher than top 15 in a Grand Tour and the likelihood is that he will be sharing leadership of Team Ineos with four-time Tour de France winner and bookie’s favourite, Chris Froome.
- Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb)
Second place to Thomas at last year’s Tour and winner of the 2017 Giro d’Italia Dumoulin has more than proven his capabilities across three weeks. The biggest threat to Team Ineos’ winning streak and arguably not yet at his grand tour peak at 28 years old the Dutchman will likely be looking to move up a step on the podium in 2019, but will fewer time trial kilometres (his strongest discipline) hurt his campaign?
- Chris Froome (Team Ineos)
Froome will be looking to add a fifth win to his palmares putting him alongside the likes of Miguel Indurain, Bernard Hinault, Eddy Mercx, and Jacques Anquetil. Although he was outshone by long standing friend and teammate Geraint Thomas’s win last year, lest we forget that Froome still came third in 2018. Team Ineos (formerly Sky) are still the ones to beat at the Tour and Froome will have the backing of a strong team line-up to support his bid to enter the history books.
The Usual Suspects
- Dan Martin (UAE-Team Emirates)
Never one to shy away from animating a race Dan Martin has finished within the top-10 in the past three editions of the Tour de France. Martin has performed solidly in stage races so far this season, maybe it’s his year to move that little bit further up the top 10 and onto the podium.
- Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo)
Porte’s Grand Tour campaigns have almost all been characterised by crashes and bad luck. The Australian has had a relatively good season so far having moved from BMC (now CCC) to Trek-Segafredo, if luck is on his side could this be his year?
- Nairo Quintana (Movistar)
Since he burst onto the scene winning the best young rider jersey back in 2015 there has been enormous pressure for Quintana to back up his potential with a Tour de France win. Quintana placed 10th last year and has already claimed he will be Movistar’s leader for the race which suggests he is confident in his form going into the 2019 edition. The course certainly looks like it might suit the Colombian climber with plenty of mountain ascents and altitude which he will be accustomed to. A second place at Paris Nice and a fourth at Volta Catalunya suggests that he is in good form this season already.
- Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale)
Bardet was going strong this season having achieved 5th overall at Paris-Nice before crashing out of Volta Catalunya but a decent classics campaign followed including 9th at Amstel Gold Race proving the AG2R rider is on target for a successful summer. Historically Bardet has been consistently up there at the Tour including podiums in 2016 and 2017 and no doubt the Frenchman will be looking to bring the Tour title home this year.
- Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)
Undoubtedly buoyed by his twin brother’s exploits in the 2018 Giro d’Italia Adam Yates has stormed into the 2019 season with consistent GC top 10s and looks to exclusively be targeting stage races. With second places on GC in both Tirreno-Adriatico and Volta Catalunya, at which he won arguably the hardest stage, as well as a stage win and mountains jersey at Itzulia Basque Country under his belt already Yates is definitely a contender for the yellow jersey in 2019.
Brian’s Outside Bet
- Jakob Fuglsang (Astana)
Okay, Fuglsang is a very outside bet for the overall but he’s definitely worth putting a few euro on for a podium finish. He’s enjoying the best year of his career so far with 1st, 2nd and 3rd in Liege, Fleche and Amstel Gold, respectively.Coupled with that is his 3rd overall at Tirreno and 4th at Pais Vasco. One-week stage races are very different to three-week Grand Tours, but with some good luck and the same level of team support that Lopez got at the Giro, the Dane could be one to upset the establishment.
Of course, any or none of these riders may claim the 100th yellow jersey this July thanks to the unpredictability and drama of bike racing but isn’t that why we watch it?
What The Pros Think of The Tour de France Route
Want to know what some of the pro riders think of this year’s route? We got World Tour riders’ first reactions to the 2019 Tour de France route reveal back in October – make sure you check it out to see what they think!
Experience The Tour de France 2019
Want to view the battle for the 100th yellow jersey up-close and ride some of the iconic Pyrenean Cols of the Tour de France? There are still limited places available on ourTour de France: Pyrenees tour! For more info give us a call on +34 972 649 131 or contact us online!
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