At the time of writing, Chris Froome is the bookies’ favourite at odds of 10/11 – he has the experience, the most talented team, and he’s in the form of his life. Who could beat him?
At odds of 10/3, crowd’s favourite Nairo Quintana is no push over and won the Vuelta a España general classification last year – lest we forget, Froome really wanted to win the Vuelta and was in great form at the start.
The Colombian has matured into a tactical thinker and fans may have noticed him marking Froome on critical climbs the last couple of Tour de Frances. Not many of Froome’s competitors know him quite so well, and not many have made Froome look quite so vulnerable as Quintana did on the climbs of the Vuelta.
Quintana is staking claim to the Giro with a lighter approach to early season racing with just 19 race days before arriving in Italy. The Colombian told the press that he had “two or three different plans to prepare for the Tour” once he’s finished the Giro, a clear indication he won’t roll over for Team Sky early in the season.
Froome will also want to win two grand tours in a season, and if Team Sky overstretches at the wrong point in the season Froome could again be vulnerable to attack.
A Porte in a storm
Many feel that Richie Porte hasn’t quite lived up to the promise he showed in Team Sky, but his early season has shown promise with a hard-earned victory at the Tour de Romandie – ahead of Yates and, more importantly, Froome.
However, a truly big tour win has eluded both Porte and BMC, a team which isn’t exactly short of resources. With riders like Rohan Dennis, Danilo Wyss, and Francisco Ventoso, BMC have invested a lot building a team to support Porte on the biggest of stages. At 7/1, the bookies are offering good odds on Porte who is a talented cyclist with something to prove.