Main contenders for 2020 Tour de France
After the unveiling of the 2020 Tour de France AFP takes a look at the chief contenders to win the 107th edition:
Egan Bernal (Ineos/COL)
His jaw may have dropped when he saw the 20th stage individual time-trial during the presentation, but the iron-willed 22-year-old Colombian is a pure climber, and there are 29 mountain climbs or hills at altitude marking out the confident champion from the Andes as the most likely winner.
Chris Froome (Ineos/GBR)
With seven Grand Tour wins under his belt Froome is the great champion of his generation. His astonishing attitude towards his grave accident in June shows deep strength and self-belief. Not just a pure climber but a great leader too Froome insists he wants a fifth title or to help a team-mate win the title if he can't. He appears to be on target to race in the Tour and Ineos principal Dave Brailsford would surely race him if recovered.
Primoz Roglic (Jumbo/SLO)
The former ski-jump champion from Slovenia came third at the 2019 Giro after the rest of the contenders ganged up on him due to his clear physical superiority. Seeing his hopes go up in smoke the timid powerhouse came back to storm the Vuelta a Espana largely by pulversing the field during the time-trial. He will race at the head of the Jumbo team alongside new signing Tom Dumoulin.
Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo/NED)
Having long shown a preference for the Giro, which he won in 2017, time is running short for Dutch master Dumoulin to win a Tour de France. So his timely switch to emerging power team Jumbo for next season offers the converted time-triallist a perfect platform for a tilt at the title. His confidence, intelligence and all around ease with the media and other riders mark him out as a natural leader.
Thibaut Pinot (FDJ/FRA)
Pinot is loved by most who know him due to his highly emotional nature, a factor that has often played against him in the heat of battle. But it is this French flair that local fans hope will carry the pure climber to victory with the 20th and likely deciding stage at La Planches des Belles Filles in his home region of the Jura. FDJ will axe their team around the man who skipped away from the entire field in the Pyrenees last year before ripping a thigh muscle in the Alps.
Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck/FRA)
Having set the Tour de France on fire with his rampaging attacks in 2019 Alaphilippe has put himself on the contender map. He can destroy rivals on a short climb, and leave his rivals behind on a long perilous descent. He also has the quality of being able to manage the high stress situations where a rider has to battle through pain. 2018 champion Geraint Thomas called Alaphilippe the darling of France, and the former soldier can be counted on to leave it all out there on the big day.
© 2019 AFP