Tour de France 2017: Leading contenders

Tour de France 2017: Leading contenders

2017-06-27
Five who could wear the yellow jersey in Paris.

The Tour de France starts in Dusseldorf on July 1 and with fewer summit finishes and far fewer time-trialling kilometres than recent editions, there could be a different feel to the fight for yellow this time around.  Here are the leading contenders and their respective odds to win the general classification:

CHRIS FROOME (6/5)

Team: Team Sky

Country: United Kingdom

Froome heads to France as the obvious favourite. His victory last year made him one of just eight men with three or more Tour wins to their name, and the first to successfully retain the crown since 1995. His form so far this year is open to question though. Each of his previous Tour wins was preceded by victory in the Criterium du Dauphine but this year he could only manage fourth, leaving him without a win on the road in 2017 so far.

RICHIE PORTE (2/1)

Team: BMC

Country: Australia

If form on the road is the main guide, Porte has emerged as the biggest threat to Froome. Although Porte was pipped to overall victory in the Dauphine by Jakob Fuglsang on the final stage, he had the beating of Froome both in the time trial and in the mountains. He may have ended up second overall there, but Porte has won both the Tour Down Under and the Tour de Romandie this season and appears to be in the form of his life.

NAIRO QUINTANA (6/1)

Team: Movistar

Country: Colombia

Quintana began the year with ambitious plans for a Giro-Tour double, but will need a spectacular rebound in France to avoid walking away empty-handed. He was unexpectedly beaten in Italy by Tom Dumoulin and, as Alberto Contador can attest from his own double attempt in 2015, there is usually a price to be paid in France for those that competed in Italy. Quintana has been Froome's closest challenger on the road for the past few years though.

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ALBERTO CONTADOR (14/1)

Team: Trek-Segafredo

Country: Spain

Having put off a mooted retirement to join Trek-Segafredo, the veteran two-time Tour winner heads to France as something of a wild card. With memories of his victories fading, Contador can be easily put to one side but the Spaniard's aggressive style and never-say-die attitude deserves some respect. He appears in a better place mentally away from the Tinkoff team that folded, and his surprising performance in the Dauphine time trial - where he was faster than Froome - shows there is life in him yet.

ROMAIN BARDET (25/1)

Team: AG2R La Mondiale

Country: France

It is more than 30 years since Bernard Hinault delivered France's last Tour win back in 1985. That perhaps explains why French sports daily L'Equipe marked the end of last year's Tour not with a front-page picture of Froome but instead with one of Bardet, who rode his way into second place with a superb final week. He has the best chance of ending France's barren run this year.