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Previewing The 2016 Tour de France

Cycling Blog

Previewing The 2016 Tour de France

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Chris Froome Team Sky Winning Tour 2015

December 14th, 2015

There are still more than six months to go before the 2016 Tour de France. However, with the route announced and the expected field of competitors already known, it’s never too early to look ahead to the competition. After all, it’s always nice to have an advance look at the action, especially if you’re considering attending the race.

The 2016 Tour will get started on July 2, and the Tour website has posted all the information about the route. Perhaps most interestingly, there are 16 unseen sites and stage cities featured in the next race, including picturesque spots like Utah Beach Sainte-Marie-du-Mont and L’Isle-Jourdain. It’s always fun to see new settings for the tour, and 16 new spots will make for some interesting atmospheres and backgrounds for the cycling action.

As for who will compete in the race, we never know for sure until the final weeks leading up to the race, as anything can happen with the competitors’ health or schedules. But already, Betfair’s sports staff has shared odds for the cyclists expected to take part in the 2016 Tour. And based on those odds, the following five competitors are the favourites to win the Tour.

Chris Froome

Chris FroomeKenyan-born British cyclist Chris Froome has arguably become the biggest story in professional cycling since the disgrace and retirement of Lance Armstrong. This is largely because Froome went from an unremarkable career to a sudden burst of strong results that won him the Tour in 2013 and again this past summer. Froome’s transformation was so dramatic that he was recently the subject of advanced testing by a physiologist who was looking to determine what exactly about Froome enables him to perform the way he does. There’s no truly conclusive answer to that question, but in the meantime Froome is the favourite next July riding for Team Sky.

Nairo Quintana

Nairo QuintanaRiding for Movistar Team, Quintana has placed second at the Tour twice—oddly enough, both in the years in which Froome triumphed. He’s still only 25 years old, and in some respects appears due for a major triumph in France. Additionally, one analysis of the route theorised that there are fewer obstacles for Quintana this time around after last year’s race proved challenging in windy early stages. If he stays close to Froome heading into the mountainous stages, Quintana will become the favourite as he excels on steep terrain.


Alberto Contador

Alberto ContadorThere will likely be some buzz about Contador having a last hurrah given that the seasoned cyclist says he’ll retire at the end of 2016. But he hasn’t truly challenged for this title in some time now, despite being a two-time winner in 2007 and 2009. He’s certainly capable of staying in the thick of things, but a top-five finish would be a nice send-off as well.

Fabio AruFabio Aru

Aru presents an interesting dynamic for the 2016 Tour, because he’s the only expected competitor among the favourites who hasn’t done this particular race before. He’s perfectly capable of challenging Froome and Quintana for the title on pure skill alone, but there’s really no telling how an athlete will respond to the pressure and difficulty of his first Tour de France.

Vincenzo Nibali

Vincenzo NibaliRiding for Astana, “The Shark” is always a threat, and there’s no reason to expect anything different at next summer’s Tour de France. Nibali won the event in 2014 and finished fourth last summer after a minor controversy with Froome. Froome essentially accused Nibali of unfair play, so one can imagine Nibali will be eager to make a strong statement in 2016.

With an intriguing route set up and a very strong group of contenders, the 2016 Tour should be as interesting as ever. Stay tuned for more information on the competitors in the months between now and the summer of 2016.  Please comment below as to who you think is in with the best shot and why….

And what about Geraint Thomas…..

do you think the current Team Sky set-up will let him have a go at The Tour in 2016?

Thomas & Froome

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