International Sport > Cycling > TRIO POSE MAIN THREAT TO FAVOURITE FROOME

TRIO POSE MAIN THREAT TO FAVOURITE FROOME

The cloud of uncertainty that been hanging over Chris Froome heading into the Tour de France finally lifted on Monday, allowing the pre-race favourite to focus on claiming a fifth title.

Froome will not have it all his own way, though, as he found out at the Giro d'Italia when Simon Yates and Tom Dumoulin enjoyed success before the Team Sky star claimed the overall victory.

Dumoulin, like Froome, will be back for the Tour but is not expected to challenge, while Yates' twin brother Adam will hope to match elements of his sibling's Italian display.

Here we look at the top five contenders for the yellow jersey this month, including an outside shot at a home winner.

Chris Froome (Team Sky)

Having completed the triple crown in Rome last month, Froome has the chance to win a record-equalling fifth Tour.

His spectacular finish to the Giro showed his star quality but will the year's first Grand Tour have sapped his energy? Only six men have done the Giro-Tour double in the same year, with Marco Pantani the last to do so 20 years ago.

Nairo Quintana (Movistar)

All of the Colombian's focus in 2018 has been on the Tour, his schedule has been tailored to the route the peloton will take, and he feels "fresher" than ever before.

Plenty of climbing will suit the Movistar man, but shrugging off Froome is something he has never been able to do before. The assistance of Froome's former team-mate Mikel Landa might help him achieve that this year.

Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale)

Thibaut Pinot was set to be France's best chance at a champion but he was forced to pull out in order to rest after a gruelling Giro.

So, step forward Romain Bardet, the AG2R La Mondiale rider having finished in the top 10 in the last four years. Making the jump to top spot could be a big ask.

POLKA DOT PRIZE

The Tour is not just about the general classification, though, with the King of the Mountains battle always a captivating watch. Look out for Rafal Majka, Julian Alaphilippe and Warren Barguil.

SPEEDSTERS GEAR UP

Peter Sagan has dominated the green jersey fight in recent years, but the likes of Mark Cavendish, Andre Greipel, Marcel Kittel and Fernando Gaviria are sure to push him all the way.

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DUMOULIN HITS OUT AT HANDLING OF FROOME CASE FROOME LOSES TIME AS GAVIRIA WINS OPENING STAGE OF TOUR
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
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