Tour de France favourites 2024: Who will win this year's yellow jersey?

Rouleur looks at who the bookies are backing for this year's Tour de France title

With the Tour de France just days away excitement is brewing at what promises to be a thrilling and – even by the standards of the world’s biggest race – star-studded contest for the yellow jersey. 

All the talk all year has been about how the big four of Jonas Vingegaard, Tadej Pogačar, Primož Roglič and Remco Evenepoel will duke it out for what will be the first Grand Tour each has simultaneously appeared in, but there are varying doubts and question marks surrounding each one, be it a matter of fitness, form or fatigue. 

That opens up the possibility for a whole host of other riders to dream big, and this year it feels like there is an especially deep pool of potential GC prospects. Let’s consider the outstanding candidates among them. 

Odds correct at time of publishing.

Tadej Pogačar - 4/6

Unlike each of his main rivals, there have been no fitness doubts plaguing Tadej Pogačar in the past few months. He is the only one of the big four to enjoy a clean run-in to the Tour with no crashes, an advantage reflected in the very short odds of 4/6 being offered by the bookmakers.

Instead, the big question regarding Pogačar’s chances is whether or not his appearance and victory at the Giro d’Italia last month has rendered him more or less likely to also win the Tour. On one hand, the way he crushed the opposition to win the maglia rosa by almost 10 minutes, and picked up six stages on the way, was a sensational display of form that sent an intimidating warning shot to everyone set to compete against him at the Tour. 

But on the other hand, peaking in form for both the Giro and the Tour has been notoriously difficult to do these past few decades, and all of Alberto Contador, Vincenzo Nibali and Chris Froome have in the recent past won the former only to run out of steam at the latter. You sense, though, that if anyone has the talent to achieve the elusive double, it’s Pogačar. 

Tadej Pogačar at the Giro d'Italia

Pogačar during the 2024 Giro d'Italia (Image by

Jonas Vingegaard - 5/2

One talking point that did overshadow all others leading into the Tour de France was whether Jonas Vingegaard would be fit enough to start. His season came to an abrupt halt at Itzulia Basque Country when he was one of the most badly affected riders on the stage four horror crash that blighted that race, but his Visma-Lease a Bike squad are now clearly confident the Dane will in good enough form to compete with his rivals.

But the question remains, will he have the condition to again defend his title? Is it possible on the back of training only, and no race days for almost three months?

Leaving all those questions aside, if Vingegaard is in top condition, he will be the man to beat. He ended up winning what had been a close Tour de France between himself and Pogačar at a canter last year, and, if anything, had looked even better this year, winning both Tirreno-Adriatico and O Gran Camiño in astonishingly one-sided fashion. Only time will tell if Vingegaard is capable of recapturing that form with little racing in the legs.

Jonas Vingegaard at the 2023 Tour de France

Vingegaard during the 2023 Tour de France (Image by

Primož Roglič - 9/1

There is a sense that Primož Roglič’s opportune time to win the Tour de France came a few years ago, before the rise of his Slovenian compatriot Pogačar and former teammate Jonas Vingegaard. After all, doing so now would make him the second oldest winner ever of the yellow jersey, an especially remarkable feat given the recent tendency of riders to peak at a younger age. 

But short odds of 9/1 reflect how he still has a great chance of doing so this year. Despite also being involved, he wasn’t anywhere near as badly affected as Vingegaard was at the Itzulia Basque Country crash, and is building up to the Tour in a much more traditional, safer way than Pogačar, skipping the Giro d’Italia and riding the Critérium du Dauphiné, in which he sealed overall victory.

That Dauphiné victory is a reassuring sign of form ahead of the Tour, even if it did end with a more difficult day as he scraped victory by eight seconds after being dropped on the final mountain. The overall performance of his Bora-Hansgrohe team in controlling the race was also encouraging, and suggests everything is pretty much as he’d want it to be as he fine tunes his final preparations. 

Primoz Roglic at the Criterium du Dauphine

Roglič at the 2024 Critérium du Dauphiné (Image by Dario Belingheri/Getty Images)

Remco Evenepoel - 16/1

The last member of the big four is also the most unproven at Grand Tour level, and consequently not quite as fancied by the bookies. While he did prove his credentials by winning the Vuelta a España two years ago, his other three Grand Tour appearances have seen him either pull out altogether (Giro 2021 and 2023), or drop out of the GC race and chase stages instead (Vuelta 2023).

As yet another rider involved in the Itzulia Basque Country pile-up, his preparation hasn’t been ideal either, but he’s on the up. He described his shape at the Critérium du Dauphiné, where he finished seventh overall, as being hugely improved from where he was just a few weeks ago, and if he continues to recover at such a rate then he could be competitive for the yellow jersey at the Tour. As a rider with so much raw talent, there’s no telling how high his ceiling might be this July. 

Remco Evenepoel

Remco Evenepoel at the 2023 Giro d'Italia before he has to pull out due to illness (Image by

Adam Yates - 33/1

Last year, UAE Team Emirates went into the Tour with Adam Yates labelled as co-leader alongside Tadej Pogačar, and the Brit lived up to the billing, finishing third overall just behind his teammate — and in terms of time, much closer to Pogačar than the Slovenian was in turn to Vingegaard.

Yates enters the race with relatively short odds, though his chances have not been significantly increased by his dominant victory at the Tour de Suisse last week, according to the bookmakers. Yates and his teammate João Almeida won two stages each and finished first and second respectively on GC, but that outstanding form is still certainly to be primarily used to support Pogačar to victory rather than Yates' personal ambitions.

Adam Yates

Yates had a stint in the yellow jersey last year (Image by

Juan Ayuso - 35/1

Along with Remco Evenepoel, the Tour de France debut that’s attracting the most excitement is that of Juan Ayuso. The 21-year-old appears to have it all, from climbing, time trialling and punchy accelerations, to the ability to last the distance at Grand Tours, having already placed third and fourth overall at his two appearances at the Vuelta a España.

The Spaniard also has the form, having finished second at Tirreno-Adriatico and won Itzulia Basque Country. Or, at least, he had it — as one of the worst affected from the mass pile-up in the rain that caused the neutralisation of stage five at Critérium du Dauphiné, he had to abandon the race, and his plans are now a little up in the air. But if he can put those injuries behind him before the Tour, it could be him this time who lines up as UAE Team Emirates’ co-leader alongside Tadej Pogačar.

Ayuso has surprisingly seen his odds slashed from 50/1 down to 35/1 in the days leading up to the Tour, perhaps indicating the bookies think he will the leading back-up option behind Pogačar and Yates.

Juan Ayuso

Ayuso in this year's Tirreno-Adriatico (Image

Carlos Rodríguez - 40/1

He might not be the most glamorous of names, but the bookies listing Carlos Rodríguez as the best of the rest outside of the big four underlines his prospects this Tour. The Spaniard seriously impressed on debut last year by finishing fifth overall and winning an Alpine stage, and, still aged 23, has plenty of scope for improvement.

He’s already shown some of that scope by following up a second place finish at Itzulia Basque Country with overall victory at the Tour de Romandie, and enters the Tour having just won the last mountain top finish of Critérium du Dauphiné to seal fourth overall. He’s set to lead a strong Ineos Grenadiers line-up, and looks poised for a very good ride.

Carlos Rodriguez of Ineos Grenadiers

Rodríguez on his way to winning stage eight of the Tour of Britain (Image by

Matteo Jorgenson - 50/1

American Matteo Jorgenson was not even featured in the list of top favourites by the bookies before the Dauphiné, despite having been one of the best riders on his Visma-Lease a Bike team this year, winning Paris-Nice and Dwars door Vlaanderen.

A combination of wavering confidence over the fitness of Jonas Vingegaard as well as Jorgenson's impressive second place at the Dauphiné (in which he pushed Roglič all the way to the end) have catapulted the 24-year-old into consideration for the overall, but he still has much to prove in Grand Tours, having so far only contested the GC in shorter stage races. Nevertheless, should Vingegaard lack the form he needs to win, then Jorgenson looks like Visma-Lease a Bike's next best option.

Jorgensen has had an impressive season so far (Image by

Egan Bernal - 80/1

Egan Bernal might not be among the eight most in form GC riders going into the Tour de France, but his past record as a winner of the yellow jersey from 2019 means he is among the top nine bookies favourites. He’s the wildcard among the GC contenders — we all know how good he can be, it’s just a matter of whether he’s capable of reaching his past levels again following the crash that nearly ended his career a few years ago. 

His form so far this year has been encouraging. Following some promising results in the early season stage races, he placed third overall at Volta a Catalunya, his first time on a WorldTour podium since winning the Giro d’Italia three years ago.

He narrowly missed out on repeating that feat at last week's Tour de Suisse, losing his podium spot to Mattias Skjelmose (Lidl-Trek) in the final time trial, but there were signs throughout the week that the old Egan Bernal is returning gradually. Whether that will be enough to contest the podium at the Tour seems unlikely, and his most recent odds reflect that, but the Colombian has surely done enough to earn a place on the Ineos Grenadiers' team alongside Rodríguez and Tom Pidock.

Bernal during the 2023 Tour de France (Image by

Other favourites

It would be remiss of us not to mention UAE Team Emirates' other potential podium contender, João Almeida, who has seen his odds fall to 66/1 in recent days after impressing at the Tour de Suisse earlier this month. With so many potential winners in his team though, it's difficult to imagine he'll have the freedom to chase the yellow jersey.

Red Bull-Bora-Hansgrohe boast similar strength-in-depth in their line-up. As well as Roglič, they have another former Grand Tour winner in 2022 Giro d’Italia champion Jai Hindley, while Aleksandr Vlasov’s impressed with his display in support of their Slovenian leader at the Dauphiné. Both sit at 125/1.

Both Simon Yates (Jayco-Alula) and Richard Carapaz (EF Education-EasyPost) command attention as former Grand Tour winners (the former at the 2018 Vuelta, the latter the 2019 Giro), but questionable form means they’ve longer odds than usual, at 80/1 for Yates and a staggeringly long 250/1 for Carapaz. Enic Mas (Movistar) is another dependable Grand Tour performer, having seven times made the top six on GC, including twice at the Tour, and his comparatively good pre-Tour form sees him at 175/1.

The potential of Felix Gall (Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale) following his excellent performances in the mountains and eighth place finish overall last year, and the multi-talented Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) is reflected in their odds of 125/1 and 100/1 respectively. The 2018 winner Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) is not expected to contest overall victory after his Giro campaign, sitting at 300/1.

Cover image by SWPix

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