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Tour de France preview: Big two look hard to budge

The 2023 Tour de France gets underway on Saturday 1st July and it looks set to be a two-cyclist battle between Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogacar for the yellow jersey.

This year the Tour de France will begin in Bilbao and the first four stages will take place in Spain, before heading into France.

WhatTour de France 2023
WhereSpain and France
WhenSaturday 1st July - Sunday 23rd July 2023
How to watchSBS
OddsJonas Vingegaard 2.00, Tadej Pogacar 2.20 , Jai Hindley 15.00

Despite the battle to hold the yellow jersey in Paris looking to be between just Vingegaard and Pogacar, we should still be in for an exciting three weeks of action.

If 2022 is anything to go by that will certainly be the case. Vingegaard came out on top then and now Pogacar will be out for revenge.

The battle to win the green, polka dot and white jerseys will also be hot, along with the fight to win stages.

Mark Cavendish will also be out to win a stage and break Eddie Merckx’s record of most Tour de France stage wins.

For cycling fans all over the world it does not get much better than this and there will be heaps of interest in Australia as Jai Hindley and Ben O'Connor look to shine in the General Classification.

Australian Hopes

Outside of Vingegaard and Pogacar, Hindley is being tipped as the best of the rest and is priced at 15.00 to go on and win the Tour de France.

Hindley already has one grand tour under his belt when winning the Giro d’Italia in 2022 and now makes the step up to the Tour de France.

Making the podium would be seen as a huge success for the Western Australian, but he should be ready to pounce if anything should happen to the two hot fancies.

Hindley has proven he can mix it with the best and finished fourth at the Criterium du Dauphine, which is the traditional lead-up race to the Tour de France.

Not only that, Hindley will have the support of a very strong looking Bora Hansgrohe team, who will look after him and protect him throughout the three-week tour.

Meanwhile. AG2R Citroen star O'Connor is among a handful of riders who will be looking to podium and possibly win the Tour de France if anything unfortunate happens to the main yellow jersey contenders.

O’Connor is priced at 34.00 to go all the way and win the 2023 Tour de France and he has already shown his pedigree in the race.

In 2022 O’Connor managed to win a stage of the Tour on his way to a fifth-place finish in the GC standings.

Again, like Hindley, O’Connor has looked strong at the Criterium du Dauphine when finishing third and will be looking to carry that form into the Tour.

Barring illness and crashes it is hard to see anyone else other than Vingegaard or Pogacar winning the Tour de France.

However, that is not to say it cannot happen and both Hindley and O’Connor are top-class riders and are capable of winning the Tour de France if the top two slip up.

The main contenders

The two main contenders and hot fancies for the 2023 Tour de France are Vingegaard and Pogacar.

It was Jumbo Visma rider Vingergaard who came out on top in the 2022 edition and Pogacar of UAE Team Emirates will be gunning for revenge.

Pogacar won the Tour de France in 2020 and 2021 so knows how to get the job done. However, the Slovenian ace has seen his build-up hampered by a broken wrist.

The 24-year-old will be ready to hit the start line for stage one in Bilbao, but it remains to be seen how a lack of racing will affect him.

Vingegaard has had a smooth preparation so far, following the more traditional course of a rider wishing to win the Tour de France and his victory in the recent Criterium du Dauphine show he is in great form.

Unlike Pogacar, he has limited his racing and avoided the Spring Classics to focus solely on being ready for the Tour.

Team tactics are sure to come into play and there is no doubt that Jumbo Visma outsmarted UAE last year, thus helping Vingegaard win the Tour.

UAE will have learnt their lesson from that and it is sure to be another intriguing battle between the two teams.

Without a doubt both Vingegaard and Pogacar are the best general classification riders in the race.

If they make it to Paris without any dramas, then one of these two will be wearing the yellow jersey and will be crowned the winner of the 2023 Tour de France.

Vingegaard is priced at 2.00 to win the Tour de France while Pogacar can be backed at 2.20.

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