The Tour de France 2023 that will begin this July 1 is considered a priori as a duel, rather a rematch, between the current winner of the test, Jonas Vingegaard and the Slovenian Tadej Pogacar. However, other names are also strongly aspiring to the most coveted yellow jersey in road cycling on the planet.

Jonas Vingegaard has brought impeccable preparation to the Tour de France, which these days he has finished fine-tuning with the Critérium du Dauphiné. Although he was beaten by Pogacar in Paris-Nice, the solvency he showed winning O Gran Camiño and Itzulia, in addition to being the current winner, give him the band of main favorite. A poster that he has confirmed after a Critérium du Dauphiné in which he has unceremoniously devastated his opponents.

A name that the Dane earns due to the uncertainty of what the form of Tadej Pogacar will be like, who goes to the Tour de France looking to recover his throne. After a simply imperial start to the season, an untimely fall during the Liège-Bastogne-Liège dispute in which he fractured the scaphoid in his left hand has caused an unexpected inconvenience on his way to leaving Bilbao.

INEOS Grenadiers is the great unknown of the Tour de France although, after the good feelings that they have left us after the Giro d’Italia, the hopes that they can achieve a good Tour based on their strength as a team have grown several wholes.

It remains to be seen what their two mainstays are capable of offering, an Egan Bernal who continues to raise doubts about his recovery after last year’s serious accident and a Carlos Rodríguez who also arrives after a long break thanks to the injury he suffered at Strade Bianche. In any case, they will be supported by the best of the British squad and, surely, they can become an unbalancing factor in the race.

At the same level as those mentioned, we should include Enric Mas who seems to arrive at the Tour with a motivation and attitude that have little to do with the extreme situation he suffered last year. The Spaniard has had a good start to the season and, despite the lack of victories, he has shown himself to be competitive and with the necessary ambition to look for his chance. However, after a mediocre Dauphiné, the team had to go out to turn off the alarms about his form indicating that he competed ill in this race.

Another of those who has prepared the Tour conscientiously is none other than one of the favorites of the Spanish fans such as Mikel Landa who will be seconded in the race by an always willful Pello Bilbao who was having an excellent role in the Tour of Switzerland before that the entire team abandoned the race after the sad passing of Gino Mäder.

I hope the man from Vitoria has the legs for great occasions and can offer the show that everyone expects him to offer us. In spite of everything, being realistic, facing the general classification he would be one step below those mentioned although, if everything goes in his favor, he is capable of being with the best.

In this other echelon of runners who can play an important role in the race, we cannot forget the Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz, who had a great start to the race during the Dauphiné dispute, with a courageous attitude with which he sought to put against the ropes Vingegaard although the time trial sank him in the classification completing some very discreet last stages.

Finally, although it is not a runner in the general classification, the race will offer a point of morbidity with the participation of Mark Cavendish who, in the year of his farewell, will try to take advantage of one of the few opportunities to show off that the fast men in this Tour de France to leave a victory for history, the one that places him as the cyclist who has managed to win the most stages in the gala round, beating none other than the legendary Eddy Merckx.