Top Five Breakout Contenders in This Year’s Tour De France

This article is a guest submission from freelance writer Brooke Chaplan

tour de france breakout starsThe 21 stages and 2,088.3 miles of the 102nd Tour de France started July 4 and will conclude on July 26.

The iconic bike race features 22 teams set up with nine riders apiece, and even though there are 198 competitors all told, the same few names keep coming up when people discuss the likely winner due to their prowess and tenacity in past races.

UK’s The Guardian goes so far as to dub one group of competitors as “The Big Four”, including Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), Chris Froome (Team Sky), Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar).

Then there are other contenders who could make a surprisingly strong showing as they breakout for the first time in their careers. If you plan on watching, or just want to look intelligent when you chat about the event at work, these are the names your should keep an eye on:

Romain Bardet (Ag2r-la Mondiale)

Bardet has been riding professionally since 2012.

He first made a name himself in the Tour of Turkey during which he showed his prowess in the third stage. He came in fifth in that stage and placed fifth overall for the Tour —at the age of 21.

Last year, he competed in the Tour de France and placed sixth. This year, he competed in the Dauphine and won first place during the fifth stage and placed sixth overall. Expect to see him do great things for his Ag2r-La Mondiale team this next Tour.

Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo)

Majka is a Polish rider who first impressed in the 2013 Giro d’Italia, in which he duked it out with Carlos Betancur for the lead in the Young Riders classification. He fell short, but still came in seventh overall.

During last year’s Tour de France, he earned the Polka Dot jersey through his strength on the mountain stages. His accolades have made him the first Pole to win a jersey in the Tour de France.

Thibaut Pinot (FDJ)

In 2012, the Frenchman was the youngest rider to compete in the Tour de France at 22 years old. Last year, he came in third overall and placed first in the Young Riders classification. This year, he has competed in the Tour de Suisse and the Tour de Romandie and achieved victories during some of the mountain stages in both races.

His young career has been breaking big all over Europe and many expect him to be a big contender this year.

Simon Yates (Orica-GreenEDGE)

Yates and his twin brother Adam are both professional cyclists from Great Britain.

Both of them competed in the 2013 Tour de l’Avenir for Great Britain’s national team. Simon won two stages and finished tenth overall. He and Adam joined Orica-GreenEDGE last year and Yates also took part in his first World Tour race, the Tour of the Basque Country, in which he placed 12th.

This year he placed 5th in Tour of the Basque Country and also placed 5th overall in the Dauphine and won Best Young Rider.

Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Garmin)

American, Andrew Talansky took up competitive cycling when he was 17. After a successful amateur career, he turned pro.

In the 2011 Tour de Romandie, he was one of the top ten finishers. The following year, he scored his first victory in Europe at the Tour de l’Ain. Last year, he won the Dauphine.

The vans that follow these international athletes usually carry extra tires, lube, and even cable replacements or Kore Bikes derailleurs. On your own it’s harder to carry everything you might need for a long ride, but if you at least pack up a pump for flats and have a few granola bars on you, you should be good to have fun on your next ride!


About Brian Clapp

Brian Clapp has worked in the sports media for over 14 years as a writer, editor, producer & news director. After beginning his career in Atlanta at CNN/Sports Illustrated, he switched coasts to Seattle to work at Fox Sports Northwest. In 2010, Brian began pursuing a new found passion on the digital media side, launching a successful website and then taking on the role of Director of Content for &

Recently, Brian has become addicted to Google+ and LinkedIn so add him to your circles and make him a contact. No seriously, do it.

And if you want to know where our privacy policy is before you submit your comments below, it's right here.


  1. Break Blog says:

    Recommended Break Out The Brooke Pump

    […] year, he came in third overall and placed first in the Young Riders classificati […]