Tour de France: Who are the yellow jersey favorites?

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A glance at Tour de France yellow jersey favorites with predictions from NBC Sports analysts going into the three-week stage race …

Egan Bernal
2019 Tour de France champion
Team: Ineos Grenadiers
Nationality: Colombia

Last year, Bernal ascended mid-Tour to become Ineos’ leader and, at 22, the youngest Tour de France champion in more than 100 years. Ineos’ hopes for an eighth Tour title in nine years largely rest with the Colombian after it left past Tour champions Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas off this year’s roster. Bernal’s most accomplished teammate is Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz, who won the 2019 Giro d’Italia.

Bernal is NBC Sports analyst Bob Roll‘s pick to win the Tour, though he withdrew after three stages of the Criterium du Dauphine with a sore back earlier this month.

“I just think that Ineos is so clever with their preparations for this one race,” Roll said. “He’s got a very capable team, no matter who they take to the Tour de France. I think we did not see the real Egan in the last couple of races.”

Primoz Roglic
2019 Vuelta a Espana champion
Team: Jumbo-Visma
Nationality: Slovenia

The 2007 World junior team ski jumping champion blossomed into a Grand Tour general classification contender the last two seasons. Roglic, who suffered this scary crash before leaving ski jumping, leads the Tour’s other top-tier team, Jumbo-Visma. Many believe that a combination of Ineos’ shuffling (notably the absences of the aging Froome and Thomas) and Jumbo-Visma’s depth could call for a changing of the guard in the peloton.

The 30-year-old is NBC Sports analyst Christian Vande Velde‘s pick to win the Tour. Roglic, a fourth-place finisher in his last Tour start in 2018, has accomplished help in Tom Dumoulin (2018 Tour runner-up) and a promising climber in American 25-year-old Sepp Kuss. Unfortunately, Roglic will not have 2019 Tour third-place finisher Steven Kruijswijk, who dislocated and fractured his shoulder in the Criterium du Dauphine.

“Even though [Roglic] crashed out of the Dauphine [withdrawing as a precaution while leading] … I still think he’s the strongest guy going right now, and that’s all we have to go off of,” Vande Velde said. “We don’t have much.”

MORE: Tour de France TV, live stream schedule

Nairo Quintana
2013, 2015 Tour de France runner-up
Team: Arkea-Samsic
Nationality: Colombia

Quintana hopes to be rejuvenated with a new team after being part of Movistar’s three-headed Tour leadership with Mikel Landa and Alejandro Valverde that produced a best finish of sixth between 2018 and 2019. Quintana, a 30-year-old who was once Froome’s chief rival, also did not finish the Criterium du Dauphine (knee pain). Already with Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana titles, the Colombian can become the eighth cyclist to win all three Grand Tours.

Thibaut Pinot
2014 Tour de France third-place finisher
Team: Groupama-FDJ
Nationality: France

Considered the best chance for a Frenchman to win the Tour for the first time since Bernard Hinault‘s last of five titles in 1985. Before this 34-year drought, the longest span between French wins in Tour history dating to 1903 was seven races. Pinot, 30, failed to finish his last three Tour starts. In 2019, he tearfully abandoned during stage 19 with a leg injury while in fifth place in the overall standings. If Pinot struggles this year, the French will pin hopes on Julian Alaphilippe, who surprisingly wore the yellow jersey for 14 days last year before ultimately finishing fifth. And Romain Bardet, who was second in 2016 and third in 2017.

Tadej Pogacar
2019 Vuelta a Espana third-place finisher
Team: UAE Team Emirates
Nationality: Slovenia

Last year, at 20, he became the youngest Grand Tour podium finisher since 1974. This year, he can become the first rider to win his Tour de France debut since Frenchman Laurent Fignon in 1983. Pogacar, fourth in the Dauphine, was initially expected to support veteran Fabio Aru in the Tour but is now slated to be a team leader.

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Mikaela Shiffrin returns with mantra, stuck to her helmet, to carry forever

Mikaela Shiffrin
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Look close at Mikaela Shiffrin as she steps into a race start gate for the first time in eight months on Oct. 17.

Shiffrin, the two-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time World Cup overall champion, plans to wear a helmet with two special stickers on the back.

She’s donned the first decal for years — the initials ABFTTB, which stand for “Always Be Faster Than The Boys,” a personalized autograph motto from retired Olympic Alpine skier Heidi Voelker.

The new sticker reads, Be nice. Think first. Have fun.

Those lines came from Shiffrin’s father, Jeff — the mantra instilled in her and older brother Taylor, also a young ski racer at the time.

After Jeff died on Feb. 2, Shiffrin regularly remembered the question that Jeff posed years ago: “What are the golden rules?”

Be nice. Think first.

When the Shiffrin siblings were old enough, Jeff added the third rule.

“He felt like we could understand that having fun wasn’t just about going and doing whatever you want because it’s instantly gratifying,” Shiffrin told NBC Sports’ Alex Azzi in an On Her Turf interview. “Fun is doing something well and the satisfaction you get from sticking to something.”

She plans to race all season with the golden rules sticker on her helmet, right next to ABFTTB.

Shiffrin detailed more about her prep for a very different World Cup campaign, in conjunction with a new fund in honor of her late father, in this On Her Turf report.

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2020 Tour de France results

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2020 Tour de France results for the yellow jersey, green jersey, white jersey and polka-dot jersey …

Overall (Yellow Jersey)
1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) — 87:20:05
2. Primoz Roglic (SLO) — +:59
3. Richie Porte (AUS) — +3:30
4. Mikel Landa (ESP) — +5:58
5. Enric Mas (ESP) — +6:07
6. Miguel Angel Lopez (COL) — +6:47
7. Tom Dumoulin (NED) — +7:48
8. Rigberto Uran (COL) — +8:02
9. Adam Yates (GBR) — +9:25
10. Damiano Caruso (ITA) — +14:03
13. Richard Carapaz (ECU) — +25:53
15. Sepp Kuss (USA) — +42:20
17. Nairo Quintana (COL) — +1:03:07
29. Thibaut Pinot (FRA) — +1:59:54
36. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA) — +2:19:11
DNF. Egan Bernal (COL)

Sprinters (Green Jersey)
1. Sam Bennett (IRL) — 380 points
2. Peter Sagan (SVK) — 284
3. Matteo Trentin (ITA) — 260
4. Bryan Coquard (FRA) — 181
5. Wout van Aert (BEL) — 174

Climbers (Polka-Dot Jersey)
1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) — 82 points
2. Richard Carapaz (ECU) — 74
3. Primoz Roglic (SLO) — 67
4. Marc Hirschi (SUI) — 62
5. Miguel Angel Lopez (COL) — 51

Young Rider (White Jersey)
1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) — 87:20:13
2. Enric Mas (ESP) — +6:07
3. Valentin Madouas (FRA) — +1:42:43
4. Dani Martinez (COL) — +1:55:12
5. Lennard Kamna (GER) — +2:15:39

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