The 2022 Tour de France is exactly one month away.
The 109th edition of the French grand tour starts July 1 in Copenhagen, and ends on the Champs-Élysées on July 24.
With the Giro d’Italia now in the rearview mirror, the Tour hype machine will soon kick into gear.
Up next is the Critérium du Dauphiné, where many of the Tour-bound stars will race for the last time before heading to Denmark. The Tour de Suisse will also see a handful of Tour riders as well.
With one month to go, where are the Tour favorites and what is their approach to the fight for the yellow jersey?
Here is a quick update:
Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates)
The two-time Tour champion has been cooling his jets since a very busy spring campaign that saw him win Strade Bianche and Tirreno-Adriatico before lighting up the spring classics.
Pogačar missed defending his title at Liège-Bastogne-Liège to attend a family emergency, and hasn’t raced since finishing 12th at La Flèche Wallonne.
Like most Tour favorites, Pogačar retreats to altitude ahead of the Tour. A video by teammate Raja Majka from the Col du Galibier showed Pogačar frolicking in snow over the high-altitude climb. Pogačar was also recently at Livigno, Italy, a favored warm-weather altitude training area for Tour-bound pros.
His lone race ahead of the Tour will be the Tour of Slovenia on June 15-19. After three previous starts in his home national tour, he won in 2021, and will be defending his title.
Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma)
The 2020 Tour runner-up has been camped out at Sierra Nevada in Spain’s southern mountains.
Most of Jumbo-Visma’s Tour-bound squad has been training together there, along with the likes of Wout van Aert and Jonas Vingegaard.
Last year, Roglič crashed out of the Tour, and will be hoping to remain upright and help push his team to the top spot in Paris. Jumbo-Visma has finished second the past two editions of the Tour behind Pogačar, with Roglič in 2020 and Vingegaard in his breakout ride last summer.
A winner at Paris-Nice in March, Roglič last raced at Itzulia Basque Country in April.
Most of Jumbo-Visma’s hitters race the Critérium du Dauphiné starting this weekend, while Sepp Kuss will race the Tour de Suisse later in June.
Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers)
The 2018 Tour winner recently wrapped up an altitude camp on Spain’s Teide volcano.
The Ineos Grenadiers captain revealed it was “at least 15” camps on the barren, rocky summit, a longtime favorite haunt of elite cyclists. He estimated he’s spent a collective eight months on the crater over the years.
Thomas is winless so far in 2022, and last raced at the Tour de Romandie finishing 19th overall. Team officials confirmed he will race at the Tour de Suisse.
Enric Mas (Movistar)
The top Spanish favorite is targeting the podium in what will be his fourth Tour start. Fifth in 2020 and sixth last year, the Spanish all-rounder is slated to test his form at the Critérium du Dauphiné starting Sunday.
Like many top pros, Mas took advantage of the past few weeks to scout and preview key Tour stages. Last month, Mas and some key teammates previewed climbs and finales that will be featured across the Pyrénées in this year’s Tour.
Mas is winless so far in 2022, with fourth at the Volta a Valenciana and ninth at Itzulia Basque Country. He lasted raced at Liège with 12th.
Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic)
Like many of his compatriots, Quintana preferred to train recently at cycling’s ultimate altitude camp on home roads in Colombia.
The Arkéa-Samsic rider recovered from injuries that forced him out of the Tour of Turkey in April, and will race at the La Route d’Occitanie-La Dépêche du Midi (formerly Route du Sud) on June 16-19 in his lone race before the Tour.
Quintana won two French stage races early in the season, and was fifth at Paris-Nice and fourth at Volta a Catalunya. The three-time Tour podium finisher will be an outsider for Tour success if he can survive the harrowing first half of the race and arrive to altitude with his chances intact.
Chris Froome (Israel-Premier Tech)
The four-time Tour de France winner is coming off his best result in three years.
On Tuesday, he finished 11th in the one-day Mercan’Tour Classic Alpes-Maritimes in France. That’s his best result since 2019 and his career-threatening crash at that year’s Critérium du Dauphiné. Froome helped set up teammates Jakob Fulgsang and Michael Woods to finish first and second, respectively.
Froome, 37, is still hopeful for a Tour de France selection, and will race next at the Dauphiné starting Sunday.