Pogacar Making Strong Title Defence

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With the 2021 Tour de France in full swing, who will be wearing yellow come the end of this year's event?

Mark Cavendish

There are still 12 stages of this year’s Tour de France remaining but barring disaster the race for the yellow jersey is as good as over.

Pogacar in Firm Control

Defending champion Tadej Pogacar waited until the penultimate stage to take over the leadership of the 2020 Tour de France but, after just nine stages of this year’s edition, he leads the way with daylight in second and is 1/16 to triumph.

Pogacar leads the general classification by just over two minutes from Australian Ben O’Connor, who has emerged as a contender for the podium after his breakaway success on stage nine and is 20/1 to win overall, but more importantly, he has over five minutes in hand on the pre-race favourites after a series of imperious performances in the opening week.

Injuries suffered in crashes on stage three have curtailed the hopes of 2018 Tour winner Geraint Thomas and last year’s runner-up Primoz Roglic, who both lost over 30 minutes on Saturday as Pogacar produced a devastating solo attack to take total command of the race. Although given the form of the 22-year-old champion, it is debatable as to whether they would have been able to muster up any kind of resistance.

Cavendish Going for Green

Mark Cavendish’s resurgence has been one of the feel-good stories of the opening week and he leads the points classification by 38 points from Aussie all-rounder Michael Matthews.

The Manx Missile won two stages in the opening week and is now only two victories shy of Eddy Merckx’s all-time Tour record of 34 stage victories. With five more flat stages to come, including the final on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, Cavendish has ample opportunities to break the Belgian legend’s record in the next two weeks, beginning with Stage 10 on Tuesday.

For all his stage success at the Tour, Cavendish has won the green jersey only once before and his biggest threat this year could come from Italian sprinter Sonny Colbrelli.

The Bahrain-Victorious rider has not been able to live with Cavendish on the flat but picked up valuable points at the intermediate sprint and finish on the mountainous stage nine. He will look to get up the road once again when the route heads back into the mountains in the middle of the second week.

Two-time Grand Tour winner Nairo Quintana will wear the polka dot jersey on stage 10 after taking the lead in the King of the Mountains classification on Stage Nine. Quintana’s days as a yellow jersey contender are probably over but he remains a climber of the highest order and will look to get in the breakaway at any opportunity and pick up mountains points.

His biggest threat will probably come from Pogacar, who took the jersey last year as a by-product of his overall win.

Stage 10 on Tuesday will be for the sprinters but it is a mere hors d’oeuvre for Stage 11 on Wednesday which features two ascents of the fable Mont Ventoux.

*All odds correct at time of writing

The first choice in any quiz team, Jack is your man for stats, facts and information across a wide range of different sports. As well as a vast knowledge of football, he specialises in cycling, rugby and tennis amongst a number of other sports.

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