Slovenian cyclist Tadej Pogačar of UAE Team Emirates will be gunning for the three-peat at this year’s Tour de France, hoping to become the the youngest rider to win the race three times consecutively.
He’ll be up against stiff competition, most notably in the form of an unforgiving, mountainous route that favours the powerful legs of the climbers.
But who from Great Britain is competing in this year’s race, and how can you watch the action unfold on TV?
Here is everything you need to know about it.
When is the 2022 Tour de France?
The 2022 Tour de France will begin on 1 July in Copenhagen, Denmark, and conclude on 24 July at the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
What is the route?
The route does not favour sprinters, focusing instead on summit finishes and a return to the infamous Paris-Roubaix cobblestones.
The Tour will begin with a 13-kilometre Copenhagen city-centre time trial, before the race reconvenes on France’s north coast and winds down the west of the country, clipping through portions of Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland along the way.
The race will travel through the Alps and the Pyrenees mountains - including a summit finish on Alpe d’Huez - before concluding with a 40-kilometre time trial and the traditional Parisian finish.
For the first time since 2018, the bone-shaking cobblestones of the Paris-Roubaix will be featured, with about 20 km of sections, some of which have never been utilised before in either the Tour or Paris-Roubaix.
Across 21 stages, this year’s riders will cover 3,328 km (2,068 miles) on their bikes.
For more on the Tour de France 2022 route, head to our dedicated explainer.
Four British riders have been confirmed to be taking part in this year’s tour - although injury and other factors can always affect that number.
Tom Pidcock, a 22-year old from Leeds who has only been racing professionally for a year, will make his Tour debut - he previously won gold in the cross-country mountain bike competition at the summer 2022 Olympics.
Geraint Thomas, 36, is a two-time Olympic gold medallist who previously scooped victory in the Tour in 2018, becoming first Welsh and British-born rider to do so.
29-year-old Adam Yates from Bury had his most successful year at the Tour in 2016, placing fourth overall and winning the young rider classification, the first British rider to do so.
All three of the above riders will be racing for Ineos Grenadiers.
Then there’s Chris Froome, racing for Israel–Premier Tech and hoping for his fifth Tour win - though at 37, the ageing cyclist has been beset by injury during his preparations for the latest cycling season.
Who might win?
Here are the latest odds on how the final Top 10 of the 2022 race might shake out, according to Paddy Power:
- Tadej Pogacar (Slovenia) - 8/15
- Primoz Roglic (Slovenia) - 5/2
- Jonas Vingegaard (Denmark) - 5/1
- Daniel Martínez (Colombia) - 12/1
- Geraint Thomas (Great Britain) - 22/1
- Alexander Vlasov (Russia) - 22/1
- Enric Mas Nicolau (Spain) - 22/1
- Adam Yates (Great Britain) - 25/1
- Richard Carapaz (Ecuador) - 30/1
- Jack Haig (Australia) - 40/1
How can I watch it?
In the UK, ITV4 will once again be providing its in depth coverage of the race, after the channel signed a multi-year arrangement to broadcast cycling’s biggest event until at least 2023.
ITV has shown live coverage of each stage of the Tour de France on free-to-air television since 2002, as well as a nightly highlights programme.
ITV also has rights to show live coverage of the Tour de Yorkshire, as well as highlights of the Criterium Dauphine and Paris-Nice.
ITV’s cycling coverage also includes daily highlights of La Vuelta a Espana, as well as coverage of the Tour of Britain, Women’s Tour, and the Tour Series on ITV4.
Following the race, the Tour de France and Netflix have teamed up to produce a documentary series about the 2022 race, with eight 45-minute episodes following all of the Tour’s major players from cyclists to team managers.
What is the Tour de France Femmes?
The men’s Tour de France will be followed by the inaugural Tour de France Femmes, which will have its debut stage on the Tour’s final day.
The race comes after years of campaigning by the women’s professional peloton for a competition similar to the Tour de France for men.
The race follows a different route to that of the men’s tour, and the new event will begin on the Champs-Élysées as the men’s race comes to an end.
Gravel stretches amid the vineyards of Champagne, Vosges mountain stages and a summit finish at La Super Planche des Belles Filles are all part of the route.
The eight-stage race will cover a total distance of 1,029 km (639 miles), and required a waiver from the Union Cycliste Internationale to be held.
That’s because restrictions on Women’s WorldTour races mean they can usually only have a maximum stage length of 160 km (99 miles) and a maximum race length of six days, requirements that have been criticised by campaigners as sexist.