A look at the 2015 Tour de France favorites June 12 2015

With only less than four weeks remaining between now and the start of the Tour de France. Here’s a recap of the top contenders.

Vincenzo Nibali

    •    Trained at altitude on Mount Teide volcano in the Canary Islands
    •    Pre-Tour test at Criterium du Dauphiné
    •    So far nearly identical to results as last year

Chris Froome

    •    Defeated Alberto Contador at Ruta del Sol ("Route of the Sun")
    •    Trained at altitude on Mount Teide volcano
    •    Placed 3rd at Tour of Romandie (part of the UCI World Tour)

Alberto Contador

    •    Goal to win Giro d’Italia and Tour de France in the same season
    •    Pre-Tour tune up at four day race Route du Sud (stage race in the French Pyrenees )
    •    Balance rest and training, no easy task with just two weeks before Tour

Nairo Quintana

    •    Best climber in the peloton
    •    Skipped Tour last year after winning Giro d’Italia
    •    Acclimated racing on cobblestones, Stage 4 of Tour covers seven sections of them
    •    Training at altitude at home in Colombia

Joaquim Rodriguez

    •    Finished 10 of grand tour 10 times in career
    •    Won two difficult stages in Tour of the Basque Country (stage race)
    •    Next race is Dauphiné

The French Team

    •    Jean-Christophe Peraud and Thibaut Rinot with second and third at the Tour
    •    Frances best finishes since 1997
    •    Dauphiné event important for French squad

The American Team

    •    Tejay van Garderen and Andrew Talansky making Dauphiné last race before Tour
    •    Van Garden winning stage at the Volta Catalunya
    •    Talansky won Dauphiné last year, but abandoned Tour of California due to illness in Stage one
    •    Came back with win at US Pro Time Trial two weeks later
    •    Both need a strong showing at Dauphiné