This year’s Tour de France will certainly be missing some of the biggest British names, but there are still some UK riders that will be worth keeping in mind during the race.
The UK has been a dominant cycling force over the last decade, with Cavendish sweeping up victories in the sprint finishes while Froome and Thomas have won five Tours between them since 2013.
While there looks to be no real chance of a British yellow jersey winner this year, here are all the homegrown talents to keep an eye on in this year’s race.
Team Ineos maybe be leaving their biggest British stars behind, but they are still taking their faithful workhorse and road captain Luke Rowe, who is now heading into his sixth Tour de France.
The Welshman, a strong Classics rider in his own right, has built a reputation as a slick tactician capable of dealing with crosswinds and tricky terrain, while also having the power to lead the entire peloton for huge chunks of a stage.
Rowe was ejected from last year’s Tour on stage 17 after an altercation with Jumbo-Visma’s road captain Tony Martin.
While Rowe won’t be getting his own chances of glory in this year’s edition, always keep an eye out for him at the front of the bunch.
Swift will be one of the most exciting stories to follow at this year’s Tour, as he will be supporting Nairo Quintana’s yellow jersey pursuit in his first full season at WorldTour level.
The Yorkshireman, who was riding for Madison Genesis in the UK at the start of 2019 before he was drafted to Arkéa-Samsic, told Cycling Weekly how he found out he would be riding the Tour and gave his reaction.
Swift, the unexpected British champion back in 2018, will be lining up at the Tour in just his fifth WorldTour event.
Another British Tour debutant is EF Pro Cycling’s Hugh Carthy.
The 26-year-old has been progressing at WorldTour level since joining the US squad back in 2017, having ridden three editions of the Giro d’Italia as well as two editions of the Vuelta a España so far.
Last year Carthy was one of the stand-out riders in the Giro d’Italia General Classification, finishing 11th overall.
This year will be Carthy’s first Tour de France, where he is likely to ride in support of his team’s yellow jersey contenders Rigoberto Urán and Sergio Higuita.
The final Brit to watch out for in the Tour de France this year is Adam Yates.
Adam and his twin brother Simon, both riding for Mitchelton-Scott, look to be part of the next generation of Grand Tour talent to emerge from Britain.
While Adam has been a serious contender in the Tour de France, finishing fourth overall in 2016 and winning the youth classification, this year Mitchelton-Scott said they are focused solely on stage victories.
We may not see Yates, who is heading for Team Ineos next season, leading the race overall but expect to see some ambitious and aggressive racing from the 28-year-old as he pursues his first Grand Tour stage victory.
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