Tour de France 2018: Can Chris Froome win the tour again?

July is here and that means one thing in the world of sport – three weeks of cycling at its most exhilarating, gruelling and nail-biting, in the sport’s biggest annual race. Running from Saturday July 7th to Sunday July 29th 2018, the 105th Tour de France will cover a total distance of 3,351km, combining punishing mountain stages with electrifying flat stages, in a tense test of fitness.

One figure all eyes are upon is Team Sky’s Chris Froome, who, having won the Tour de France four times, in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017, is one of the most successful riders in the history of the race.

But can the defending champion hang on to the iconic yellow jersey for a fifth year?

Despite questions over how his form will hold up following cementing an historic win in the 2018 Giro d’Italia, where he became the first British rider to claim the race, Froome is still the bookmakers’ favourite to steam ahead in the yellow jersey and pick up his fifth Tour triumph.

That said, hot on the Kenya-born rider’s heels is a field of 176 riders and Froome and his Sky teammates cannot expect an easy ride.

Another favourite determined to win the 2018 Tour is Italian rider Vincenzo Nibali of team Bahrain-Merida. Nibali finished fourth overall in last year’s Tour and won four stages in the 2014 race. Nicknamed ‘The Shark’, Nibali is described as “one of the greatest bike racers of the modern era.”

Another big name that won’t let Froome and Team Sky have an easy ride, is Nairo Quintana. The Colombian rider of team Movistar is in good form, finishing third at the recent Tour de Suisse. Quintana has stood on the podium in Paris three times but has yet to stand on the top step.

Though, if the reigning champion has his way, the top step will, for the fifth year, be waiting for the prolific Team Sky rider.

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