Tour de France contenders

  • Last Updated: July 5 2014, 10:11 BST

We take a look at the leading contenders for the major prizes at year's Tour de France.

  • Froome: Defends the Yellow Jersey this year
  • Mark Cavendish: Hoping to win the green jersey 
  • Pierre Rolland: A King of the Mountains contender 

YELLOW JERSEY CONTENDERS

CHRIS FROOME - 10/11 with Sky Bet

Age: 29

Team: Team Sky

Country: Britain

Previous Appearances (finishes in brackets): 2008 (84th), 2012 (2nd), 2013 (1st).

Stage wins: Four (2012 - stage seven; 2013 - stages eight, 15 and 17).

Froome has not been the near-unbeatable beast he was in 2013 this year and is nervous about the cobbled fifth stage. Froome won the opening two stages of the Criterium du Dauphine, but a crash contributed to his demise later in the race as he finished 12th, giving his rivals a boost ahead of the Tour.

ALBERTO CONTADOR - 11/8

Age: 31

Team: Tinkoff-Saxo

County: Spain

Previous Appearances (finishes): 2007 (1st), 2009 (1st), 2010 (1st*), 2011 (5th*), 2013 (fourth).

Stage wins: Three (2007 - stage 14; 2009 - stages 15 and 18)

The double winner, stripped of the third title he won in 2010 and his fifth place in 2011 for a doping offence, is showing glimpses of his best form. Whether it will be enough to distance Froome remains to be seen.

VINCENZO NIBALI - 10/1

Age: 29

Team: Astana

County: Italy

Previous appearances (finishes): 2008 (20), 2009 (7th), 2012 (3rd).

Stage wins: None

The winner of the 2013 Giro d'Italia missed last year's Tour after being Bradley Wiggins and Froome's nearest challenger the previous year. A daring descender who could attack at any moment.

ALEJANDRO VALVERDE - 16/1

Age: 34

Team: Movistar

County: Spain

Previous appearances (finishes): 2005 (stage 13 abandoned), 2006 (stage three abandoned), 2007 (6th), 2008 (9th), 2012 (20), 2013 (8).

Stage wins: Three (2005 - stage 10; 2008 - stage one; 2012 - stage 17).

Valverde, another who has served a doping suspension, is touted as Movistar's team leader ahead of 2013 Tour runner-up Nairo Quintana, who won the Giro d'Italia but is not expected to be in Yorkshire. Won 2009 Vuelta a Espana.

KING OF THE MOUNTAINS

Alberto Contador is favourite to win the King of the Mountains at 100/30 with Sky Bet while fellow general classification hopeful Chris Froome (5/1) is also a key contender.

Here we look at their main challengers in the race for the polka dot jersey.

PIERRE ROLLAND - 4/1

Age: 27

Team: Team Europcar

County: France

Previous appearances (overall classification): 2009 (21st), 2010 (58th), 2011 (10th), 2012 (eighth), 2013 (24th)

Stage wins: Two (2011 - stage 19; 2012 - stage 11)

The winner of the 2011 young classification, Rolland is certainly growing stronger every year having finished seventh, fourth and third in the previous three King of the Mountains classifications. Rolland managed fourth overall in this year's Giro d'Italia so will head into Le Tour in confident mood.

JOAQUIM RODRIGUEZ - 8/1

Age: 35

Team: Team Katusha

County: Spain

Previous appearances: 2010 (seventh), 2013 (third)

Stage wins: One (2010 - stage 12)

Experienced campaigner Rodriguez has been competing since 2001 but it's his results in the Grand Tours over recent years which have really caught the eye. Since 2010, the Spaniard has achieved four top-three finishes in general classifications, including third at last year's Tour de France, while on two other occasions he's come fourth. A bad crash at this year's Giro d'Italia forced him to quit but the betting suggests he'll be one to watch when Le Tour hits the mountains.

THOMAS VOECKLER - 9/1

Age: 35

Team: Team Europcar

County: France

Previous appearances: 2003 (119th), 2004 (18th), 2005 (124th), 2006 (89th), 2007 (66th), 2008 (97th), 2009 (67th), 2010 (76th), 2011 (fourth), 2012 (26th), 2013 (65th)

Stage wins: Four (2009 - stage five; 2010 - stage 15; 2012 - stages 10 and 16)

Voeckler is one of France's most prominent cyclists in the current era and very much a live outsider to claim the polka dot jersey this year. The 27-year-old won the mountains classification back in 2012, when he also claimed two stage victories, which almost made up for missing out on the maillot jaune 12 months earlier. On that occasion he wore it from stage 10 until stage 18 before ending up fourth overall.

GREEN JERSEY

PETER SAGAN - 1/2

Age: 24

Team: Cannondale

County: Slovakia

Previous appearances: 2012, 2013

Stage wins: Four (2012 - stages one, three and six; 2013 - stage seven).

Peter Sagan is hot favourite to win his third successive green jersey and having already won the points classications at this year's Tirreno-Adiatico, Tour of California and the Tour de Suisse, it'll be hard for anyone to back against him. His 2012 and 2013 successes in the Tour de France made him just the second rider behind Freddy Maertens to win the classification in his first two attempts.

MARK CAVENDISH - 9/2

Age: 29

Team: Omega Pharma-Quick Step

County: Great Britain

Previous appearances: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013.

Stage wins: 23 (2008 - stages five, eight, 12 and 13; 2009 - stages two, three, 10, 11, 19 and 21; 2010 - stages five, six, 11, 18 and 20; 2011 - stages five, seven, 11, 15 and 21; 2012 - stages two, 18 and 20; 2013 - stages five and 13).

Cavendish's year is geared towards winning in Harrogate - his mother's hometown - and taking the Tour's yellow jersey for the first time. Historically a slow starter in the Grand Tours, the Manx Missile will have to reclaim his status as the world's leading sprinter from Marcel Kittel in Yorkshire - and that one stage could be enough to satisfy the winning machine.

MARCEL KITTEL - 5/1

Age: 26

Team: Giant-Shimano

Country: Germany

Previous appearances: 2012, 2013

Stage wins: Four (2013 - stages one, 10, 12 and 21).

Following a disappointingly short-lived Tour de France debut in 2012, Marcel Kittel underlined his sprinting prowess last year when clinching four stage victories, including the finale on the Champs-Elysees which ended Mark Cavendish's four-year winning streak. His fourth-place finish in the 2013 points classification means he's regarded as a credible challenge to Cavendish and Sagen while his two stage wins at the Giro d'Italia should fill him with confidence.