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Top Contenders for the 2013 Tour de France -- Chris Froome, Alberto Contador & Cadel Evans

Chris Froome watches as Alberto Contador of Spain shakes hands with Cadel Evans of Australia. (Getty Images)more pics
Top 3 For Yellow

1. Chris Froome
Why: Fromme had a 2nd place finish in the 2012 Tour and is just coming from a string of victories so far in 2013.  He's also now the lead rider for Team Sky (last year Fromme supported his teammate Bradley Wiggins, who ultimately won... but Wiggins isn't racing this year because of knee problems).  Look for Fromme to hammer his competitors on the hills and try for the prized yellow jersey.

2. Alberto Contador
Why: The man is a machine.  He missed last year's race because he was banned for doping.  He's back, and he's a fierce competitor with something to prove.  But Contador got beat by Fromme at this year's Criterium du Dauphine, so the betting odds slightly favor Froome.

3. Cadel Evans
Why: The leader of Team BMC won the Tour de France in 2011.  He's had a strong 2013 so far, knows how to pace himself for Le Tour, and has a solid team to support him.  In fact, his teammate Tejay van Garderen is another top contender.

Others to Watch

Jurgen Van Den Broeck
Why: He finished 4th in last year's Tour and has had a strong Spring season. He's riding for Lotto-Belisol.

Tejay van Garderen
Why: Placed 5th in last year's Tour de France and was the best 'young rider' in the pack.  He'll be riding with teammate Cadel Evans.

Joaquim Rodriguez
Why: Team Katusha will give him lots of support and Rodriguez is considered one of the sport’s strongest climbers.  This year's Tour route includes several mountain finishes and a double climb up the dreaded L'alpe D'huez... all those climbs might give someone like Joaquim Rodriguez just enough advantage.

Ryder Hesjedal
Why: He won the 2012 Giro and has a strong team (Garmin-Sharp), including another potential contender in climber Dan Martin.

Richie Porte
Why: He's riding to support Chris Froome, but Porte himself won Paris-Nice and placed 2nd in the Dauphine... so if anything happens to Froome, Porte could definitely pick up the team's banner.

Other Rivalries

Neither Peter Sagan nor Mark Cavendish will go for the yellow jersey (at least not after the first few stages), but look for these guys to duke it out for stage wins and both pick up lots of points.  Andre Griepel may also make a few headlines for himself... this guy is FAST when a finish line is in sight.

Tejay Van Garderen will have to hold off the likes of Nairo Quintana (of Movistar, and riding with Alejandro Valverde) and Andrew Talansky (making his Tour de France debut) in order to top the young riders classification again.  Other potential threats include Peter Kennaugh and Cameron Meyer.
View Tejay Van Garderen Pictures »
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