Richie Porte: Geraint Thomas is the clear Tour de France favourite

Trek-Segafredo leader Richie Porte is all smiles on the morning of stage 5 of the 2019 Tour of Calif

Richie Porte ( Trek-Segafredo ) has tipped defending champion Geraint Thomas as the main favourite for this year's Tour de France . Thomas won his maiden Tour last year but is set to be a co-leader at Team Ineos after Egan Bernal won the Tour de Suisse in June. Thomas crashed out of that race and has not reached his top form this year. With Chris Froome already out of the Tour, this year's race is the most open in several years but Porte – a one-time teammate of Thomas and Froome – believes that the Welshman should be fully backed over the next three weeks. "I think that Geraint Thomas is the clear favourite," Porte told the press in Belgium on Thursday. "He won it last year and he's probably in better shape this year, too. It's a shame that Chris Froome is not here but it does change ...

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