The battle for the maillot jaune could be the fiercest ever at this year’s Tour de France with four of the finest Grand Tour riders of this generation going wheel-to-wheel.
Defending champion Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), 2013 winner Chris Froome (Team Sky), reigning Vuelta a Espana and Giro d’Italia champion Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) and 2013 runner-up Nairo Quintana (Movistar) headline the list of contenders.
With a potentially hazardous route to contend with, even before they reach the high mountains, the racing will be on from the start, starting with the chance to eke out a few seconds and a moral victory on the stage one time trial in Utrecht on Saturday July 4.
But what can we expect in the three weeks which follow? And can anybody else break up the leading foursome?
We’ve taken a closer look at the form book over the following pages.