The 2024 Tour de France is poised to be one of the most gruelling in recent history, with a route designed to challenge even the most seasoned climbers. Featuring numerous high-altitude finishes and iconic climbs such as the Col du Galibier and the Plateau de Beille, this year’s edition promises intense battles in the mountains. Climbers will need to excel to survive the race’s toughest stages, with the General Classification likely being decided in the high mountains.

The rivalry between Tadej Pogačar and Jonas Vingegaard has defined the past two seasons. Pogačar, a two-time Tour winner, and Vingegaard, the defending champion, have pushed each other to new heights. Their head-to-head battles have become the centrepiece of modern cycling, with each rider showcasing extraordinary climbing skills and tactical acumen. However, the season has also been marked by significant injuries. Vingegaard suffered a crash in the Tour of the Basque Country, and Remco Evenepoel has faced similar setbacks because of the same crash, which could impact their performances in the Tour de France this year.

Here’s a detailed analysis of the top 10 climbers, their specific results from the 2024 season, their best Tour de France GC results, their best King of the Mountain (KOM) jersey results, and why they are worth watching.

Who are the best climbers in the 2024 Tour de France?

1. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates)

Best Result 2024: Winner of the Giro d’Italia
Best Tour de France GC Result: 1st (2020, 2021)
Best KOM Result: 1st (2020, 2021)

  • Giro Dominance: Pogačar won six stages, including key mountain stages and the individual time trial, leading to an overall victory by a significant margin.
  • Volta Catalunya: Secured overall victory with three stage wins, showcasing his exceptional climbing and tactical skills.
  • Strengths: Known for his explosive climbing, resilience, and consistency, making him a strong contender for both the KOM jersey and overall victory in the Tour de France.

2. Jonas Vingegaard (Team Visma | Lease a Bike)

Best Result 2024: Winner of Tirreno-Adriatico
Best Tour de France GC Result: 1st (2022, 2023)
Best KOM Result: 1st (2022)

  • Tirreno-Adriatico Victory: Vingegaard showcased his strength by winning stages 5 and 6 and securing the overall victory in the Tirreno-Adriatico.
  • High-Altitude Performance: His wins in the mountains of the Apennines demonstrated his ability to dominate in challenging terrain.
  • Strengths: Endurance, high-altitude capability, and consistent performance throughout the season.

3. Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates)

Best Result 2024: Winner of the Tour de Suisse
Best Tour de France GC Result: 3rd (2023)
Best KOM Result: 18th (2018)

  • Tour de Suisse Victory: Dominated the race, winning multiple stages and taking the overall title.
  • Climbing Skill: Demonstrated exceptional ability in the mountains.
  • Strengths: Consistent in mountain stages, making him a key player in the Tour.

4. Aleksandr Vlasov (BORA – hansgrohe)

Best Result 2024: 3rd in the Tour of the Alps
Best Tour de France GC Result: 5th (2022)
Best KOM Result: N/A

  • Consistent Performances: Achieved a notable third place in the Tour of the Alps, showcasing his climbing abilities.
  • Endurance and Power: Demonstrated strong performance in the mountains.
  • Strengths: Sustained high power outputs and consistent climbing form.
Remco-Evenepoel

5. Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step)

Best Result 2024: 4th in the Vuelta a San Juan
Best Tour de France GC Result: N/A (Debut in 2024)
Best KOM Result: N/A (Debut in 2024)

  • Climbing Abilities: Showcased his strength and versatility in the Vuelta a San Juan.
  • Aggressive Racing Style: Known for his aggressive tactics and ability to perform across various terrains.
  • Strengths: Incredible engine and resistance to fatigue.

6. Primož Roglič (BORA – hansgrohe)

Best Result 2024: Winner of the Critérium du Dauphiné
Best Tour de France GC Result: 2nd (2020)
Best KOM Result: 2nd (2017)

  • Dauphiné Victory: Won the overall classification, including a critical mountain stage.
  • Resilience: Demonstrated consistent performance under pressure.
  • Strengths: Climbing ability and extensive experience in grand tours.

7. Romain Bardet (Team dsm-firmenich PostNL)

Best Result 2024: 5th in the Tour of the Alps
Best Tour de France GC Result: 2nd (2016)
Best KOM Result: 1st (2019)

  • Aggressive Style: Known for his attacking climbs.
  • Tour of the Alps: Achieved a top-five finish, highlighting his climbing strength.
  • Strengths: Experience and ability to disrupt the peloton on mountainous stages.

8. Carlos Rodríguez (INEOS Grenadiers)

Best Result 2024: 2nd in the Tour de Romandie
Best Tour de France GC Result: 5th (2023)
Best KOM Result: 31st (2023)

  • Rising Star: Secured second place in the Tour de Romandie.
  • High-Altitude Performance: Strong showings in mountainous terrain.
  • Strengths: Young talent with significant climbing potential.
Pello Bilbao Tour Down Under Stage 3 2023

9. Pello Bilbao (Bahrain – Victorious)

Best Result 2024: 4th in the Giro d’Italia
Best Tour de France GC Result: 6th (2023)
Best KOM Result: 13th (2023)

  • Giro Performance: Showed endurance and consistency in challenging stages.
  • Dark Horse: Capable of strong, surprising performances.
  • Strengths: Versatility and endurance in grand tours.

10. Sepp Kuss (Team Visma | Lease a Bike)

Best Result 2024: 6th in the Vuelta a España
Best Tour de France GC Result: 12th (2023)
Best KOM Result: 14th (2021)

  • Vuelta Performance: Achieved sixth place in 2024, after winning the 2023 edition, highlighting his climbing skill.
  • Key Domestique: Provides crucial support for Vingegaard this year, having previously done so for Roglič.
  • Strengths: Experience and strength in high-altitude conditions.
Jai Hindley

11. Jai Hindley (BORA – hansgrohe)

Best Result 2024: 3rd in the Tirreno-Adriatico
Best Tour de France GC Result: 7th (2023)
Best KOM Result: 8th (2023)

  • Tirreno-Adriatico Performance: Consistently strong, finishing third overall.
  • Tour de France Stage Win: Secured a stage win and wore the yellow jersey in 2023.
  • Strengths: Determination and tactical acumen in the mountains.

12. Jesús Herrada (Cofidis)

Best Result 2024: 1st in the Vuelta a Murcia
Best Tour de France GC Result: 20th (2019)
Best KOM Result: 14th (2020)

  • Vuelta a Murcia Victory: Demonstrated climbing strength with a decisive win.
  • Consistency: Regularly performs well in mountainous stages.
  • Strengths: Experience and ability to excel in mid-range mountain stages.

13. Ion Izagirre (Cofidis)

Best Result 2024: 2nd in the Vuelta a Andalucía
Best Tour de France GC Result: 22nd (2018)
Best KOM Result: 23rd (2013)

  • One Day Race Performance: Strong showings in Spanish races like GP Miguel Indurain makes him a KoM jersey and stage win contender.
  • Versatility: Effective in both climbing and time trials.
  • Strengths: Tactical intelligence and endurance.

14. Guillaume Martin (Cofidis)

Best Result 2024: 5th in the Tour de Romandie
Best Tour de France GC Result: 8th (2021)
Best KOM Result: 21st (2021)

  • Tour des Alpes Performance: Finished eighth overall, showing his ability on French roads.
  • Consistency: Regular top-ten finishes in mountain stages.
  • Strengths: Analytical approach and endurance in climbs.
Egan Bernal Tour de France 2019

15. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers)

Best Result 2024: 2nd in the Tour de Suisse
Best Tour de France GC Result: 1st (2019)
Best KOM Result: 2nd (2019)

  • Stage Race Performance: Finished 4th at Suisse, 3rd at Catalunya and 7th at Paris Nice, demonstrating his return to form.
  • Comeback: Strong performances following previous injuries.
  • Strengths: Experience and resilience in grand tours.

16. Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers)

Best Result 2024: 1st in the Tour of the Basque Country
Best Tour de France GC Result: 1st (2018)
Best KOM Result: 4th (2018)

  • Giro d’Italia Podium: Secured a podium spot with consistent performances.
  • Experience: Veteran rider with a wealth of grand tour experience.
  • Strengths: Tactical acumen and ability to perform in key stages.

17. Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar Team)

Best Result 2024: 6th in Paris-Nice
Best Tour de France GC Result: 20th (2022)
Best KOM Result: 22nd (2022)

  • Stage Race Performance: Won the Paris-Nice race and finished 2nd at the Dauphiné, showcasing his climbing potential.
  • Rising Talent: Demonstrated promise in key races.
  • Strengths: Young and versatile, with the ability to perform in various terrains.

18. Giulio Ciccone (Lidl-Trek)

Best Result 2024: 3rd in the Critérium du Dauphiné
Best Tour de France GC Result: 31st (2019)
Best KOM Result: 1st (2023)

  • Dauphiné Performance: Finished eighth overall, with 4 top-5 finishes, highlighting his climbing abilities.
  • KOM Competitor: Consistently strong in mountain classifications.
  • Strengths: Aggressive climbing style and resilience.

19. Enric Mas (Movistar Team)

Best Result 2024: 4th in the Vuelta a España
Best Tour de France GC Result: 5th (2020)
Best KOM Result: 11th (2020)

  • Vuelta Performances: Consistent top-five finisher over the years.
  • Experience: Regularly competes at the top level in grand tours.
  • Strengths: Endurance and tactical awareness in mountainous terrain.

20. Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious)

Best Result 2024: 2nd in the Tour of the Alps
Best Tour de France GC Result: 4th (2017, 2020)
Best KOM Result: 7th (2017)

  • Volta Catalunya Performance: Strong second place, demonstrating his climbing prowess.
  • Veteran Climber: Known for his ability to excel in high mountains.
  • Strengths: Experience and consistency in grand tours.

21. Simon Yates (Team Jayco AlUla)

Best Result 2024: 1st in the Vuelta a Asturias
Best Tour de France GC Result: 4th (2023)
Best KOM Result: 6th (2019, 2023)

  • AlUla Tour victory: Secured overall victory with dominant performances.
  • Climbing Specialist: Known for his attacking style on climbs.
  • Strengths: Tactical intelligence and strong finishing in mountain stages.
Joao-Almeida-2024-Tour-de-Suisse-Stage-8

22. João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates)

Best Result 2024: 3rd in the Tour de Suisse
Best Tour de France GC Result: N/A (Debut in 2024)
Best KOM Result: N/A (Debut in 2024)

  • Tour de Suisse Performance: Achieved a podium finish, underscoring his climbing talent.
  • Consistency: Regularly finishes in the top ten in grand tours.
  • Strengths: Versatile and durable in mountainous terrain.

23. Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates)

Best Result 2024: 1st in the Tour de l’Ain
Best Tour de France GC Result: 21st (2020)
Best KOM Result: 28th (2020)

  • Basque Country Performance: Took 4th at the Basque Country, including 3rd on the final day repeated mountain climbs stage.
  • Support Role: Known for his capability to support team leaders effectively.
  • Strengths: Versatile and experienced in various roles within a team.

Main photo credit: Cor Vos