The 2024 Tour de France gets underway in Florence on 29th June, and this year there are 11 British riders among the 176 starters facing 3,498km over the next three weeks to reach Nice. The total of 11 riders improves on last year’s tally of 7. This is, in fact, the highest number of British riders in the Tour de France ever.

Over the years, British riders have left an indelible mark on the Tour, with legends like Mark Cavendish, Chris Froome, Bradley Wiggins, Chris Boardman, Barry Hoban, and Tom Simpson showcasing the nation’s talent and determination. Mark Cavendish, known as the “Manx Missile,” has thrilled fans with his incredible sprinting powers, amassing 34 stage wins and equalling the record for the most stage victories in the Tour’s history. Chris Froome, with his four Tour de France titles, has cemented his place as one of the greatest cyclists of his generation, while Bradley Wiggins made history in 2012 by becoming the first Briton to win the Tour.

Chris Boardman, famed for his prologue time trial victories and his contribution to cycling technology, and Barry Hoban, with his eight stage wins, have also significantly contributed to Britain’s rich cycling heritage. Tom Simpson, whose career was tragically cut short, is remembered for his grit and the iconic phrase, “Put me back on my bike.” This legacy of British excellence continues into 2024 with a new generation of riders. Between the British riders set to start this year’s Tour de France, they boast 41 stage wins, a yellow jersey, two green jerseys, and a whole lot of hope. Let’s take a closer look at the British riders competing in this year’s race.

British Cyclists in the 2024 Tour de France

Mark Cavendish (Astana Qazaqstan Team)

Age: 39
Highest GC Position: 130th (2007)
Total Stage Wins: 34

2024 sees the grand comeback of Manxman Mark Cavendish. After crashing out on the road to Limoges at last year’s Tour de France, Cavendish has returned for one last dance. Known for his blistering speed and remarkable finish-line blasts, Cavendish will be aiming to add more stage wins to his illustrious career, potentially breaking the record for the most stage wins in Tour history.

Geraint Thomas

Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers)

Age: 38
Highest GC Position: 1st (2018)
Total Stage Wins: 3

Ineos Grenadiers has a Tour de France winner in their ranks in Geraint Thomas. The Welshman won the yellow jersey in 2018 and has made the podium twice thereafter. Geraint has come off a solid Giro d’Italia, finishing in third place. Remarkably, he still possesses the pedigree to reach the Grand Tour podium, even at the age of 38. This year will be his fourteenth Tour appearance, making him the most experienced rider in the bunch this summer.

Simon Yates
Simon Yates

Simon Yates (Team Jayco–AlUla)

Age: 31
Highest GC Position: 4th (2023)
Total Stage Wins: 2

Jayco-AlUla are led by Englishman Simon Yates. The Bury-born rider will look to improve on his fourth-place finish from last year. Often under the radar among the GC favourites, Simon Yates should be a firm contender for a top-ten finish. His climbing legs and aggressive tactics make for entertaining watching and equally fruitful results.

Adam Yates
Adam Yates

Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates)

Age: 31
Highest GC Position: 3rd (2023)
Total Stage Wins: 1

Adam Yates rode a seminal Tour in 2023. The UAE Team Emirates rider took a stage win on the first day of racing in Bilbao, giving him the yellow jersey for four days. After supporting Tadej Pogačar in his bid to topple Jonas Vingegaard, Yates climbed onto the podium, finishing in third place overall. This year, Yates has consolidated his Grand Tour status, and while he will ride in support of Pogačar, there is a chance that he could contend for a stage win and fight for the podium once again.

Tom Pidcock Alpe d'Huez Tour de France 2022
Tom Pidcock

Thomas Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers)

Age: 24
Highest GC Position: 13th (2023)
Total Stage Wins: 1

It feels like a long time ago that Tom Pidcock took a breakaway victory atop Alpe d’Huez in 2022. Since then, Pidcock has consolidated his place as one of the best cyclocross and mountain bike riders in the world. On the road, the same lofty heights have not been equalled. However, the Tour offers a real opportunity for Pidcock to announce himself again. He has said that he will decide whether to go for the GC or not, with the upcoming Olympics being his main goal this year.

Fred Wright
Fred Wright

Fred Wright (Team Bahrain Victorious)

Age: 25
Highest GC Position: 54th (2022)
Total Stage Wins: 0

The Bahrain Victorious rider has ridden well at the two previous Tours de France, coming closest to a stage win in Saint-Étienne in 2022. The Londoner still qualifies for the white jersey at the age of 25 and will be hoping for a stage win, most likely from a breakaway.

Ben-Turner
Ben Turner

Ben Turner (Ineos Grenadiers)

Age: 25
Highest GC Position: DNF (2023)
Total Stage Wins: 0

Ben Turner will line up for his second Tour de France. Billed as ‘The Clock’ – a frustrating nickname given that Big Ben is the bell rather than the clock – the 25-year-old Turner has become a dependable cog in the Ineos machine. The Doncaster-born rider will prove useful in the transitional stages and could well get an opportunity or two in the breakaways.

Oscar Onley
Oscar Onley

Oscar Onley (Team dsm–firmenich PostNL)

Age: 21
Highest GC Position: N/A – Debut
Total Stage Wins: 0

Oscar Onley, the youngest of the British contingent, represents the new generation of British cycling talent. A strong climber, Onley made headlines in 2022 after fiercely challenging Jonas Vingegaard at the Cro Race. Onley’s Tour appearance is a big deal for Scottish cycling, marking the first time in ten years that a Scottish rider will take on the Tour.

Jake Stewart (Israel–Premier Tech)

Age: 24
Highest GC Position: N/A – Debut
Total Stage Wins: 0

The 24-year-old from Coventry, Jake Stewart, will make his Tour de France debut this year. Formerly of Groupama-FDJ, Stewart moved across to the UCI ProTeam Israel-Premier Tech last winter. Stewart is a hardy sprinter capable enough to sprint without a lead-out train and could feature in a few breakaways.

Stephen Williams (Israel–Premier Tech)

Age: 28
Highest GC Position: N/A – Debut
Total Stage Wins: 0

Currently riding his strongest season to date, Stephen Williams will make his Tour de France debut in 2024. In April, he sealed a career-defining win at La Flèche Wallonne after taking his first UCI WorldTour stage race win at the Tour Down Under back in January with a final stage victory at Mount Lofty. Williams will be one of Israel-Premier Tech’s strongest stage-winning cards at the Tour.

Dan McLay
Dan McLay

Daniel McLay (Arkéa–B&B Hotels)

Age: 32
Highest GC Position: 170th (2016)
Total Stage Wins: 0

Born in New Zealand but raised in the East Midlands, Dan McLay has often been this past decade’s overlooked British sprinter. McLay will be on leadout duties for Tour stage winner Arnaud Démare this time around but will aim for stage wins and support his team’s overall strategy.

British Participation in Recent Tour de France Editions

The 11 riders in this year’s Tour de France is a record, surpassing the previous record of 10 set in 2015 and 2021.

The British cyclists in the 2024 Tour de France are a mix of experience, talent, and potential. From seasoned veterans like Mark Cavendish and Geraint Thomas to young guns like Oscar Onley and Thomas Pidcock, the British contingent is poised to make a significant impact on this year’s race. Whether it’s vying for stage wins, supporting team leaders, or targeting the general classification, these riders embody the spirit and determination of British cycling. The 2024 Tour de France is set to be an exciting spectacle for British fans and cycling enthusiasts worldwide.