Primoz Roglic will be targeting Tour de France glory for the first time next month after winning the General Classification at the Criterium du Dauphine.
Roglic is 10/3 to top the podium on the Champs-Elysees while his main competition is likely to again come from two-time champion Tadej Pogacar, who is just 8/13 to don the Yellow Jersey for the third consecutive edition of the world's most famous bike race.
Roglic's Jumbo-Visma teammate Jonas Vingegaard, a runner-up last year but beaten by a mile by Pogacar, is 15/4 with Bora-Hansgrohe rider Alexander Vlasov a 18/1 shot.
What: Tour de France
Where: France, with the first three stages taking place in Denmark
When: Friday 1st July 2022 - Sunday 24th July
How to watch: Live on ITV4 & Eurosport, Discovery+ & GCN+
Odds: Tadej Pogacar 8/13, Primoz Roglic 10/3, Jonas Vingegaard 15/4, Alexander Vlasov 18/1, Daniel Martinez 20/1
Roglic looked all over the winner of the 2020 Tour, holding the Yellow Jersey for 11 stages, but Pogacar flew up La Planche des Belles Filles to win the penultimate stage, clinching the GC in sensational circumstances.
They were expected to renew their rivalry in the 2021 edition of Le Tour but Roglic crashed in Stage Three and was never able to recover, eventually abandoning a few days later.
Pogacar took Yellow again while Vingegaard took over as Jumbo-Visma team leader and, despite being no match for UAE Team Emirates star Pogacar, he showed signs which marked him out as a future Tour contender.
A three-time winner of the Vuelta a Espana, who also won the Olympic time trial in Tokyo in 2021, Roglic claimed a first victory at Paris-Nice earlier this year with Britain's Simon Yates 29 seconds back in second place.
However, the 32-year-old struggled following the Race to the Sun, making up the numbers in support of Wout van Aert at Milano-Sanremo and then losing the lead at the Tour of the Basque Country when seemingly on target to win that six-day race.
Roglic was subsequently revealed to be suffering from a knee injury which kept him out of the Ardennes classics, before he made his return after two months off at the Dauphine.
His performance in the eight-day Tour warm-up would have encouraged Jumbo-Visma boss Richard Plugge and his performances on the Col du Galibier, the Croix-de-Fer and into Vaujany on Stage Seven demonstrated his appetite for the Alps.
Everything went to plan for Jumbo-Visma at the Dauphine and, in Vingegaard, Roglic has a willing lieutenant who looks able to step in should he struggle to cope with the rigours of a three-week Grand Tour.
The pair worked well together in the Rhone-Alpes and attacked the rest of the peloton in the eighth and final stage, which Vingegaard would go on to win, a performance which outlined the expected strategy for the Dutch team going into Le Tour.
And if Roglic is in top shape, the presence of the Dane offers the opportunity for a one-two punch for which the other teams will have to be aware, particularly on Alpe d'Huez (Stage 12) and in the final climb into Hautacam on Stage 18 where the GC could be decided.
As well as having two potential team leaders, they possess one of the most versatile riders in the peloton in Van Aert, who can shine in sprints and as a domestique in the mountains, while Sepp Kuss, Rohan Dennis, Steven Kruijswijk, Christophe Laporte and Tiesj Benoot could well round out the strongest overall squad in the race.
Ultimately, Roglic's chances of finally winning the Yellow Jersey will rest as much on him as on Pogacar, who was in real form at the start of 2022, picking up wins at the UAE Tour and Tirreno-Adriatico, as well as one-day glory at Strade-Bianche.
The 23-year-old phenomenon has not been seen since La Fleche Wallonne two months ago but makes his long-anticipated return to action in the Tour of Slovenia this week after completing high-altitude training in the Alps.
That strategy paid off in 2021, although it's difficult to say if Roglic would've laid down a stern challenge had he stayed healthy. Pogacar remains the man to beat but his fellow Slovenian is a three-time Vuelta winner for a reason and, with the backing of a super-strong team, perhaps he could finally gain revenge two years later.