NBC Sports Tour De France 2012: Breaking Down This Year's Top Competitors

Steve MazeCorrespondent IIJune 26, 2012

PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 24:  Cadel Evans of team BMC poses for photos as he takes part in a victory parade after winning the 2011 Tour de France after the twenty first and final stage of Le Tour de France 2011, from Creteil to the Champs-Elysees in Paris on July 24, 2011 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Michael Steele/Getty Images

With the Tour de France 2012 set to start on Saturday, the coveted yellow jersey is once again up for grabs. The following are two of the favorites to be wearing the yellow jersey at the finish line on July 22 in Paris.

Cadel Evans

Evans, the defending champion has to be considered a favorite for a repeat. The Australian cyclist who turned 35 last February is one of the veteran's of the race.

While youth isn't in his favor, experience is. Evans also finished runner-up in 2008 and 2009. After finally breaking through to win last year, he is looking to become the first back-to-back champion since Lance Armstrong in 2005.

Bradley Wiggins

Earlier this month, Wiggins won the Criterium du Dauphine and thus has to be considered a favorite to win the 2012 Tour de France.

Wiggins stands as Great Britain's best hope to win the race, with his top finish being 4th place in 2009.

After a disappointing 2010 finish and an injury in 2011, Wiggins looks to build off his Criterium du Dauphine victory, which is considered a tune-up for the Tour de France.

The race per usual will be decided in the Alps, where cyclists will climb unfathomable heights.

As they approach Paris, look for Evans and Wiggins to be near the front of the pack as they push for the most coveted jersey in cycling.