Egan Bernal will be managing a back injury on the Tour de France and is wary of the threat posed by Primoz Roglic and his Jumbo-Visma team.
Ahead of his defence of the yellow jersey, Bernal appeared to be in good form with a victory at La Route d'Occitanie and a runner-up finish in the Tour de l'Ain.
However, Team INEOS' sole lead rider for the Grand Tour, with former champions Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas left out of the line, withdrew from the Criterium du Dauphine with a back problem.
Bernal acknowledged the issue was persisting on the eve of the Grand Depart in Nice on Saturday, but he is hopeful of being in contention in the final week.
"I feel a little bit of pain in the back, to be honest. I'm much better than I was in the Dauphine. In the Dauphine it was really bad, the pain," said Bernal.
"But these days I'm feeling much better and I hope during the whole Tour to be working hard and trying to recover, especially for the last week."
Alongside Bernal, Roglic is one of the leading contenders going into the rescheduled Tour despite a crash in the Dauphine.
The Slovenian beat Bernal at the Tour de l'Ain and has not finished outside the top four in any of the 11 stage races he has completed since April 2018, winning eight of them.
Roglic's Jumbo-Visma team-mate Tom Dumoulin, the 2017 Giro d'Italia winner, is also among the favourites, having placed in the top two in each of his previous three Grand Tour finishes, but he has not completed one since the 2018 Tour.
"I think they [Jumbo-Visma] are really something. For sure they will be one of the favourites to win the race," said Bernal.
"Primoz, in the past races, he was the strongest guy and he was flying. I think they will be one of the favourites and we need to be really careful with him and also Tom Dumoulin, who was getting better in the last races.
"That's something good for the race to have another strong team, a really, really strong team to fight.
"It can be good for us because they will need to take some responsibility in the race."