A 2012 Tour de France Team Summary - Part 2
Twenty-two teams are contesting the 2012 Tour de France and I break down their chances. Part 2.
the big boys in July and I don't see him on the podium. Next year...
It seems like every day this team is in the news for all the wrong reasons. Chris Horner, an obvious choice for the 2012 Tour de France, was left off the long list for selection. Then an about-face and he's on the Tour squad. Then you have the USADA investigation that accused team manager Johan Bruyneel of facilitating drug use during the Postal Service days. As a result he wisely decided to not show his face in France. Oh, did I mention that their best hope, Andy Schleck, is out due to a cracked pelvis? Then there's the rumor that the Schlecks are jumping ship to a German team to be formed in 2013 - contracts be damned!
Possibly older brother Frank Schleck might finish in the top ten, as well as Horner. Recently crowned Fabian Cancellara is their only hope for stage victories in the time trials.
Well there's always next year ... oh wait ... never mind.
Sure they have pretty boy Ivan Basso as one of their leaders, but he seems to have lost that special something these past few years. I can't figure out why...
Peter Sagan is a good choice for the Green Jersey. He can sprint, climb fairly well, and I believe he'll give Cavendish a run in the bunch sprints. Sagan, AKA "The Velvet Samurai," could take intermediate sprint points and finish consistently in the stages that matter to accumulate enough time to finish in Paris with Green.
For the Yellow Jersey, Vincenzo Nibali has a proven track record of good finishes in a Grand Tour. His climbing has improved. Plus he'll have Basso to back him up. I like "Nibbles" for third on G.C.
To no one's surprise Team Sky is focused on Bradley Wiggins to win the 2012 Tour de France. But what about Mark Cavendish who is almost guaranteed stage wins? Looking at the roster Cav is going to have just a couple of guys to help him as the bulk of the team's roster is all about Wiggo all the time. That said, I think Cav can do it with minimal support. And no matter how much I hear he's going to finish the Tour, Cav could pull the plug before Paris so he can recover for the London Olympic Games, so why waste riders on a guy that might not go the full distance?
If the Dauphine is any sign of how strong the team is, Team BMC Racing will have their hands full. That said, I still like Evans as I wonder if Wiggins hit his form too soon. We'll see.
This team gained fame last year with Johnny Hoogerland's horrible crash into a barbed wire fence. Then to show how bad-ass he was, he got up, remounted and completed the Tour. A legend was born that day.
The team isn't competing for the general classification, but they have Hoogerland, a solid performer in the mountains and Lieuwe