Tour de France Course Report and Prediction
The organizers of the Tour de France seem to have cottoned on to the formula that their counterparts of the Tours of Italy and Spain have settled on to make their races more competitive and interesting.
supporting him. It all adds up to the Sky man winning the Tour de France.
The second man at the head of the class is Contador. The two-time Tour winner knows how to win the race and has the climbing skills to match Froome’s. However, Contador is not quite on Froome’s level in the race of truth , and he is not always alert tactically. However, the Spaniard has Bjarne Riis as his directeur sportif, and he will have a good team working for him. The Saxo Bank-Tinkoff rider should be good for second.
Theoretically, Evans should not be a contender at age 36. The Australian is, however, and he has what it takes to be factor in the race. The 2011 Tour winner can climb well and ride against the clock. He has a good tactical sense, and the BMC man has a good team backing him. However, Evans’s passivity can hold him back, and it will in this Tour. He will be good enough to reach the podium, but not good enough to win.
Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) is second to none in the high mountains. However, his time trialing must improve if he is to reach the podium. He might do very well in the mountain time trial (Stage 17), but he cannot lose two to three minutes in the Stage 10 race of truth and hope to win. The Spaniard has a very good team helping him.
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) has always had the climbing ability to compete in grand tours, and his sprinting ability could make the difference in picking up bonus seconds at the ends of stages. Valverde is an experienced Tour rider who has won four stages of La Grande Boucle . However, time trialing has never been the Spaniard’s strong suit, although he will have a strong team to assist him in the team time trial and in the mountains.
Tejay van Garderen (BMC) has good climbing ability and excellent time trialing skill. Moreover, he is part of a fine team in BMC. However, the American will not be a free agent. He will work for Evans, and that will limit his chances to show what he can do. Van Garderen is a very talented rider who might someday win the Tour de France, but his time is in the future, not now.
Jurgen Van den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol) is a good climber, but not one of the best. Moreover, his time trialing has been disappointing for someone who was a world junior time trial champion. In addition, the Belgian is on a team that is splitting its attention between Van den Broeck and sprinter Andre Greipel. The team is not fully committed to Van den Broeck’s GC aspirations. That being the case, a top ten finish is as much as the Lotto-Belisol man can hope for.
At 22, Thibaut Pinot (Francaise des Jeux) was the youngest rider in last year’s Tour de France. The Frenchman won Stage 8, pulling away from the field and holding on for the win as directeur sportif Marc Madiot nearly