/ Tour contenders
3.van den Broeck
I'm struggling now.
After last year someone suggested getting a T-shirt made up that said:
It's Tommey V
So I'd add him as a long shot.
Rolland for top 10 I think
I could see him taking a stage or two, but not sure about the gc.
Also I think Frank is a danger. He has been consistent throughout the season. He has been playing down his chances... team politics... having to ride the giro... tired legs... TT kilometers etc. The usual Schleck excuses, but I can see him quietly staying highly placed in GC then smashing one stage when everyone has forgot him.
Not sure how Hesjedal will perform. I'd expect him to be goosed after the Giro!
I'm not sure, he just doesn't seem to have done anything this year apart from a couple of attacks on the tour de Suisse, the first of which he seemed to blow up and almost get caught by the top, and the second on the last day seemed like a tactical error. He also still can't TT
> After last year someone suggested getting a T-shirt made up that said:
> F**K Me
> It's Tommey V
> So I'd add him as a long shot.
I like Voeckler, but it's not a good year so far.
Abandoned Critérium du Dauphiné and Route du Sud, and is missing the national champs to try and sort his dodgy knee out.
He'll be a marked man this year, plus he got into yellow after Flecha and Hoogerland splatted.
IMHO it will be an Evans Wiggins love in - a few others might take yellow for a short while but I tihnk we are looknig at an Anquetil / Poulidor scenario.
I'm waiting on Chris Frome to go up yours and ride away in the mountains and leave wiggo to suffer, then force Sky to ride for him. No? Oh wait that was in Spain :P
Frank will lose about 6 or 7 mins over the TTs and I cant see wiggo losing that in the hills
Ive been trying to get odds from a bookie on Wiggo, Evans and froome in that order on the podium, but so far havent been able to.
> I'm waiting on Chris Frome to go up yours and ride away in the mountains and leave wiggo to suffer, then force Sky to ride for him. No? Oh wait that was in Spain :P
When Wiggo wasn't at his best.
Wiggins and Evans are the favourites, and I'd go for Sammy Sanchez for third - he always seems to be there or therabouts.
But the fact that neither Wiggo or Evans are that great in the mountains means that's theres the opportunity for someone unfancied to sneak away and steal a big gap.
Maybe Janez Brajkovic of Astana, or Christian Vandevelde of Garmin.
Vande velde is reported to be riding in support of Hesjedal and at 36 doesn't look like surprise material to me.
Both Wiggo and Evans are good enough to limit the pure climbers in the alps and take minutes off them in the mountains especially with this years route.
But then the tour always throws up suprises doesn't it?
> Both Wiggo and Evans are good enough to limit the pure climbers in the alps and take minutes off them in the mountains especially with this years route.
I could see someone doing what ciappucci did in 1990, get a 10 minute lead cos no one thinks you're a contender, and hold on to at least a podium finish.
I'd be amazed if hejedal finishes in the top 10 - look how conto struggled in the tour after winning the giro last year. The days of Roche are long gone. Mind you, Roche jnr might be a good bet for a top ten finish.
> Presume you meant to say "time trials" rather than "mountains" ....
I think the absence of a strong contender might lead to the kind of Chiapucci action you suggest.
I'm quite excited! I like it when there isn't an obvious dominating favorite
> Abandoned Critérium du Dauphiné and Route du Sud, and is missing the national champs to try and sort his dodgy knee out.
He's made the lineup.
Ah ha, just booked my Chunnel tickets to hop over and watch stage 3 - hadn't planned to go at all this year, but as they are going to Boulogne I couldn't resist a day trip!
Really hoping Wiggo makes it through the first week this year, and has a chance for a real crack at it. I don't want to get my hopes up, and I think having seen more of the stage profiles it may not be as tailored to his style as I first thought - supposedly the steepest tour ever (having said that he did all right on the steep stuff in La Vuelta last year).
Cadel showed last year that being able to churn (and gurn) up the steep hills can be enough, even if he couldn't stay with the accelerations of Contador and Schleck. Cadel was labelled a diesel engine a few times, which probably applies to Wiggins too, and though the two of them grinding up a hill may not be quite as incredible as Scheck and Contador doing track-stands and suicidal accelerations, it should be no less entertaining or inspirational.
Wiggins may be the favourite, but I just saw that the bookies have him at 11 to 8. Who's gonna bet on that with 200 other riders there?
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