Tour de France – The Battle For White

Who will be the best young rider in the tour?It is awarded to the best rider aged under 26 on January 1st of the following year.There are a number of very strong contenders,but as usual,you have to look a bit deeper. Reigning champion is TJ Van Garderen.He beat Thibaut Pinot into 2nd place last year with a winning margin of 6 minutes and 13 seconds,but you have to remember that Pinot lost 7 minutes to Van Garderen in the time-trials.Pinot has improved his time trialling this season and he recently beat TJ in the Tour de Suisse mountain time-trial. Van...

Tour de France – The Team Classification

Not always regarded as being a note worthy category,this has gained significance in the last few years with teams desperate to be on the podium and gain valuable world tour points.It is calculated by adding the times of the first 3 riders from each team across the line,discounting bonuses and penalties.This means that bunch sprints don’t change the category but mountaintop finishes and breakaways can make a big difference.In the last couple of years breaks have been brought back because of this category.To identify the winners you need to take a look at strong teams that can time-trial and climb.3...

Tour de France – In Search Of Polka Dots

The King of the Mountains jersey is always the most difficult to predict in every grand tour.Before it starts you are never too sure who will target the jersey.Add into that riders that find themselves in a number of early breaks and decide to see how far they can get.In a particularly mountainous course you also have to consider the top GC riders who will find themselves in the top 10 of the mountain stages.All these factors make it very hard to predict….but I’ll give it a go anyway! The points are awarded in the following way Point Distribution Grid...

Tour de France – The Battle For Green

Last year Peter Sagan won the green jersey at a canter.He scored 421 points,2nd was Andre Greipel with 280 points and 3rd Matt Harley Goss with 260 points.The points system is structured in a way that guarantees a sprinter wins,unlike the Giro and Vuelta.You get 45 points for winning a flat stage,30 points for a medium mountain stage,20 points for a high mountain stage,time-trial and intermediate sprint. I think there are 5/6 stages that could end in a sprint with all the sprinters present.As we have Cavendish,Greipel,Goss,Kittel,Farrar,Kristoff,Bouhanni and Sagan I would imagine that these stages will be shared out amongst...

Tour de France – The Battle For Yellow

This year looks like being a stellar year for the Tour.It’s a mountainous course to celebrate the 100th edition and all the main riders are here,apart from Vicenzo Nibali.Froome is the strong favourite,but as I’ve already explained(see previous post),I don’t think he’ll win.I’m going to choose Alberto Contador as the winner.His track recored in grand tours is 2nd to none.He has raced 8,won 7 and finished 5th in another.He is an old fashioned rider that likes to peak for the tour,so I’m not worried that he hasn’t beaten Froome yet this season.I think Froome will have enough to finish 2nd...

Has Team Sky Cracked The Code?

It has long been written in cycling law that riders who focus on the Tour de France,must manage their form carefully throughout the season.Only on a handful of occasions has a rider done the Dauphine/Tour double.Since 1980,it has only happened 5 times.Hinault in 81,Indurain in 95,Armstrong in 02 and 03 and finally Wiggins in 2012.Obviously 1,if not more of these riders achieved this feat with the aid of performance enhancing drugs,it makes it seem all the more difficult to achieve.However,Team Sky stand on the verge of achieving the double in consecutive years with different riders.It makes me ask the questions...

Pierre Rolland

Now approaching 27 years old,it’s time for this young man to come of age.After performing extremely well in the last two tours I expect him to go even better this year.In 2011 he finished 10th overall,winning the stage up Alp d’Huez(crucial for this year).That day he beat Samuel Sanchez into 2nd and Alberto Contador into 3rd.Last year he performed extremely well throughout the whole race and finished 8th,winning the stage up La Toussuire.He lost over 12 minutes in the time trials to Wiggins and finished 16 minutes down in total.The route this year is much more favourable to him with...