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Tour de France 2013 – Teams & Riders

June 30, 2013

Sky is the strongest team and with Froome have the favourite for the general classification. The rest of the team are there to help Froome but Porte is a contender in his own right and may well be on the podium.

Saxo-Tinkoff is built around Contador. Can he regain his previous heights? Hasn’t look as good since coming back from his doping ban. Definitely one to watch and Froome’s main contender.

Movistar is the third strongest team for overall but not as cohesive as Sky and Taxo. Quintana is their best rider but young and a bit flaky. Don’t expect the old dog Valverde to help him much.

BMC is a team with bags of talent and little cohesion. Evans (2011 winner) and van Garderen (last year’s best young rider) are podium contenders. Gilbert will be after stage wins in his disappointing year wearing the world champion rainbow stripes.

Radioshack has plenty of familiar names in the line up but can they perform as well as previous years? Andy Schleck has had glimpses of form recently and the team worked as a team in some of the classics. Don’t hold your breath though.

Astana is another team with lots of talent. Fuglsang is their leader who left Radioshack in the huff last year. He needs to show if he as a good as he thinks.

Sagan is the main man in Cannondale and will be after stage wins and the green points jersey. We’ll be looking out for his entertaining winning salutes.

Katusha is usually an enigma and at least this year they are turning up with their best rider. Rodriquez needs steeper hills than the Alps and will struggle to get on the podium. Watch out for Moreno, an outsider for the podium. The rest will be more easily spotted at the back of the peleton.

Omega Pharma Quick Step is all for Cavendish. All great riders in their own right and Tony Martin will be favourite in the time trials. How many will Cav win this year and can he regain the points jersey?

Lotto Belisol have Greipel as a strong sprinter who is one of the few to challenge Cavendish in a pure sprint. The rest of the team is a sprint train. Van den Broeck is an outside bet for the podium but we have been saying that for a while.

Garmin is always very well organised but will they be after GC or stage wins? Hesjedal will be desperate to show his Giro win was no fluke and Talansky looks good. Dan Martin is having a storming year and could pick up a stage win.

Belkin (aka Blanco / Rabobank) has Mollema who is growing into a fine rider and could surprise by being on the podium. Gesink has been tarred by being called the unfulfilled talent, but he is usually spotted being dropped on about the fourth day in the mountains.

Orica Greenedge might snatch a stage win somewhere but the team lacks reliable winners.

Euskaltel Euskadi is one of the most easily noticed teams due to their bright orange strip and tendency to crash. Just as well, as they are often absent from the race. Lots of good climbers and usually very keen in their Pyrenees.

Europcar always provides some sort of entertainment and will be there in plenty of breaks. Can they repeat their success of recent years? I doubt it. Rolland carries French expectations but not mine.

Vacansoleil, FDJ, Cofidis, AG2R and  Sojasun will be in the breaks and looking to pinch stage wins and maybe even a minor competition like the mountains polka dot jersey. No names jump out as high GC contenders, but young talent often comes from these smaller teams. Argos Shimano is a sprint team with two great young fast men, Degenkolb and Kittel.

Lampre. Be surprised if you see them at the front.

 

My picks for GC (in order):

Froome

Mollema

Porte

Evans

Contador

Quintana

Moreno

Hesjedal

Valverde

Rolland

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2 Comments
  1. mmck78 permalink

    Another reason to look forward to Paris in three weeks time. We get to see how good Kevin’s predictions were.

  2. We will see how bad they are well before then!

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