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Tour de France 2014: Who will win?

July 5, 2014

July means le Tour. The biggest race of the year. I’ve been able to follow more races this year due to better coverage on TV here. I’ve followed the tour since Robert Millar finished 4th in 1984. The riders make the race, not the course. So rather than talk about what stages are more important than others, let’s have a look at my favourites for the overall win.

Froome, Sky (my prediction: winner). Holder and favourite. He has a strong team which is entirely dedicated to him. Course suits him except for the pave, but that is a major risk for all the GC contenders. Not been on great form compared to last year due to illness and crashes. Tactically not as strong as Contador (for example he has a tendency to attack too early and isolate himself) but a better time trialler and just a good a climber. Very consistent and rarely loses time against his rivals.

Contador, Tinkoff (2nd) Previous winner but has not been anywhere near as good since his doping ban, especially on the longer climbs. Had some wins this year and showing glimpses of his old style and form. Strong punchy climber and decent enough against the clock. Very strong tactically especially with Riis in the team car. Good team but Kreuziger’s suspension is a major loss. The team may be tired as several rode the Giro.

Frank, IAM (3rd) Superb form in recent races. Team will work very hard for him and the big names may not cover him. My wild card for the podium.

Rui Costa, Lampre (4th) Was excellent in Tour de Suisse and been great in previous tours in the service of others. His chance to be a team leader this time and will have some support from a team that has been surprising good this year.

Nibali, Astana (5th) Has had a very quiet year but will have a confidence boost from winning the Italian national champs. However, his form is very uncertain and was poor recently. Good in most areas but not the best in any. Team is full of great riders but can they ride as a team?

Valverde, Movistar. Superb team, easily as good as Sky or Tinkoff. However, despite a great start to the year, the Tour will be too long and too hard for Valverde to hang on. Might survive to be top ten, outside bet for top five.

Rodriguez, Katusha. No form and recent injuries leave a big question mark over the small Spanish climber. The pave and long TT are major risks for him. Possible top ten.

Mollema, Belkin. Decent rider and some form. However, no real signs of him stepping up to the highest level. More likely to become another great Dutch potential not fulfilled.

Talanksy, Garmin. Lucky to win recently after Froome and Contador marked each other out of the race. The great American hope but I fear they will be disappointed. Likely to fade in the last week.

Tejay van Garderen, BMC. The other American hope but there have been no signs of him putting in another top ten performance.

Van den Broeck, Lotto. Not much form and will need to race without much team support. Will struggle to finish top ten.

Schlecks, Trek. Will they finish the race?

There are a few young French riders to watch (Bardet AG2R, Pinot FdJ) that have a chance of a top ten finish. However, the French will need to hope for stage wins again this year. There is still no sign of a strong candidate to win their race.

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One Comment
  1. Always enjoy your commentary Kevin. Turns out Froome was a bit of a wobbler this year though

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