Friday, June 25, 2010

A roundup of Le Tour predictions - who gets it wrong this year?

It's hard to ignore Contador, even if he's likely to start a bit "fresher" than he'd like after a recent respiratory infection. Andy Schleck? He's got to be a contender, but we haven't really seen enough to know where he's at. Brother Frank is firing, so presumably the old 1-2 will be in action and working in Andy's favour. Menchov and Sastre haven't shown much lately, but they'll be in the mix. Evans and Basso will be super-fit but tired after the Giro. They may shine at first but be ground away as time passes. Or not. It's hard to tell until the "hard" stages reveal themselves. One bad day and your whole Tour can be wrecked, so it's really down to minimising losses - or hiding your weakness behind a strong team - on those "off days".

There are others who could surprise, old stagers like Vino or ever-hopefuls like Rogers. More than likely it'll be the strongest, most motivated team that gets their best all-rounder over the line. Contador may have some troubles in that respect, as may Evans. Basso and team look strong, as does Rogers. Whilst Armstrong looks too old on paper he has a good team of old stagers and the tactical nous to take his chance when it comes.

Once again we can't really tell until the wheels - and the dice - roll.

Here are some prognostications from around and about:  

SBS: Tour de France 2010
This year should also see a few former top GC contenders eclipsed into also ran status as a new younger cohort make their move in the era of Contador.

And as I look at my favoured names I'm struggling to find a place for Lance Armstrong anywhere in my top ten.

I see Alberto Contador, Andy Schleck, Ivan Basso, Roman Kreuzinger, Cadel Evans, Christian Vande Velde, Frank Schleck, Levi Leipheimer, Robert Gesink, Bradley Wiggins, Andreas Kloden, Samuel Sanchez, Alexandre Vinokourov, Michael Rogers, Denis Menchov, and Luis Leon Sanchez as all having a solid claim to a top ten spot.

Not that Armstrong can't perform. His Tour de Suisse performance shows that on the right day and circumstances he can, but the head of this years field looks like a competitive one.
SBS: Tour de France 2010: Reshuffling the 2009 deck
If I were to take the top 10 riders who finished the 2009 Tour de France, placed each name on a card, shuffled them around a little – or maybe not at all – added one or two names, and told you this would be final classification on July 25 this year, I imagine few would bat an eyelid.

This is not to say the 2010 Grande Boucle will not be a spectacular one – it is the Tour after all!

But what I don’t see is a revelation popping up near or on the podium when the peloton reaches the Champs Élysées, like Bradley Wiggins did last year. Or a surprise winner, like Carlos Sastre in 2008.

The ‘one or two names’ not in last year’s top-10 that I’m referring to would include Levi Leipheimer, who last year was forced to abandon after breaking his wrist and may be – or become – RadioShack’s main man this time round.

Cadel Evans and my dark horse podium pick Michael Rogers, who deservedly finds himself back to his best and by simply doing his own thing, may well profit from the tactics played by Astana, Saxo Bank and RadioShack.
Tour De France: 10 Riders Who Need A Result |
As the Tour de France approaches, Cyclingnews takes a look at 10 riders who need a result to save their season.

Dental issues, illness, crashes and accusations have left some of the sport’s biggest names in the shadows and out of the results. It could be because some of their careers are nearing an end or simply because they’ve said they’d do better but failed to deliver. One way or another, these guys will be looking for a strong performance in France.
Top Twelve Tour Contenders |
With less than three weeks to go until the Grand Départ in Rotterdam, the 97th Tour de France is shaping up to be one the best. With one of the most spectacular routes and a host of big names riders set to start, Cyclingnews casts an eye on the 12 most likely to figure in the overall.
2010 Tour De France - Predictions
2010 Tour De France - Predictions
Moderators: dalessit

Jump to page : 1
Now viewing page 1 [20 messages per page]