The first chance for yellow sees the class of the Tour de France 2017 start their journey to Paris along the roads of the Rhine River in Dusseldorf with a 14-kilometre individual time trial.
“I’m going nowhere”, declared the manager.
You have to be able to deal with that pressure and expect the unexpected, like at Ventoux a year ago. Unlike previous years, there will be no heavy climbing in the penultimate stage; instead, a time trial in Marseille will shake up the top 10 one last time. The average age for a Tour de France victor is currently 28 years and two months, with Froome now over 32.
– Nairo Quintana has finished on the podium in all three editions of the Tour de France that he has participated in (second in 2013 and 2015, third in 2016).
“Today, our followers want to be immersed in the event”, said Christian Prudhomme, Director of the Tour de France. Bardet, two-time victor Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) and Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors) could try to blow the stage open.
The Orica-Scott rider, who went on to finish fourth and take the white jersey as highest-placed finisher aged 25 or under, is not racing this year, but twin brother Simon is.
RICHIE Porte has returned fire on Chris Froome in the battle for mind game supremacy, insisting the Brit has a “big target on his back” as the raging Tour de France favourite.
Chris Froome has had his critics – most recently after showing rare moments of fallibility on the recent Criterium du Dauphine – and now even his 18-month-old son has got in on the act.
“It might not immediately look it in terms of profiles, but its a really challenging course and it will be a hard Tour to win”.
I know Quintana always says he rides stronger in the second Grand Tour, so I expect he’ll come to the Tour very strong. Sky’s team boss, Dave Brailsford, has faced repeated calls for his resignation and as a result of the turmoil, Froome and his team-mates could well face another slab of scrutiny and questions.
Mark Cavendish could become the out-right leading stage victor, while Peter Sagan will look to continue his dominance of the points classification.
“But the sensations are positive, I’m looking forward to coming to this race because it’s the main objective for me and for our team”. They are seen as part of Tour de France history and it’s a goal for me to try and be up there with them. It was followed by the backers of the country’s other two top-level professional teams after more doping cases and in 2009 the hugely successful Deutschland Tour also ceased to exist. That might be crosswinds or a really short climb to the finish where a lot of teams will think they have an opportunity.