Hopefully Le Tour 2013 will be more gripping than the borefest Team Sky served up last year. Froome looks the strongest of the favourites but he may be undone by old allegiances and on the road ‘understandings.’
Let’s start with the favourites who will line up at the start line in Corsica –
Jurgen Van den Broeck
Tejay van Garderen
Outside chancers – Robert Gesink – Alejandro Valverde – Richie Porte – Bauke Mollema – Andy Schleck – Haimar Zubeldia – Igor Anton
I’d say Evans will struggle this year as perhaps his glory days are behind him. Van den Broeck will need to steer clear of injury and spills and the talented Hesjedal is recovering from a serious crash in the Giro. The very promising Van Garderen will most likely have to sacrifice his chances for team leader, Evans. Schleck has not shown much form this year.
So…Contador versus Froome is the battle we all believe will define the tour. Froome can certainly match Contador on any stage, including the many mountains in this 2013 edition of Le Tour. But…does Froome have allies on the road beyond his Sky team mates?
I think it’s possible that being the favourite will make him have to do twice as much work covering attacks etc. And as far as attacks go we should mention the dark horse for this year’s tour – Joaquim Rodriguez. Although he’s No. 1 cyclist he’s not always been around for Le Tour. He presents a problem for Froome not just because of his ability but his potential to rekindle his allegiance with Contador and also Cofidis main man Navarro. Froome has a lot on his plate just with these two alone!
The GC aside there’s lots of other possibilities for excitement in the 2013 race. Of course there’s the amazing Sagan who will enthral us, I hope, with his finish line antics. I’d love to see him and Johnny Hoogerland in a break away together. It would also be great to see new talents like Ted King and the much talked about Moreno Moser show their hands.
As for the sprints, will Matt Goss and Griepel get the better of Cavendish? It’s unlikely.
Best Bikes – I’ll need to have a good look over the opening stages. At the moment it’s the Garmin team’s cervelos
And the worst tops – Sojasun