Newbie guide to le Tour. Riders to watch out for

for the Win

Tdf-FroomeFroome (Team Sky) – like a stick insect on a bike, staring at his handlebars, the style is not pretty but it really is effective for the reigning champion.  Not as dominant as last year and recovering from a fall in his last race.  Many questions about the team with Wiggins supposedly not racing and many other riders from Sky disrupted by crashes and illnesses.

 

Alberto ContadorContador (Tinkoff-Saxo) – back to something like his best after his ban for drugs (caused he says by eating beef which had been treated with the same drug he tested positive for).  Plays the part of pantomime villain really well, famously attacking Andy Schleck a few years ago straight after his chain fell off.  Beautiful to watch in the mountains and prepared to be aggressive and attack

Tdf-NibaliNibali (Astana Pro Team) – last year’s winner of the Giro d’Italia.  Has been rubbish so far this season and got a pretty public kick up the bum from his team manager recently.  Likely to attack Froome on rainy downhills if he gets the chance

in the Sprints

Tdf-KittelKittel (Team Giant-Schimano) – last year’s fastest kid on the block and an absolute monster at 86kg. Has to be favourite for the flat stages

Tdf-Greipel_Andre_Tour12_st13-1Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) – Another big guy (80kg) and not called the Gorilla for nothing. Won’t be shy of going head to head with Kittel

Mark  Cavendish Omega Pharma-QuickStepCavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) – Had a tough year last year and has not been prolific this year but knows how to win and would love to give his mum a special present by taking the first stage and yellow jersey in her home town of Harrogate.  Don’t be fooled by the chav voice, Cavendish is one of the most meticulous racers in the peloton, he will have done everything in his power to be ready for this

for pure Entertainment

TdF-Sagan

Sagan (Cannondale) – King of the finish celebration and a bit of a joker, but likely to walk off with the green jersey when the joking stops.

TdF-Voeckler

Voeckler see also ‘gurning’ (Europcar) – captured hearts with two long periods in yellow in previous years. Tommy’s face tells a story that some of the robotic Sky riders would never allow