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Who Will Win The Tour De France?

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Who Will Win The Tour De France?

Old 06-01-15, 08:54 AM
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jyl
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Who Will Win The Tour De France?

Not too early to start speculating, opining and theorizing about that race in July . . .

Who is your pick for the yellow jersey, green, polka dot, white, and sprint honors? Why? (AKA help me pick my fantasy team.)

I guess we don't know much about the form of Froome, Nibali or Quintana. The first two have had rather quiet early seasons, Quintana won Tirreno but has since been hors combat. We also don't know how Contador will recover from the Giro and you'd have to worry about Tinkov's support team. The TdF has a cobbles stage again, and neither Froome nor Contador seemed too comfortable on last year's cobble stage. The Mur de Huy features on another stage, if it is wet then out of the saddle climbers (Contador, Quintana?) might struggle but it is a short climb. Only a short ITT, ASO seemingly designed the course for the French climbers, neither Froome nor Contador will like that. Kittel's condition is uncertain, Cavendish seems strong, Sagan's morale must be high after ToC but he'll come to the race as Oleg's bastard stepchild and I think Kristhoff and Degenkolb will both be there.
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Old 06-01-15, 11:18 AM
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Cantador seems unbeatable, tho Aru and Landa look doped up, er, I mean really really strong, you can never count out Nibali. Regardless, I hope it is a really entertaining tour.
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Old 06-01-15, 01:20 PM
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Well, from all I've heard about Tinko at the Giro, Contador had little support, so winning the double maybe really tough for him. It will also be tough for Sagan to grab any stage wins or the green jersey due to the same problem, as we saw in the TOC.

So, I'm going to go with a well rested, hopefully healthy, Chris Froome for the TDF, because Sky is still a machine-like team. Watch for Nibali on that cobble stage. If he is close going into it, he might break the race wide-open there.

The sprints could be interesting, because there seems to be a lot of really good sprinters out there at the moment, but Cav looks lights out right now. Kittel won't be a factor, but there is always Greipel to give Cav some trouble. Not sure who else will be there sprinter wise, but the MTN Quebeka boys, Bos, Farrar, Ciolek might make some noise, then maybe Guardini, Nizzolo, Viviani, Bouhanni, Kristoff, Degenkolb, DeMare - goodness, it could be really competitive! Green jersey will be a tough call!

Polka dot could go to Pizzovivo, if he is there and healthy.

White jersey to Allaphillipe, who is going to be a great one someday
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Old 06-01-15, 02:25 PM
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I think it's anybody's game but I think Froome could pull it off again if he finds the right groove.
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Old 06-01-15, 02:40 PM
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Whoever has the best doping "doctors" will win.
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Old 06-01-15, 02:49 PM
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Will Alaphillippe even ride? He's 22. I think EQS might want to hold him back another year or 2.

The cobbles are on stage 4, so I think we can take it that everyone's still going to be in some sort of contention at that stage. I would say that would be an opportunity for Sagan to get into yellow if he puts in a decent TT and stays in touch up the Mur on stage 3. Only problem with that is Tinkoff would surely have learned from the Giro that their staff aren't up to the task of defending a leader's jersey from day 1 through to the finish in a GT; I think the ideal for them would be if Tony Martin wins the opening TT, or someone like Gilbert, Cancellara or Kwiatkowski takes yellow in stage 3 (Mur) or 4 (cobbles) and Trek/EQS/BMC control the race all the way through to the TTT and the Pyrenees.
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Old 06-01-15, 03:25 PM
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Ahh, I didn't know the cobble stage was so early. Might still play a role for Nibali, because he is the best cobble rider of all the GC contenders by far, and he might really go hard for the race lead there.

There have been changes to the green jersey competition that I just saw, and the new scoring system will now favor stage winners more than consistent riders, so the days of Sagan winning the jersey without winning any stages are likely over. This should really favor Cavendish, a pure sprinter who will win a lot of stages.

Changes to Tour de France green jersey classification confirmed | Cyclingnews.com
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Old 06-01-15, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Giacomo 1 View Post
Ahh, I didn't know the cobble stage was so early. Might still play a role for Nibali, because he is the best cobble rider of all the GC contenders by far, and he might really go hard for the race lead there.

There have been changes to the green jersey competition that I just saw, and the new scoring system will now favor stage winners more than consistent riders, so the days of Sagan winning the jersey without winning any stages are likely over. This should really favor Cavendish, a pure sprinter who will win a lot of stages.

Changes to Tour de France green jersey classification confirmed | Cyclingnews.com
Same should happen in the Giro. The Blue and Red Jersey winners were a joke, sorry. Neither one of them won a stage, and the blue jersey winner Visconti didn't even figure in any of the mountain stages. He just grabbed points early on in stages. Renders these other jerseys meaningless when the winners don't show their face once in the race.
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Old 06-01-15, 05:00 PM
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For yellow, my head says El Pistelero, but my heart has to go with Ji Cheng, 2014 TdF's lanterne rouge.
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Old 06-01-15, 05:02 PM
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Don't think Contador will win. Based on his age, form, and crappy team, I can't see him recovering in time. Plus you will have Astana vs. Sky trains which will be hilarious in and of itself. I can picture it now, 15 guys left in the peloton on mountain stages, 6 Astanas, 6 Sky, Contador, Quintana, and a few others big-ringing an 8% climb.

If I had to pick now, I'd probably go Froome, Contador, Quintana, Nibali, ???. After I watch the warm up races, I'll update my picks, seeing everyone's form .
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Old 06-01-15, 08:36 PM
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Cant wait to see the mountain stages. Are Aru and Landa in for this year tour ? If yes that will be fantastic.
Can you imagine Froome, Contador, Nibali, Quintana, Aru, Landa on the climbs. Wow.
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Old 06-01-15, 10:32 PM
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I'll tell you after Dauphine.
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Old 06-01-15, 10:41 PM
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Of the big four, Quintana is the hungriest, so I'm going with him. Froome is my second pick, but it seems to me that Sky isn't so good about protecting the health of their riders and, like Porte, he's susceptible to suffering from ill-health.

My heart wants AC to do the double with Nibali at his heels.

Right now, AC is the only rider with multiple wins in a single grand tour in the race (as distinct from multiple grand tour wins). Apparently he brings his own hunger. Lord knows he has ridden like a desperate man many times, much to my entertainment.
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Old 06-01-15, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by cthenn View Post
Same should happen in the Giro. The Blue and Red Jersey winners were a joke, sorry. Neither one of them won a stage, and the blue jersey winner Visconti didn't even figure in any of the mountain stages. He just grabbed points early on in stages. Renders these other jerseys meaningless when the winners don't show their face once in the race.
In fairness to Visconti, he won the jersey by going on a 200km escape and leading the race over a 3rd cat and 2 cat 1 climbs, that's far from "not showing his face". 2nd place Landa got more than a 3rd of his points on one mountain. I do think more races should adopt what the Tour did last year and give double points for summit finishes (I think it should be extended to any summit within 20km of the finish).

I like that the Tour have increased the points for winning. I don't like that flat stages get more points than hilly stages or TTs. Maybe it's that I'm a Kelly fan, and he finished in the top 10 of all bar 2 stages in '89, but I think there needs to be a jersey that rewards a guy that gets it done everywhere, every day (the Maillot Jaune rewards coasting in for the last 3km on more than half the stages, the green rewards guys who chug along in the grupetto whenever it gets hard). I think there ought to be a jersey for that kind of consistency across all terrains.
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Old 06-01-15, 11:37 PM
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Astana looks tough. They exacted pain out of Alberto and that is not easy to do. They have Fulsang along with Aru and the new star Landa. Nibali has some fire power backing him up and is a more seasoned rider than Aru. I would say that Nibali is the man to beat.

Contrador looked unstoppable and was untouchable until the last mountain stage when he cracked. If he rides like the first 19 stages he could win. If his team can help him and he recovers look out.

Froome is on Sky and I think they look frazzled. I am not a big fan of Sky so I am not impressed. But Froome is good and cannot be ignored.

Quintana has proven himself to be a major threat.

I go Contrador Nibali and Quintana in that order with Froome on the outside
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Old 06-02-15, 12:09 AM
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My podium looks like Contador, Nibali, and Quintana. Not sure of order of finish though.
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Old 06-02-15, 12:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Gallo View Post
Froome is on Sky and I think they look frazzled. I am not a big fan of Sky so I am not impressed. But Froome is good and cannot be ignored.

Quintana has proven himself to be a major threat.

I go Contrador Nibali and Quintana in that order with Froome on the outside
One thing Sky does not do is protect its #1 rider. Last year, why weren't there teammates on either side of Froome on an early, nervous flat stage that meant absolutely nothing to the GC guys. And the Giro that just ended ... twice Porte got caught needing a bike or wheel and there were no teammates. And that second one was behind a crash that Contador went down in. I read that his teammate saw him, jumped over riders to get to him, gave him his bike and pushed him off. Those two Sky lapses cost Porte 4 minutes. Contador's team may not be as strong but they are focused and know who they are riding for.

Brailsford has cost his team two Tours in two years, assuming his riders were doing as he wanted. If they weren't, it looks to me like he has discipline problems.

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Old 06-02-15, 09:50 AM
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^^^That's because Sky's tactics and team management are a farking joke. All they know how to do is product watt machines who can get on a bike and pedal, but they have terrible race sense and tactics. One of the many reasons I dislike them. Sometimes their pure power can bludgeon the field, other times their tactics can fu** up their chances.
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Old 06-02-15, 10:12 AM
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Quintana.
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Old 06-03-15, 09:48 AM
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Not that he impressed for Tinkov at the Giro, but Krueziger may be serving a ban when the TdF starts. His bio passport hearing is soon.
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Old 06-03-15, 10:39 AM
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Amazing/frustrating that it's taking so long to sort Kreuziger's status out. The values they're worried about showed up in 2011 and 2012, it's now June 2015. At this stage, for it to drag on this long, the guy had better actually have been doped to the gills, because if they've cracked down like this and pursued for nigh on 4 years (years that should have been the best of his career) an innocent man (or even just someone who's on the borderline) while dirty riders have almost definitely been slipping through the cracks, it doesn't speak well for the testing regime.
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Old 06-03-15, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by cthenn View Post
Don't think Contador will win. Based on his age, form, and crappy team, I can't see him recovering in time. Plus you will have Astana vs. Sky trains which will be hilarious in and of itself. I can picture it now, 15 guys left in the peloton on mountain stages, 6 Astanas, 6 Sky, Contador, Quintana, and a few others big-ringing an 8% climb.

That's probably how it will look like too.
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Old 06-05-15, 10:30 AM
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Case dropped vs Kreuziger, a few days before the hearing. Good news for Contador, I think.
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Old 06-05-15, 11:29 AM
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I'm trying to remember to what degree Contador was undercooked/off colour/just well beaten in the 2011 and 2013 Tours. As I recall, in 2013, on most mountain stages Porte rode everyone off his wheel, and then Froome jetted off and twisted the knife; then Contador got pissed about missing out on the mountain TT stage by a couple of seconds and blew up trying for an all-out attack on the final mountain stage, slipping to 4th.

I know 2011 doesn't count on the record books, but it's the only time he's done the Tour and Giro in the same year, so it's at least a halfway decent indicator for this year; was it that he was tired after his Giro efforts, did he have bad preparation, did he lose time in the early stages? Without actually going back and watching each stage over again on youtube, I can't really remember what the prevailing wisdom was about why he was that bit off the pace vs the Schlecks, Evans, and even finishing behind Voeckler.
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Old 06-05-15, 12:01 PM
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I'm going to say Contador, Quintana, ???

Contador because he has the heart of a lion and wants this. He has racing smarts as good as it gets. At 34, he is still in his peak GT years. Yes, he will be slowed by the huge effort he just did. He will have to use his smarts and drop his ego and let the first week play out without burning too many matches. But he is also incredibly good at picking up a second here, a second there grabbing low hanging fruit.

Quintana is the real deal. Contador will beat him only because he has years more experience and race smarts and will gain time in the TTs. If bad weather/road conditions hit (the Skies are falling!) or Froome has any challenges that cannot be solved studying his power, he will lose big time and probably not podium. Sky needs to invest in a drone that can fly in front of or over Froome and send the video of what is in front of him to his computer. Quintana has been riding cobbled races! A skinny little climber! That guy wants this and is willing to do what it takes. I'm guessing a Frenchman will take the third spot.

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