Tour De France 2013 Preview And Predictions

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Updated: June 23, 2013

 

A week to go until the most famous competition in cycling history starts for its 100th edition. The Tour started in 1903 but was cancelled during the First World War and the Second World War, which explains the ten missing years. This year’s edition features a lot more mountains than last year’s to represent the main attraction of this competition, which is the famous mountain climbs. There will be ten new stage towns to look forward to and the start will be held for the first time on the island of Corsica. The organisers have left the most challenging climbs until the last week of the Tour, to create suspense. For the sprinters, like Mark Cavendish, Andre Greipel and Peter Sagen, the first stages in Corsica and the final stage in the Champs-Elysee will be the best moments to gain some points and some stage wins. Unfortunately Sir Bradley Wiggins will not take part in this year’s Tour De France due to injury, which should lead the way for Chris Froome to get his first ever Tour De France win.

Tour de france route 2013

 

Image provided by letour.fr

Who To Look Out For 

Chris Froome : Team Sky

Nationality : British 

Chris Froome

The Kenya-born Brit is now surely going to be the leader of Team Sky now that Sir Bradley Wiggins will not be taking part. This year’s route is tailor-made for Chris Froome, who is well known for his climbing abilities but is none the less a very good all-rounder. Like toughest rival Spaniard Alberto Contador, Froome will be looking to gain most of his time on the mountains but despite his strength at climbing, he could also easily win all the time-trials on offer, there will only be 67 kilometres of time-trials this time round compared to last year when there were 101.4 kilometres. Froome’s only real weakness is a reoccurring tropical illness called Bilharzia that could come up at any moment. Now that Sir Bradley Wiggins is out of the competition, I fear that Froome’s chances might have been lowered quite simply because he won’t have as strong a team to support him, I still think Froome will win this year’s Tour De France.

Prediction : 1st

Alberto Contador : Team Saxo-Tinkoff

Nationality : Spanish 

Alberto Contador

Another very strong climber who is surely Froome’s main rival as the course is also perfect for Contador. It’s hard to tell what he will spring up this year, knowing that he missed out on last year’s Tour De France because of a doping suspension and eventually stripped off his 2010 title because of it. Contador with a weak team compared to Team Sky will have to try and take them down in the mountain stages in which he can beat anyone easily, as shown in 2010 and in 2007 and 2009, the times he’s won it without being suspended. Seeing recent races, I’m unconvinced by his performances and can’t see Contador performing up to his old standards. I think he’ll just miss out of a podium spot this year.

Prediction : 4th

Tejay Van Garderen : Team BMC Racing

Nationality : American  

DAUPHINE LIBERE - PROLOGUE

Last Year’s winner of the white jersey, young rider of the Tour, the American’s rise on the professional cycling scene has been amazing, only 24 and competing in his first Tour De France in 2011, this young cyclist shown last year that he is peaking before expected and surprisingly jumped ahead of fellow team mate Cadel Evans, finishing 5th. This young man’s not exactly like Cadel Evans who will attack will all the power he’s got, he is more tactical and chooses when to attack and how, and does so perfectly which is why I can see him winning the Tour De France very soon, maybe not this year but I’m sure he’ll put on a good show and try and battle it for top spot. I can see him coming just behind Chris Froome.

Prediction : 2nd, white jersey winner

Cadel Evans : Team BMC Racing

Nationality : Australian 

Cadel Evans

As Evans just turns 36, this could be the last time he competes in the Tour De France, which makes me think that BMC might hold Van Garderen back just so Evans can really go for it this year. Last year Evans was disappointing losing a lot of time last year on key stages and finishing 7th as defending champion. Evans normally will be looking to make up time on time-trials but as this year doesn’t have as many as last year, he will be forced to push a bit more on the mountains or flat stages. His experience will come to good use in this competition being on of the older favourites to do well. I can see Evans finishing just behind Contador in 5th place doing better than last year.

Prediction : 5th

Andy Schleck : Team RadioShack-Leopard

Nationality : Luxembourger  

Saxo Bank's Schleck of Luxembourg cycles with Astana's Contador of Spain during the 17th stage of the Tour de France cycling race

The runner-up in the 2010 Tour De France who eventually named winner because of Contador’s doping suspension and runner-up in 2009 to Contador and 2011 to Evans, Schleck has never lived up to thoses impressive performances, like I couldn’t see him recreating such a moment as when he attacked 60 kilometres from the end of the Col du Galibier which is a legendary moment in the history of The Tour De France, he’s only 28 and although he hasn’t competed much at all recently he doesn’t seem to be up to the fitness levels that he once was, which could easily be because of his accident in 2012 when he fractured his spine. Without the support of his brother, Frank Schleck, Andy will struggle for better support than him morally, racing wise and the chemistry they both have, being brothers. I don’t expect to hear much at all about Schleck but if he has recovered properly from his injury and performs  like the old Andy then there will be a lot of surprises in this year’s Tour De France. I expect him to finish low down, for his standards, maybe below 20th. But if he does perform as we’ve known him to in recent years then he is definitely one to watch out for.

Prediction : 20th or lower

Mark Cavendish : Team Omega Pharma-Quick Step

Nationality : British    

Mark Cavendish

Mark Cavendish isn’t someone who we ever expect to win the Tour De France, but he is someone who is interesting to watch, being the cyclist competing this year with the most amount of stage wins under his belt, he will be hoping to be the all time record of 34 stages won, Cavendish is currently at 23, including winning the Champ-Elysee four year in a row. He will be without doubt one to look out for on the flat stages, as a natural sprinter he will be looking to win the green jersey, cyclist with most amount of points. Being with a new team since December, the pressure is off Cavendish for this summer, with low expectancies. He finished 142nd last year so I’m not even going to make a prediction as to where he will finish.

Andrew Talansky : Team Garmin-Sharp 

Nationality : American 

Andrew Talansky

At the age of 24, this is another young American who could potentially become a cycling legend. The cyclist who came runner-up to Sir Bradley Wiggins in the Tour of Romandy in 2012, (which Chris Froome subsequently won this year and Cadel Evans won in 2011 before his Tour De France win). His is equally as good at time-trials as he is at climbing although he is yet up to the standards of Chris Froome. The Tour De France is a different race than to what he has competed in during his career so this will be a chance to see if he can endure more than the others. I predict that he might do well, but I’m sure about a ten ten finish.

Prediction : 7th-10th

Ryder Hesjedal : Team Garmin-Sharp

Nationality : Canadian  

Ryder Hesjedal

As shown in last year’s Giro d’Italia, he is more than capable of taking on big mountains, which is why he could be a serious contender this year. Along with experience, Hesjedal has good team mates behind him like Talansky as mentioned before, he could use that to his advantage to try and scrape onto a podium position. I think his chances of getting a podium position this year are very high and I believe he will finish 3rd.

Prediction : 3rd

Peter Sagan : Team Cannondale 

Nationality : Slovak 

Peter Sagan

Winning the green jersey and three stages last year, Sagan has shown that he is a young cyclist full of potential. Coming into this year’s Tour De France aged 23 he could easily be a winner of this competition one day. Sagen is very over-confident which could also ruin his chances, he’s not shy to admit that he can become a great cyclist, but he also needs to stay concentrated if he wants to get something from this year’s Tour De France. He is a natural sprinter and is favourite to win the green jersey again.

Prediction : 10th or lower, green jersey winner

Thibaut Pinot : Team FDJ

Nationality : French 

Thiabut Pinot

The youngest cyclist to win a Tour De France stage surprised us all with his performance in 2012 so we can probably expect him to be an underdog in this year’s Tour. I think inside the top ten is just a little too ambitious for this young rider, I expect him to finish from 11th to 15th.

Prediction : 11th to 15th

 

 

 

“Tour De France 2013 Preview and Predictions” written by Seb True

I will be previewing and reviewing every stage of this year’s Tour De France.

 

You can contact me by twitter @SeBAsTianMrANt

or email sebb.t@hotmail.com

 

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