Tour de France 2015: Ones to watch out for

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Updated: July 4, 2015

The greatest event in the cycling calendar is all set to begin in Utrecht this weekend and with exciting prospects, strong contenders and new faces, who should we be keeping our eye on this year?

 

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana):

There’s no denying that we should be watching this cyclist as last year’s dominant and consistent performance throughout the tour proved to everyone that he had yet to show his full potential. Controversy around team Astana can only mean bad news for Nibali as a completely stripped team means they’re also a weaker team. Chris Froome and Alberto Contador pulling out of the tour due to injury and Quintana’s absence from last year’s race also meant less competition. A dark horse but interesting to see if he can get any stages in the bag.

 

Nairo Quintana (Movistar):

Missing out last year was a shame because we could have seen the Colombian win the Tour de France. But not to worry his chances for this year could be just as good. A great climber who could knock Froome and Contador out on the mountains means that he will be aiming for a couple of stage wins and potentially the yellow jersey. As seen in 2013 Movistar’s team work is very admirable and stronger than expected with less household names.

 

Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN-Qhubeka):

Leader of the first African team to be competing in one of the grand tours and lead by former sky engine. His work rate has always been admirable whether he can get aother stage win to his name, after his last win four years ago, is in doubt considering he is recovering from a broken collarbone. It will be interesting to see how high this wildcard entry team can finish.

 

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo):

Girô d’Italia winning looking to mark his place in place in cycling history by winning all three grand tours in the same year. Contador is still one of the best riders in the world despite struggling times after his suspension. Impressive team rides impressed everyone in recent years but with new boy Peter Satan desperate to get the green jersey again, Contador’s stance on the team could be hindered. 

 

Joaquim Rodriguez (Kathusha):

Unfortunately Rodriguez has not had the career that everyone expected. Yet to win the Tour de France and the clock ticking on his career, could he make one final push to get even closer or win it? The team performances have always been unexpected, consistently inconsistent and time trials letting him down usually could mean that this year’s race could see a better finish for him.

 

Tejay Van Garderen (BMC Racing):

Great potential shown over the year’s has lead to big disappointment after his performances in France over the years. Always hindered by Cadel Evans’ leadership and priority in the team hasn’t helped him but now being the leader of BMC following Evans retiring means this should be his chance to shine. He will and a few think he should aiming for a podium finish. Whether he can is another question.

 

Chris Froome (Sky):

Since last year’s disappointment of pulling out early means that he should be more determined to win this year. Sky go into this year’s Tour de France being the strongest team and reasonably in form with Porte, Kennaugh, Stannard, Poels and König support to Sky’s masterplan.


 

 

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