Our Top 5 picks for the Tour de France
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
It's the most anticipated event in the cycling calendar. The 99th Tour de France kicks off in just over a week as 180 riders compete for the ultimate prize in cycling: the yellow jersey.
This year's Tour de France will feature only three summit finishes in 21 stages, as the cyclists battle it out to see who can win the most prestigious of the three Grand Tours.
With the Hors Catégorie Col du Grand Colombier included for the first time ever in the Tour de France, the route has changed from previous years. Three individual time trial stages including a whopping 52km relatively flat penultimate stage will mean the winner will need to be strong in the aero bars, not just a mountain goat.
With the 2010 Tour de France winner Andy Schleck being forced to withdraw through his injury sustained in the Criterium du Dauphine and the absence of Alberto Contador through suspension, this year's competition is more open than it has been in years.
We've picked our top 5 riders to triumph at the Tour de France. Do you agree? Let us know on the Corley Cycles Facebook
pages. (Note - Final teams for the TDF will not be known nearer to the start of the TDF on the 30th June, so there is no guarantee of all mentioned riders starting).
Many people's favourite for the Tour de France, Wiggins has had a great season this year, winning at Paris-Nice, the Tour de Romandie and most recently, the Criterium du Dauphine.
Bradley is considered to be one of the better time-trialists out there and the large amount of time trial kilometres in the Tour de France is expected to count in the Brit's favour.
The winner of last year's Tour de France, the Aussie cyclist, 35, will be hoping he can relive the glories of 2011 and retain his title. Evans will be hoping he can become the first person since Lance Armstrong to successfully defend his title and win the Tour de France twice in a row.
After a strong start to the season, Nibali has struggled for consistency and has failed to maintain his early season form. After a disappointing Tour of California and Criterium du Dauphine, the Italian will be hoping to bounce back.
He's one of the most decorated riders out there, with three Grand Tour wins, and the 34 year old Russian is hoping he can finally win at this year's Tour de France. Menchov finished 3rd in 2010 (later moved up to 2nd following Contador's suspension), losing out to Andy Schleck. With the Spaniard banned from this year's Tour and the younger Schleck missing through injury, Menchov will be hoping he can prevail.
He didn't have the best start to the season, but after finding form at the Tour of California, his confidence will have picked up. An outside shot, but can he surprise and win his first major tour?
Who is your choice to win the 2012 Tour de France? We are running a competition during this year's Tour, when you can win 21 prizes in the 21 days of the Tour. Head on over to the Corley Cycles Facebook and Twitter pages so you don't miss out!