Tour de France 2018: Predictions

The Tour de France starts this weekend. The route is interesting and the start-list is stacked. Here are my predictions for the race; most of them are realistic…

inside uran tour de france stage win

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(Not) The People’s Champ!

Ahead of the Tour de France I have, like many, been thinking about the all-conquering, salbutamol abusing, not quite BBC Sports Personality of the Year, Chris Froome. Wounded by the early 2000s, I have mastered the dark art of burying my head in the sand when it comes to Froome. That’s not to say I’ve ignored the Team Sky sponsored alarm bells over the last five years, but given the choice between arguing about Froome’s cadence and admiring one of Alexis Gougeard’s doomed late attacks, I’m always choosing Alexis.

After recovering at the Giro to squash everybody with a freakish attack, Froome has well and truly rattled the Tour de France organizers. Can they handle another Tour winner with an asterisk? Can anybody stop him from winning? Can anybody stop him from riding? Does anybody want to see him ever again?!

Froome 4Read More »

What could happen in the final week?

Simon Yates is absolutely flying. He’s clearly ahead in the GC, and clearly the best climber at this year’s Giro. Whilst he’s dancing a perfect ten, his closest rivals are trudging round the dancefloor at an ugly tempo. Unfortunately for Yates, there’s a time trial to come before three monster mountain stages bring the race to a close. Basically, his two minute advantage provides no real assurances. There’s a time trial tomorrow before we visit Pratonevoso, Finestre, Sestriere, Jafferau, San Pantaleone and Cervinia. Here are a few scenarios that could play out…

Dumoulin Giro

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Six riders to keep your eyes on at the Giro d’Italia

At three weeks long, the Giro provides plenty of time for a rider to crash, lose time, adapt their goals, swap roles with a teammate, and still have a pretty decent race (hey Mikel Landa). There’s so much time, in fact, that some riders will go to Italy with multiple options, a free role, or no idea what they want to achieve. There are plenty of exciting riders with big question marks against their names. Here are six riders to keep your eyes on.

Ciccone

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Can Mareczko win a Giro stage?

It’s the 2nd November 2017. You’re checking the latest cycling results and see Jakub Mareczko has just taken his tenth win in a three week period in China. To put that into perspective, punchy Movistar sprinter Jose Joaquin Rojas has ten victories to his name in his twelve year professional career. Fast-forward to the time of writing and 23-year old Mareczko can boast 35 professional wins. That’s more than superstar contemporaries Dylan Groenewegen and Fernando Gaviria, as well as 27-year old green jersey winner Michael Matthews. He’s just one behind former UCI number one rider Greg van Avermaet.

Mareczko 1

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Fair play to Valverde…

I spent most of Tuesday night messaging people to tell them why I thought Julian Alaphilippe was going to upset the status quo and defeat Alejandro Valverde on the Mur de Huy. A lot of my points were based on blind faith and I attempted to swat away Valverde’s obvious threat by repeating line like – “yeah, but did you see Alaphilippe at Izulia?”.

La Fleche Wallone 2

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