Fantasy Fives – Stage 7 *Guest Host*

Another day, another sprint and another new blog for the Fantasy Fives results.

Demare’s absence from the top ten created some movement in the GC but the imperious Panda and the Peddlers (@ironscally) remain comfortably on top with Michael Matthews delivering another good performance to take third.

Marcel Kittel edged out Edvald Boasson Hagen by a matter of millimetres and one Fantasy Fives player landed a massive 1-2…

Stage 7 TDF.jpg

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Who’s The Most Exciting Rider at This Year’s Tour?

Dull Tour de France route seeks exciting rider to help deliver spectacular three-week showcase.

With a surprisingly open GC race and nothing too taxing on the legs, riders should be up for the opportunity to attack, attack, attack.

This year just might be the year for a genuine underdog to try something special; Chris Froome’s looking human, Richie Porte’s cursed by seven year’s bad luck and Nairo Quintana’s looking… exactly like he always does. But even aside from the GC battle, we’ve got Peter Sagan, Greg Van Avermaet, Philippe Gilbert, Diego Ulissi and Steve Cummings.

Cummings
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What’s Wrong With Chris Froome?

There has been plenty of suggestion that Chris Froome’s not quite his usual self. There have even been whispers that Froome might not actually win the Tour de France for a fourth time.

Doubts about the bookie’s favourite have emerged as a result of a number of factors: the ASO’s flat and fast route, the arise of Richie Porte, a rumoured fallout with Team Sky and the fact he is yet to win a race in 2017. But are any of these factors heavy enough to stop Froome from rocking up on his Pinarello, winning the first mountain stage, topping up his advantage on an Alpine descent and riding into Paris with a bottle of beer?

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Is Marcel Kittel Really The Best?

oAll sprinters have bad days. Whether they get dropped, get blocked, puncture or crash, every sprinter will be able to recall days where they just weren’t able to contest a sprint. But when you’re as good as Marcel Kittel – and he really is good – should you be worried about the number of days where things don’t quite go to plan?

This is a harsh view to take when you picture Kittel accelerating clear on the Champs Elysees to land his fourth Tour de France stage in 2013 – or the way he easily crushed a solid sprint field in Nijmegen at the 2016 Giro – but the German continues to be a risky man to throw your money at.

Kittel

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Tour de France 2017: The Big Preview

Next weekend sees the return of cycling’s most famous race. The Tour de France is the race even your non-cycling friends will have a passing interest in. It’s the one that might make it on to the evening news or the back page of the paper. Nobody wants to hear that your favourite stage of Paris-Nice was actually more exciting because – in reality – nothing can compete with Le Tour.

Chris Froome returns to France this year seeking a place amongst the greats with a fourth win in five years. Nairo Quintana – half way through a tepid and doomed Giro/Tour double – was pencilled in as Froome’s biggest challenger but a raging Richie Porte has finally got his act together and will now start as the main danger.

Cycling : 99th Tour de France 2012 / Stage 20

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10 Riders That Got Me Hooked on Pro Cycling

I’ve always endeavoured to blog about old races when gaps appear in the current racing calendar. For some time I’ve wanted to write about my favourite riders or the ones I remember cheering when I watched my first Tours.

My appreciation of some riders has waned after sins were confessed or discovered over the last decade. I grew up through a horrible era for pro cycling and possibly one of the most tarnished eras in sport. Thankfully, rife doping didn’t stop the racing from being enjoyable and I hold fond memories of several performances from the 90s and early 2000s. Here are ten riders that led to my cycling obsession.

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Tom Dumoulin: Grand Tour Winner

At what point in this year’s Giro d’Italia did Tom Dumoulin become the favourite? He certainly looked a threat on Blockhaus, catching and passing Vincenzo Nibali before piling forty seconds into the reigning champion. He immediately looked every bit as strong a climber as his compatriots Bauke Mollema and Steven Kruijswijk (the latter having a particularly bad day). He received big praise for his typically measured ride but we all wondered if his time trialling prowess had taken a hit as a result of his leaner build. By the time he handed everybody a thorough beating in Montefalco these concerns had been swept away. The transition was almost complete.

DUmoulin Giro win.jpg

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