Thursday, July 3, 2014


Spoke-n-Spin's 2014 Tour de France Preview:


The 2014 Tour de France is upon us. The top battle for the general classification is expected to be fought between Team Sky's defending champion, Chris Froome, and the Pistolero from Team Tinkoff-Saxo, Alberto Contador.

The riders will take the start on Saturday July 5 in Leeds for the first of three stages in the UK, before heading back to France for the remainder of the race, which will end in Paris on Sunday July 27.  By the end the riders will have covered over 3660 kilometers in 21 stages, including one 54-km individual time trial on the penultimate stage, which has the potential to prove decisive.

Five mountaintop finishes, on stages 10, 13, 14, 17, 18 will highlight the climbers' attempts to control the GC. Three are Hors Categorie finishes, including the two on stages 17 and 18 to the Pla d'Adet and Hautacam, respectively.

Top contenders Froome and Contador
Other top contenders for the GC include Team Movistar's Alejandro Valverde, Katusha's Joaquin Rodriguez, Astana's Vincenzo Nibali, Garmin's Andrew Talansky, World Champion Rui Costa for Lampre, Tejay Van Garderen for BMC, and Bauke Mollema for Belkin; as well as other hopefuls like Michal Kwiatkowski for Omega Pharma-Quickstep, Jean Peraud for Ag2R, Pierre Roland for Europcar, Thibot Pinot for FDJ, Leopold Konig for NetApp-Endura, Daniel Navarro for Cofidis, and Jurgen Van Den Broeck for Lotto Belisol.

Points Jersey contenders include a healthy helping of the world's top sprinters, including OPQ's Mark Cavendish, who will be hoping to impress on home soil in the early stages, Peter Sagan of Cannondale, Andrei Greipel of Lotto Belisol, Marcel Kittel of Giant-Shimano, Arnaud Demare of FDJ and Alexander Kristoff of Katusha.

Many other talented cyclists will find and make opportunities to show their stuff.
Enjoy the race!

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