Monday, July 7, 2014

Tour de France 2014 Kicks Off

   The Tour de France started up Saturday, and that means two weeks of exciting bike racing! This year, we will see several fun and exciting rivalries. Here is who I'll be watching:

   The contenders for yellow are these guys (among others):

   Chris Froome won the Tour last year, and is Team Sky's best current rider. He's supported by a talented group of guys, including heavy lifter Richie Porte. He will also not have to worry about Wiggins stealing the spotlight, as he's not racing this year. 


   Contador has won the Tour two times, and is a fantastic climber. He's coming off a good season and ready to win back some favor after being stripped of his 2010 title. With many victories in major races, He's got the experience to be a threat to anyone looking at yellow. 


   Former Cannondale rider Vincenzo Nibali is also coming off a strong season, and will be giving the two above guys a run for the yellow. He also just won the Italian National championship, proving he's in good form for the Tour. 


   The Green jersey! These guys are the sprinters and are going to be fighting for points. 

   No conversation about sprinting would be complete without Mark Cavendish. The Manx missile has been a threat to win green every year. He has more wins than any other rider at 25 (!) and is ever hungry to more.*


*at the time of this writing, Cav is out of the tour with a separated shoulder due to a crash in Stage 1.

   Marcel Kittel is one of the first riders to challenge Cavendish in the sprint. He has been winning stages in all the major tours and will come to this one looking for more stage wins.


   What can be said about Cannondale's charismatic rider Peter Sagan? He's a sprinter who can climb, and a climber who can wheelie. He only won one stage last year, but dominated the green jersey on points. Team Cannondale is supporting him in the points effort this tour, so he should be out in front a lot.


Other exciting riders to watch. These guys may not be contenders for the jerseys, but promise to be worth watching:

   Ted King has a disappointing Tour last year, with a crash the stage before the team time trial causing him to come in after the limit. He is coming into this year's race hungry to prove he is the world class rider we all know he is.


   Jens Voigt is the man. With a breakaway lead and victory in stage 20 last year, he proved that he is not ready to be put out to pasture yet. Even if not a threat for the yellow jersey, he is always someone to watch for an exciting race.


   I'll keep updating the exciting events that unfold over the next two week until we crown another TdF winner!

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