x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Eight Tour de France contenders

Alberto Contador knows what it takes to win the Tour de France.
Alberto Contador knows what it takes to win the Tour de France.

1. CHRIS FROOME (Gbr)

Team Team Sky

Age 28

Tour best 2nd (2012)

Strengths Has won four of the five stage races (Oman, Romandie, Criterium International, Criterium du Dauphine) he entered this year. One of the best time trialists, possibly the best climber. Backed by a strong team

Weaknesses Has never led a team on the Tour de France

 

2. RICHIE PORTE (Aus)

Team Team Sky

Age 28

Tour best 34th (2012)

Strengths Showed by winning Paris-Nice this season that he is a decent stage racer. Also finished second overall in Criterium du Dauphine behind Froome

Weaknesses Is Froome's lieutenant so no room for personal ambition

 

3. ALBERTO CONTADOR (Esp)

Team Saxo Tinkoff

Age 30

Tour best 1st (2007, 2009)

Strengths A formidable attacker, always on the offensive, which is a big plus in a very mountainous race. The only active rider with titles in all three grand tours. Solid team behind him

Weaknesses Lack of results this year. Form does not look that good

 

4. CADEL EVANS (Aus)

Team BMC

Age 36

Tour best 1st (2011)

Strengths Knows how a Tour de France is won. Never gives up. Finished third overall in the Giro after a miserable start to the season

Weaknesses At 36, he may not perform well in two grand tours in the same year, especially on a very tough Tour route

 

5. TEJAY VAN GARDEREN (USA)

Team BMC

Age 24

Tour best 5th (2012)

Strengths Versatility. A decent time trialist and good climber. Last year's performance is a confidence-booster

Weaknesses He is not BMC's team leader so little room for personal ambition

 

6. RYDER HESJEDAL (Can)

Team Garmin-Sharp

Age 32

Tour best 6th (2010)

Strengths Very good climber possibly backed by a solid team. Knows he can pull off a great performance having won the Giro last year

Weaknesses Withdrew from 2013 Giro with illness and crashed heavily during the Tour of Switzerland earlier this month

 

7. JOAQUIM RODRIGUEZ (Esp)

Team Katusha

Age 34

Tour best 7th (2010)

Strengths An excellent finisher. Has the ability to produce sudden accelerations on short and steep climbs

Weaknesses Has only ridden one Tour de France. Mediocre time trialist

 

8. THIBAUT PINOT (Fra)

Team FDJ

Age 23

Tour best 10th (2012)

Strengths Excellent climber. Took a stage on his Tour debut last year

Weaknesses Not a good time trialist although he has improved. Lack of experience

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