Saturday, 7 July 2012

The Big Show

The Tour de France 2012 Edition. 

Well, it's winter here in Melbourne. It's cold, and wet, the days are short and getting up in the morning and biking to work is getting harder and harder. BUT - with July comes the Tour de France, so it's not all bad. Every year the Tour gets bigger and bigger and this year is no exception. The race for the yellow jersey is wide open, despite what the mainstream media says - it's not just between Cadel and Wiggins, there are quite a few who could take yellow. The course is well planned, with a good mix of sprint, medium and big mountain stages and time-trials. The only thing that is missing is the team time-trial. I love the TTT! Lets hope it comes back in 2013! So lets look at favourites for the green and yellow jerseys.

Yellow: The big favourite is the great saviour of British road racing, Bradley Wiggins. Wiggo has a bit too much hype surrounding him if you ask me. My money is still on Cadel to back up his 2011 win. He's experienced, he knows how to win, he's timed his peak form perfectly and his team is 100% dedicated. It'll take a lot to beat Cadel. Other possibilities are Hesjerdal, Menchov, Gesink, Rojers, Sanchez, Schleck (Frank) and Van Den Broeck. It really is wide open. My pick, apart from Cadel, is Vincenzo Nibali. He's a class act, and he'll be right there in the 3rd week, mark my words. And, if you want to lay a bet down, they're offerring some pretty good odds for Nibali too! 

Green: The battle for the Green jersey is going to be action packed this year. The last few years have been a bit stale. Last year it was the Cav show, he had it in the bag from week one. This year we have the biggest selection of world-class sprinters we've seen for many years. Some of the names include Cavendish, Petacchi, Goss, Greipel, Van Hummell, Renshaw, Farrar and Freire. We are going to see some of the best spinting we've seen in a long time - certainly the best this season, as the Tour is the first race we've seen a field like this come together. And don't forget the new wonderkid on the block, Peter Sagan, at 22 he's as green the lush grass of Normandy, and with his power it might just be green that he heads home with.

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