Breaking News Bar
updated: 6/22/2013 7:18 PM

10 riders to watch at Tour de France

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Chris Froome is the heir apparent to 2012 Tour de France champ Bradley Wiggins on Team Sky.

      Chris Froome is the heir apparent to 2012 Tour de France champ Bradley Wiggins on Team Sky.
    Associated Press file photo

  • Alberto Contador's 2010 title was stripped after he failed a drug test.

      Alberto Contador's 2010 title was stripped after he failed a drug test.
    Associated Press/2010

  • Mark Cavendish is always a favorite to win sprint stages.

      Mark Cavendish is always a favorite to win sprint stages.
    Associated Press/2009

  • Peter Sagan won the green points jersey at last year's Tour de France.

      Peter Sagan won the green points jersey at last year's Tour de France.
    Associated Press/2012

  • Cadel Evans won the Tour de France in 2011.

      Cadel Evans won the Tour de France in 2011.
    Associated Press

  • Tejay Van Garderen is the United States' best young rider. He won this year's Tour of California.

      Tejay Van Garderen is the United States' best young rider. He won this year's Tour of California.
    Associated Press

  • Team director Marc Madiot, left, celebrates in his car as Thibaut Pinot crosses the finish line to win the eighth stage of the Tour de France in 2012

      Team director Marc Madiot, left, celebrates in his car as Thibaut Pinot crosses the finish line to win the eighth stage of the Tour de France in 2012
    Associated Press

  • Andy Schleck finished on the podium each year from 2009 to 2011.

      Andy Schleck finished on the podium each year from 2009 to 2011.
    Associated Press file photo

  • Jurgen Van Den Broeck started his career with Lance Armstrong's squads. He's a podium contender this year.

      Jurgen Van Den Broeck started his career with Lance Armstrong's squads. He's a podium contender this year.
    Associated Press file photo

  • David Millar is a reformed doper.

      David Millar is a reformed doper.
    Associated Press file photo

 
Associated Press

PARIS -- From the field of 198 riders at the Tour de France, which starts June 29 on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica, here are 10 to keep a particular watch for, either because they are contenders or they could make waves at the 100th edition of the three-week race over 3,479 kilometers (2,162 miles) divided into 21 stages:

CHRIS FROOME

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

Age: 28

Country: Britain

Team: Sky

Career highlights: 2nd in 2012 Tour; 2nd in 2011 Tour of Spain; time-trial bronze at 2012 London Olympics

Why watch: Kenyan-born Froome is strong favorite to win after runner-up finish in 2012 behind teammate Bradley Wiggins, who is missing this year's Tour, hampered by sore left knee. Eats up steep climbs, solid in time trials, has perhaps strongest team, giving Froome tools he needs to win Tour's 100th edition. Looked fresh and fit in winning Criterium du Dauphine stage race in June

Twitter: https://twitter.com/chrisfroome

ALBERTO CONTADOR

Age: 30

Country: Spain

Team: Saxo-Tinkoff

Career highlights: Stripped of 2010 Tour title after anti-doping controls detected banned drug clenbuterol in his urine. Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected Contador's story that he unwittingly ingested the drug in contaminated steak. Two-year ban forced him to miss 2012 Tour and London Olympics. Also stripped of 2011 Giro d'Italia victory.

Why watch: Contador, a former teammate of Lance Armstrong, was becoming cycling's Next Big Thing until stopped in his tracks by drug-test fail at 2010 Tour. Has won all three of cycling's grand Tours -- Tour of France in 2007 and `09; 2008 Giro d'Italia; Vuelta a Espana in 2008 and 2012. Hasn't looked as sharp as Froome this season. Mounds of experience and bursts of uphill speed make Contador most dangerous rival for the Briton.

MARK CAVENDISH

Age: 28

Country: Britain

Team: Omega Pharma-Quick-Step

Career highlights: Too numerous to list. Called "Manx Missile" because he hails from Isle of Man and is explosively quick. Finest sprinter of his generation; winner of coveted points jersey for sprinting at all three grand Tours, just one of five riders to achieve that triple.

Why watch: Cavendish will never win the Tour; he is too slow up mountains. But he can whip anyone in sprint finish. Some expect Cavendish to overhaul Eddy Merckx's record of 34 stage wins at Tour before he retires. With 23 wins now, Cavendish could this year catch Andre Leducq, third on Tour's all-time list of stage winners, with 25, or even get within spitting distance of Bernard Hinault's 28 wins, second-highest total after Merckx.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarkCavendish

PETER SAGAN

Age: 23

Country: Slovakia

Team: Cannondale

Career highlights: Winner of green points jersey at 2012 Tour

Why watch: Because three stage victories and green jersey for collecting most points from wins and sprints at debut Tour in 2012 identify Sagan as an attacking rider and rival this year for Cavendish. Made fool of himself by pinching bottom of podium hostess at Tour of Flanders; later apologized.

CADEL EVANS

Age: 36

Country: Australia

Team: BMC

Career highlights: Winner 2011 Tour; 3rd in this year's Giro d'Italia gave him podium finishes in all three grand Tours (3rd in 2009 Vuelta; runner-up at Tour de France in 2007 and 2008); 2009 road race world champion

Why watch: Bit long in tooth to win another Tour but still podium contender. A diesel engine --not explosively quick uphill but regular and constant in mountains and time trial.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CadelOfficial

TEJAY VAN GARDEREN

Age: 24

Country: USA

Team: BMC

Career highlights: With 5th place at 2012 Tour, resident of Boulder, Colo., won white jersey for best rider aged 25 or less. This May won eight-day Tour of California

Why watch: Because USA cycling needs a rider to cheer for after disgrace of Lance Armstrong. Too young to win this Tour but strong performance expected after breakthrough last year. May be forced to play second-fiddle to Evans in BMC team.

THIBAUT PINOT

Age: 23

Country: France

Team: FDJ

Career highlights: 10th at 2012 Tour, win on stage 8

Why watch: Because France hasn't had a Tour champion since Bernard Hinault won his fifth title in 1985. Pinot, too young, won't win this year but performance last year marked him out as future French talent.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/thibautpinot

ANDY SCHLECK

Age: 28

Country: Luxembourg

Team: RadioShack-Leopard-Trek

Career highlights: Initially runner-up, inherited 2010 Tour title stripped from Alberto Contador for failed drug test. 2nd in 2011 and 2009; 2nd at 2007 Giro d'Italia

Why watch: Broken pelvis in 2012 forced Schleck out of Tour and London Olympics. Triptych of podium finishes at Tour from 2009-2011 show his pedigree but questions over fitness. Older brother Frank Schleck, third in 2011 Tour, tested positive for banned diuretic Xipamide at 2012 edition and misses this year's race as he completes one-year ban.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/andy--schleck

JURGEN VAN DEN BROECK

Age: 30

Country: Belgium

Team: Lotto Belisol

Career highlights: 4th in Tours of 2012 and 2010 -- best performance by Belgian since Claude Criquielion finished 5th in 1986

Why watch: Started career with Lance Armstrong's squads, U.S. Postal Service and Discovery Channel. Podium contender this year, along with Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana at Movistar and Joaquim Rodriguez of Katusha.

DAVID MILLAR

Age: 36

Country: Britain

Team: Garmin Sharp

Career highlights: Stage wins at all three grand Tours; searing biography about his doping

Why watch: Reformed doper who speaks mind about his and his sport's drug history, its testing regime and continuing doping problems. Expect colorful language from Millar against any rider involved in doping scandal again this year. Not incidentally, a fine bike racer, too.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/millarmind

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here