Tour de France - Predictions

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    Jun 30, 2012 4:26 AM GMT
    Prologue - Peter Sagan will treat it like a long sprint and take it, beating out Tony Martin, Fabian Cancelara and David Zabriske in that order.

    Yellow Jersey - I've thought hard about this one. I think Cadel Evans surprises everyone after his slow start this year and repeats based off the strength of his team (Hincapie, Gilbert, Vangarderen). He'll beat Wiggins in the mountains, but lose some time in the long time-trial. If Wiggins takes Yellow, it will be in the final TT. Second will be Wiggins, third Leipheimer, fourth Hejedal. I'd be happy to see Horner in the top 5, but he'll opt for a stab at a mountain stage win and lag in the GC along with the disappointing RadioShack team

    Green Jersey - Sagan will take it over Cavendish. While Cav will go for stage wins at the sprint finishes, Team Sky will be supporting Wiggins instead of Cav, so he won't have the lead-out train he's accustomed to for the intermediate sprints. Tyler Farrar won't take a single stage. Between Sagan and Cav, he'll be boxed out, particularly with Greipel and Goss also going after their former teammate Cav.

    White Jersey - Vangarderen will get it because he'll be stronger in the mountains and time trial than Sagan. Since he'll be working for Evans, he'll be doing a lot of work at the head of the peloton while Sagan recovers in the gruppetto on mountain stages.

    Polka-dot Jersey - I have no idea. It will be a Columbian from Movistar or a Basque from Euskaltel. That's about as far as I've thought about it.

    I mentioned Horner above. He'll place higher than Frank Schleck, but fail to win a stage. He'll attack in the mountains, but come in no higher than third. Meanwhile, Frank will try to contend for the GC but won't crack the top ten. They might surprise me and work together in a mountain stage to pull off a breakaway the way Horner and Leipheimer worked together on Baldy last year in the ToC, but the peloton will expect it. It will all come down to how close BMC and Sky are and whether or not RSNT is in contention if they allow a RSNT attack. Meanwhile, Omega-Pharma will sit back while BMC and Sky do all the work and Levi will slip in where he can with the help of Chavenel and Gilbert.

    Dark horses: Levi placing higher on the podium after playing up his recovery and waiting patiently for the right moment to spring an attack in the mountains and an impressive TT. Valverde has a strong team in Movistar that hasn't had a lot of team success but has been individually impressive--they might pull it together for the tour for him. Nibali and Gesink might be able to work in the peloton to pull ahead, but not from the strength of their teams compared to BMC, Sky, and Omega. Thomas Voekler was so impressive last year and held on longer than anyone thought with the most anguished expressions of torture on his face every day he was predicted to give up the yellow jersey--he might surprise everyone and put on an equally amazing display and get a boost from the home crowd.
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    Jun 30, 2012 5:54 PM GMT
    Okay, so I blew it on Sagan, and couldn't have predicted Martin's bike problems, but I'm glad to see Cancellara back on top in a time trial and in yellow for stage one.

    Tejay's in the white jersey and I don't think he will give it up.

    Wiggins now has 10 seconds over Evans. Cadel and BMC will really have to work hard to crack him in the mountains if they want any chance of getting that time back. It's going to be a long three weeks of cat-and-mouse between those two squads.
  • Cuchullain

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    Jul 03, 2012 10:05 AM GMT
    Yup I think Wiggins will need some kind of mishap to keep him off the top of the podium. Having said that, too much has been made of the TT Kms in this year's route.

    I'm interested to see what Hesjedal can do.
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    Jul 04, 2012 5:32 AM GMT
    I like Hejedal, but I don't think he can pull it together after winning the Giro. Also, I don't think Garmin-Sharp is as strong as BMC and Sky, so his chances aren't as good for first or second.
  • Cuchullain

    Posts: 64

    Jul 06, 2012 7:32 PM GMT
    Wow. Carnage.
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    Jul 07, 2012 3:20 AM GMT
    Yeah, I was sorry to see Danielson suffering on the side of the road and the hopes of Hejedal, Schleck, and Gesink circling the drain.

    I'm going to the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in August--I hope Tommy D. is better by then and Ryder is along side him.

    I have to say, I'm getting a little tired of Sagan winning every stage for which he's in contention, but I was glad to see him beat Greipel today. I've never liked that guy.