TdF – Mini Guide to Le Tour


After one by one the teams have announced their squads, here are the riders who will battle for stages and the bigger prizes on offer

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TdF – Mini Guide to Le Tour

A race with the cream of the professional cyclists in the teams that have got a ride in this year’s race. The strength of the riders in the race is too look at all those who didn’t get a ride! The Tour de France is like no other race and like so many of the other stage races, this is no training race.

Every rider in the race will have a job whether its going for stages, looking after their GC leader or sprinting for stages or the jerseys on offer. Teams will either have the aim of winning the race overall or to win stages, or a jersey. One thing is for sure, the majority of the riders in this race are potential stage winners – only their job in their team and lady luck will dictate whether they become a member of that club.


This is the big prize, the yellow jersey and the one that Chris Froome will be chasing for three weeks

Talking to two insiders on the race, the two over whelming favourites are Chris Froome and Alberto Contador but as we have seen in the past, no rider is immune to crashes and getting injured and the race will have other favourites vying for that yellow jumper. Nairo Quintana for example or last years champion Vincenzo Niabli. Those four are the over whelming favourites for the podium but many others will be in there fighting their corner.

Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) for example or Thibaut Pinot (FdJ) or Katusha’s Joaquim Rodriguez perhaps. The Green jersey will as ever be a battle royal between the sprinters such as Cavendish and Sagan with plenty of other potential candidates vying for a podium spot. Kristoff and Degenkolb  are two names that may enter that frame very quickly. The same goes for the KoM which becomes the prize for the breakaway specialists in many ways with the jersey holders battling with the GC contenders to stop them taking it away from them.

The beauty of the Tour de France is there are so many things for riders to go for – whether its supporting their GC contender, stage wins or a jersey. So many smaller battles to be won in the war on wheels, so many smaller stories within the bigger picture to keep us entertained. And in that war on wheels will be ten British riders:

Alex Dowsett (Can Alex win a TT as he did in the Giro)
Mark Cavendish (how many stages will Mark win!)
Stephen Cummings (a potential stage winner) 
Simon Yates (a potential stage winner)
Adam Yates (a potential stage winner)
Luke Rowe (looking after Chris Froome with a vital role in the first half of the race)
Geraint Thomas (under study to Froome)
Ian Stannard (looking after Chris Froome with a vital role in the first half of the race)
Peter Kennaugh (stage winner? and mountains helper for Froome)
Chris Froome (GC favourite)

Add to that British born Dan Martin and there is plenty of British interest in the peloton for the 2015 Tour de France. So here are the gladiators who will be taking to the road this Saturday


Ag2r La Mondiale
Jan Bakelants, Romain Bardet (GC contender), Mikaël Chérel, Ben Gastauer, Patrick Gretsch, Jean-Christophe Péraud, Christophe Riblon, Johan Vansummeren, Alexis Vuillermoz

Vincenzo Nibali (defending champion & GC contender), Jakob Fuglsang, Lars Boom (Tour of Britain winner), Andriy Grivko, Michele Scarponi, Lieuwe Westra, Rein Taaramae, Tanel Kangert

BMC Racing Team
Tejay van Garderen (GC Contender), Damiano Caruso, Rohan Dennis (former hour record holder), Daniel Oss, Manuel Quinziato, Samuel Sanchez, Michael Schar, Greg Van Avermaet (classics hero), Danilo Wyss

Bora-Argon 18
Jan Barta, Sam Bennett (sprinter), Emanuel Buchmann, Zakkari Dempster (former Tour Series winner), Bartosz Huzarski, Jose Mendes, Dominik Nerz, Andreas Schillinger, Paul Voss,

Bretagne-Séché Environnement
Frédéric Brun, Anthony Delaplace, Pierrick Fédrigo, Brice Feillu (stage winner 2009), Armindo Fonseca, Arnaud Gérard, Pierre-Luc Périchon, Eduardo Sepulveda, Florian Vachon

Andrew Talansky (former winner of the Dauphine) and GC contender, Daniel Martin (classics winner and TdF stage winner), Ryder Hesjedal, Jack Bauer (Tour Series winner), Dylan van Baarle (Tour of Britain winner), Sebastian Langeveld, Ramunas Navardauskas, Kristijan Koren, Nathan Haas

Nacer Bouhanni, (Sprinter), Nicolas Edet, Christophe Laporte, Luis Angel Mate, Dani Navarro, Florian Sénéchal, Geoffrey Soupe, Julien Simon, Kenneth Vanbilsen

Mark Cavendish (25 stage wins, green jersey winner), Michal Kwiatkowski (world champion), Tony Martin (time trialist), Rigoberto Uran (climber and GC contender), Zdenek Stybar, Mark Renshaw, Julien Vermonte (Tour of Britain stage winner), Matteo Trentin, Michal Golas

Bryan Coquard (sprinter), Pierre Rolland, Thomas Voeckler (breakway specialist), Romain Sicard, Yohann Gene, Angelo Tulik, Bryan Nauleau, Perrig Quemeneur

Thibaut Pinot (GC contender, 3rd overall in 2014 and Best young rider), William Bonnet, Sébastien Chavanel, Arnaud Démare, Alexandre Geniez, Matthieu Ladagnous, Steve Morabito, Jérémy Roy, Benoît Vaugrenard

Tom Dumoulin, (time trialist (3rd in the Worlds), Koen De Kort, John Degenkolb (classics winner Milan Sano Remo & Roubaix & potenial stage winner), Warren Barguil, Roy Curvers, Simon Geschke, Georg Preildler, Ramon Sinkeldam, Albert Timmer

IAM Cycling
Matthias Brandle (former hour record holder and double stage winner Tour of Britain), Sylvain Chavanel (multiple stage winner TdF), Stef Clement, Jerome Coppel, Martin Elmiger, Mathias Frank, Reto Hollenstein, Jarlinson Pantano, Marcel Wyss

Joaquim Rodriguez (GC contender and or potenial stage winner), Alexander Kristoff (classics winner and sprinter, potenial stage winner), Tiago Machado, Albert Losada, Giampaolo Caruso,  Luca Paolini, Dmitry Kozontchuk, Jacopo Guarnieri, Marco Haller

Rui Costa (former world champion), Nelson Oliveira, Kristijan Durasek, Ruben Plaza, Filippo Pozzato, Jose Rodolfo Serpa, Rafael Valls, Matteo Bono, Davide Cimolai,

Lars Bak, Thomas De Gendt (breakway specialist), Jens Debusschere, Tony Gallopin, Andre Greipel (stage winner and sprinter), Adam Hansen (record holder in riding & finishing consectutive Grand Tours), Greg Henderson (sprinter), Marcel Sieberg, Tim Wellens

Robert Gesink (GC contender – 4th Overall Tour de France 2010), Wilco Kelderman, Laurens ten Dam, Steven Kruijswijk, Sep Vanmarcke, Bram Tankink, Tom Leezer, Jos van Emden, Paul Martens

Nairo Quintana (GC favourite and Giro winner 2014), Alejandro Valverde (classics winner and stage winner), Jose Herrada, Adriano Malori (time trialist), Gorka Izagirre, Winner Anacona, Jonathan Castroviejo, Imano Erviti, Alex Dowsett (time trialist and British champion, Giro stage winner)

Edvald Boasson Hagen (stage winner), Steve Cummings (grand tour stage winner), Tyler Farrar (sprinter), Jacques Janse van Rensburg, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, Merhawi Kudus, Louis Meintjes, Serge Pauwels, Daniel Teklehaimanot

Michael Albasini (stage winner), Luke Durbridge, Simon Gerrans (stage winner), Daryl Impey, Michael Matthews (grand tour stage winner), Svein Tuft, Pieter Weening (stage winner), Adam Yates, Simon Yates

Team Sky
Chris Froome (GC favourite), Peter Kennaugh, Ian Stannard, Geraint Thomas, Luke Rowe, Mikel Nieve, Richie Porte (potential GC backup), Nicolas Roche, Wout Poels, Leopold Konig (grand tour stage winner)

Alberto Contador (GC favourite), Peter Sagan (Green jersey and stage winner), Michael Rogers (time trialist), Rafal Majka (KoM winner and stage winner), Robert Kiserlovski, Daniele Bennati (stage winner), Ivan Basso (stage winner and 3rd 2004), Roman Kreuziger, Michael Velgren, Matteo Tosatto

Trek Factory Racing
Fabian Cancellara (Legend!-time trialist and classics winner and stage winner), Stijn Devolder (classics winner), Bob Jungels, Laurent Didier, Haimar Zubeldia, Markel Irizar, Gregory Rast, Bauke Mollema, Julian Arredondo

Stage 10 Cancellara

Fabian Cancellara

Tour Stats
9 flat stages, 3 hill stages, 7 mountain stages with 5 altitude finishes, 1 individual time-trial stage, 1 team time-trial stage and 2 rest days

Tour Stages Summary
Race begins with a time trial which will create some small gaps but the sprint teams and GC teams will want to keep it together on the stages that follow but the fly in the ointment will be stage 4 and the cobbles which could see the race explode and time gaps open up. More lumpy stages follow but again breaks may find it tough to get a gap big enough to stay away but anything can happen and will and already has over the years.

A team time trial on stage 9 will see the GC contenders start to fall in place and then they hit the mountains when anything could happen. One this is for sure, on the summit finishes especially, Stage 10, Stage 11, Stage 12, Stage 17 and stage 19, the GC contenders will go to war whether that’s out front or behind a secondary battle going on ahead for the stage. Ahead lies a three week story with many a sub plot keeping it all interesting and edge of the seat stuff. Just pray the contenders don’t fall off and we get a Tour Champion the race deserves.

1 Saturday, July 4th Utrecht / Utrecht 13.8 km TT
2 Sunday, July 5th Utrecht / Zélande 166 km (possible sprint)
3 Monday, July 6th Anvers / Huy 159.5 km (possible sprint)
4 Tuesday, July 7th Seraing / Cambrai 223.5 km (cobbled, race could explode!)
5 Wednesday, July 8th Arras Communauté Urbaine / Amiens Métropole 189.5 km (possible sprint)
6 Thursday, July 9th Abbeville / Le Havre 191.5 km
7 Friday, July 10th Livarot / Fougères 190.5 km
8 Saturday, July 11th Rennes / Mûr-de-Bretagne 181.5 km
9 Sunday, July 12th Vannes / Plumelec 28 km Team time trial
– Rest day Monday, July 13th Pau
10 Tuesday, July 14th Tarbes / La Pierre-Saint-Martin 167 km (Mountain)


Stage 10 where the GC will be shaken up the most since the start and the potential winners show themselves and potential losers fall away
11 Wednesday, July 15th Pau / Cauterets РVall̩e de Saint-Savin 188 km (Mountain)
12 Thursday, July 16th Lannemezan / Plateau de Beille 195 km (Mountain)


Stage 12 where the race will light up in the mountains

13 Friday, July 17th Muret / Rodez 198.5 km
14 Saturday, July 18th Rodez / Mende 178.5 km
15 Sunday, July 19th Mende / Valence 183 km
16 Monday, July 20th Bourg-de-Péage / Gap 201 km
– Rest day Tuesday, July 21st Gap
17 Wednesday, July 22nd Digne-les-Bains / Pra Loup 161 km (Mountain)

18 Thursday, July 23rd Gap / Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne 186.5 km (Mountain)
19 Friday, July 24th Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne / La Toussuire – Les Sybelles 138 km (Mountain)

20 Saturday, July 25th Modane Valfréjus / Alpe d’Huez 110.5 km (Mountain)


21 Sunday, July 26th Sèvres – Grand Paris Seine Ouest / Paris Champs-Élysées 109.5 km (sprint)


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