Tour for all delights Froome

Comment on this story


iol spt pic Chris Froome

Getty Images

Chris Froome of Team Sky Procycling looks on ahead of stage twenty of the 2013 Tour de France. Photo: Bryn Lennon

Paris - Defending champion Chris Froome summed up the 2014 Tour de France, which starts in Leeds on Saturday, as “a very well-balanced route” that will “test all aspects of the eventual winner”.

But, if anything, the 29-year-old Briton who rides for Team Sky was offering a demonstration in understatement.

The 101st edition of the Grand Boucle has got riders, fans and organisers alike rightly excited, not just for the potential of a thrilling yellow jersey battle between Froome, twice-former winner Alberto Contador and twice Giro d'Italia champion Vincenzo Nibali, but simply for the route itself.

It has been described as a race of two halves, the first almost entirely flat - there are nine flat stages out of the 21 - before the second covers barely a single metre that doesn't go up or down - there are five altitude finishes over six mountain stages, alongside five other hilly routes.

But anyone expecting to simply tune into the second half of the race for the fireworks could already have missed a major and decisive incident.

Flat stages on this route don't necessarily mean doomed escapes hunted down by a determined peloton before a chaotic sprint finish.

Sure, the likes of Mark Cavendish, Marcel Kittel, Andre Griepel and even Peter Sagan will have a fair few chances to pick up a stage win, but some of the flat stages will be punctuated by crosswinds and even cobbles.

In fact it is stage five from Ypres in Belgium to Arenberg Porte du Hainaut that will be one of the most-eagerly anticipated.

It covers part of the Paris-Roubaix course, taking in 15.4km of cobbled sections in the final 70km of the 156km stage.

That's 15km over nine separate sections in which the Tour de France can be won or lost.

While specialists such as multiple Spring Classic winners Fabian Cancellara and Tom Boonen will be expected to shine, the likes of Froome, Contador and Nibali will merely be hoping to survive.

Crashing, or getting caught up behind a crash on one of those cobbled sections could be fatal to a rider's overall hopes.

Likewise, the next day from Arras to Reims, in which the Tour will pay tribute to those who died in the Great War by riding through some famous battlefields, the potential for splits in the peloton due to crosswinds could all but end a contender's interest, as happened to Movistar's Alejandro Valverde last year, when losing more than 10 minutes on the flat stage 13 won by Cavendish.

The Manxman is in for a treat this year as the Tour starts in his homeland for only the second time - and the 20th time it has begun outside France - with the opening stage ending in Harrogate in Yorkshire, where Cavendish's mother was born.

Should the favourites survive unscathed from the early pitfalls, they will start setting themselves apart from the rest on stages eight and 10, the latter with the hugely exciting finish atop La Planche des Belles Filles, which made its Tour debut in 2012 when Chris Froome won his maiden Tour stage, outsprinting then title-holder Cadel Evans, while Bradley Wiggins took yellow for the first time.

Following on from that, the serious business begins with back-to-back Alpine summit finishes on stages 13 and 14 before similar back-to-back uphill endings in the Pyrenees on stages 17 and 18, the latter of which culminates atop the Huatacam.

If the Tour hasn't already been decided by then, the penultimate stage sees the riders tackle a 54km individual time trial.

That was enough to send Froome almost giddy with excitement when the Tour route was disclosed last year.

Given the time he put into both Contador and Nibali on the flat sections of the 10.4km time trial at the Criterium du Dauphine earlier this month, they might both need a healthy lead to hang on to by that stage if they're to harbour any such hopes of victory.

Perhaps the one rider who might have been able to beat Froome, Colombian Nairo Quintana, isn't even going to be there.

Having upstaged Movistar team leader Valverde last year in finishing second, he was pushed on to the Giro this time around, winning comfortably.

Next year, though, he will certainly be back but until then, this year's race holds the potential for many thrills, although Froome remains the favourite.

Sapa-AFP


sign up
 
 

Comment Guidelines



  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

     

Join us on

IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks
Gemima
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
Teleporter1612
I'm a 48 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 43 and 100.
View Profile
JanieL
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 32.
View Profile
batchelorette
I'm a 42 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 55.
View Profile
MizLiz
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 40.
View Profile
Warmsmilewarmheart
I'm a 47 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
recently40
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 58.
View Profile
LeilaM
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
Lala8610
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 32.
View Profile
sweets1987
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 42.
View Profile
dragonfly86
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 28 and 35.
View Profile
MissMoneypenny_13
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 42.
View Profile
HartjievanHoneydew
I'm a 21 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
Bianx24
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 30.
View Profile
SalsaHoney
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 40.
View Profile
HenrietteF
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 42.
View Profile
liefie231
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 28 and 40.
View Profile
Hopeful_dreamer
I'm a 37 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 33 and 45.
View Profile
SilverLiningM
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 36.
View Profile
MistyLady
I'm a 36 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 34 and 45.
View Profile
Rosesandlace
I'm a 49 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 49 and 53.
View Profile
Mo1979
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 43.
View Profile
L123
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 39.
View Profile
JULIET_001
I'm a 51 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 49 and 63.
View Profile
your_wildest_dreams
I'm a 36 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
Artistixoxo
I'm a 23 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 23 and 28.
View Profile
GypseyTraveller
I'm a 54 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 49 and 58.
View Profile
Caroline_
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 26 and 36.
View Profile
Doeksa
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 33 and 39.
View Profile
Bluebell531
I'm a 46 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 60.
View Profile
Sonskyn83
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
pikkewyn_123
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 36 and 40.
View Profile
Angdt
I'm a 21 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 23 and 30.
View Profile
Chriz_1985
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
nirina
I'm a 37 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
Kelbels0201
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 36 and 42.
View Profile
Lady_101
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 28 and 38.
View Profile
MissSM
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 39.
View Profile
Plattelandsenooi3
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 33 and 45.
View Profile
Dee37
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 45.
View Profile
Leigh1979
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 40.
View Profile
sexyhair
I'm a 42 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
Smileawhile
I'm a 45 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 52.
View Profile
Judith78
I'm a 36 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 48.
View Profile
Lilakii
I'm a 21 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 23 and 31.
View Profile
Moze008
I'm a 57 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 55 and 70.
View Profile
WandaLove
I'm a 19 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 22 and 26.
View Profile
FaiRy9
I'm a 26 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 36.
View Profile
LimitlessSoul
I'm a 45 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
Jobaby10
I'm a 36 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 45.
View Profile
Enkellopende
I'm a 42 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 43.
View Profile
CTBLONDE
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men and women between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
Smurfette
I'm a 36 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Liefieling86
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 32.
View Profile
chloeeeee
I'm a 44 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 52.
View Profile
KW82
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 40.
View Profile
MTBGirl_11
I'm a 42 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
0044MJM
I'm a 49 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 48 and 61.
View Profile
tigerlady28
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 22 and 34.
View Profile
Minky3001
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 40.
View Profile
Cathwhite
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Blu
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 33.
View Profile
Persephone101
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
BMull08
I'm a 19 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 19 and 30.
View Profile
Blondie_434
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 28 and 43.
View Profile
khosyx
I'm a 20 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 21 and 30.
View Profile
Bastet_11
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 48.
View Profile
Vuurvliegie1974
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 39 and 47.
View Profile
Mickey101
I'm a 25 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 30.
View Profile
Jimmyhgirl
I'm a 37 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
EMT2014
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 40.
View Profile
ShanJo
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 42.
View Profile
Okidoki_63
I'm a 51 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 60.
View Profile
JayAnne
I'm a 56 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 56 and 70.
View Profile
klouise
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 31 and 39.
View Profile
Foreverinhope
I'm a 48 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 56.
View Profile
Crispy990
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 24 and 35.
View Profile
Loubelle
I'm a 50 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 55.
View Profile
Kay_722
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 40.
View Profile
Bienkie01
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 34 and 48.
View Profile
RobzMolecule
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 22 and 30.
View Profile
BlondeBerry
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 40.
View Profile
sonskyn27
I'm a 56 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
JillieB
I'm a 61 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 55 and 70.
View Profile
ContagiousLaughter
I'm a 41 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 36 and 44.
View Profile
Butterfly_effect
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 36 and 48.
View Profile
FoXyLaDy444
I'm a 56 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 50 and 65.
View Profile
JustChat76
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
optimistic_36
I'm a 37 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 46.
View Profile
AgentI
I'm a 39 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
luvlie
I'm a 48 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 46 and 52.
View Profile
Dollie81
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 49.
View Profile
Bebe1000
I'm a 53 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 49 and 57.
View Profile
TuffLove
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
Fire_and_Ice81
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Rarefind
I'm a 55 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 52 and 63.
View Profile
Jenny84
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 33 and 40.
View Profile
PowerPrincess
I'm a 41 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 47.
View Profile
lvebird53
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 65.
View Profile
captainkid
I'm a 55 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 47 and 56.
View Profile
gavinzn
I'm a 57 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 57.
View Profile
LovingSerenity
I'm a 38 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 24 and 45.
View Profile
6s6s6s
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Kiwiana
I'm a 39 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 39.
View Profile
BossMorne
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
BENTLEY292
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
Fred58
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
stumpjumper
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
FamilyMan72
I'm a 42 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 43.
View Profile
Stand64
I'm a 50 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 36 and 55.
View Profile
JPretoria
I'm a 38 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 40.
View Profile
Gambino_Family
I'm a 59 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 42 and 70.
View Profile
wiedahunk
I'm a 57 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 70.
View Profile
JustCallMeBwana
I'm a 47 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 49.
View Profile
sunset22
I'm a 50 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 57.
View Profile
Suidwester27
I'm a 53 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
Andy_Leo
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Ons2alleen
I'm a 30 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 24 and 29.
View Profile
brightday111
I'm a 55 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 48 and 59.
View Profile
daniel101
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 32 and 38.
View Profile
Guardian_24
I'm a 41 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 37 and 43.
View Profile
goldenhat
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 36 and 66.
View Profile
Natural123
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
OohCharles
I'm a 53 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
philip_unplugged514
I'm a 62 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 68.
View Profile
TheDuke_99
I'm a 36 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 42.
View Profile
Agent_K1
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 38 and 40.
View Profile
LiveLifeAlways
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 33 and 41.
View Profile
Smartboy_102
I'm a 60 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 47 and 57.
View Profile
KTM1190A
I'm a 59 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 58.
View Profile
koolstoof55
I'm a 59 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 63.
View Profile
plodof
I'm a 58 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 55.
View Profile
Tall_fun
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
DutchDelight_
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 46.
View Profile
cloudhopper
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
Jericho2010
I'm a 41 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 49.
View Profile
Lastgreatwhite
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
breeze001
I'm a 49 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
Banker009
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 34 and 46.
View Profile
karooboertjie15
I'm a 40 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 40.
View Profile
Bryn
I'm a 41 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 20 and 55.
View Profile
DJStarglance
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
Officer_Gentleman
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 48.
View Profile
dinnerfortwo
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
Bruce_308
I'm a 47 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 41 and 70.
View Profile
freddic1
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 47 and 55.
View Profile
BobTheExtremeBuilder
I'm a 47 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 47.
View Profile
Fitwithhealth
I'm a 72 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 48 and 65.
View Profile
CL4ptp
I'm a 28 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 22 and 28.
View Profile
Jurgy62
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 37 and 55.
View Profile
pinsnow
I'm a 55 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 65.
View Profile
Ryno_56
I'm a 26 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 34.
View Profile
Marius_P
I'm a 40 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 55.
View Profile
rjscm
I'm a 48 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
cornrlius205
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 50.
View Profile
cccdovy
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 48 and 56.
View Profile
EensameWewenaar
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 50.
View Profile
Propriety
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
TLS11
I'm a 53 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 57.
View Profile
gentlebutcrazy
I'm a 58 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 55.
View Profile
sierranevada
I'm a 53 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
5star
I'm a 57 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
Coolfun
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 55.
View Profile
CDolf
I'm a 30 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 33.
View Profile
VirgoMan1970
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 50.
View Profile
TheRealMrRight
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 42.
View Profile
Rebelinbluejeans
I'm a 62 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 62.
View Profile
pieterl
I'm a 59 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 62.
View Profile
versl_550
I'm a 55 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 60.
View Profile
contour
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 34 and 39.
View Profile
George5911
I'm a 55 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 36 and 50.
View Profile
Kitchenslave
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
MLACOME0147
I'm a 55 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 49 and 79.
View Profile
charl1906
I'm a 57 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 49 and 53.
View Profile
matiekat
I'm a 66 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 68.
View Profile
IanT
I'm a 48 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 48.
View Profile
Denali
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 40.
View Profile
Ironstein06
I'm a 36 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 37.
View Profile
ClassicRocker
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 42 and 52.
View Profile
tommy351
I'm a 61 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 48 and 59.
View Profile
Firefox_771
I'm a 63 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 42 and 56.
View Profile
ekke_706
I'm a 50 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
SingleNSearching60
I'm a 60 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 55 and 70.
View Profile
jacuwig
I'm a 25 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 20 and 25.
View Profile
Alachison
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
cknneth111
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 41 and 70.
View Profile
TripleJ94
I'm a 20 year old man looking to meet men and women between the ages of 18 and 30.
View Profile
Dn212
I'm a 51 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 60.
View Profile
henisright
I'm a 50 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 37 and 53.
View Profile
kannieworrynie
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
DaveB_791
I'm a 49 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
ScottRanger1987
I'm a 27 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 30.
View Profile
TallDreamer
I'm a 37 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 38.
View Profile
Natureboykie
I'm a 60 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 43 and 64.
View Profile
Lonomor
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
richy10
I'm a 57 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 49 and 70.
View Profile
IrishBoy11
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 27 and 40.
View Profile

Business Directory