Quintana says needs to be more daring to win Tour de France

Francis Osborne
July 1, 2017

Once a member of Froome's team, his 2017 wins in the Tour Down Under and the Tour de Romandie give him plenty of momentum leading up to Saturday's start.

Back in 2011, the Rotherham racer - traditionally a sprinter - was employed as a domestique, riding in support of Bradley Wiggins as the Briton fought to win a first Tour de France for himself, Team Sky and his country.

Not since Miguel Indurain has a man won three Tours in a row, but that is the achievement that Chris Froome stands on the brink of.

A field of 198 riders will take to the roads of Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and of course France to compete across a distance of 3,540 kilometres, spread over 21 stages. "He's ready to be up there and we are ready as a team", the Italian said.

Nobody ever said winning the Tour de France was simple.

But opinions vary on whether he has a stage win to his name.

Improving weather is expected early next week as the tour shifts southward through Luxembourg into northeast France. "For sure there's going to be good battles on those stage finishes".

The last two grand tours - the Vuelta 2016 and this year's Giro d'Italia - both threw up utterly unexpected scenarios of the kind that have rarely been seen in recent Tours de France.

The company expects to analyse over 3 billion data points during the 21 stages of the event (compared to last year's 128 million), combining the information collected from Global Positioning System transponders installed on each bike with historical data and external variables such as weather conditions and the steepness of the course.

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Known for his attacking instincts, Bardet has shown steady improvement at this race and demonstrated his class with a solo triumph on Mont Blanc past year.

Mark Cavendish could become the out-right leading stage victor, while Peter Sagan will look to continue his dominance of the points classification.

The Frenchman, who enjoys tasting wines from the Rhone valley and the Languedoc region, has had a hard start to the season, after being thrown out of the Paris-Nice stage race for taking an illegal tow from a team vehicle.

Victory in four Tours or more is so exceptional, in fact, only four riders - Eddy Merckx, Miguel Indurain, Bernard Hinault and Jacques Anquetil - have achieved that since the race began in 1903.

But Cavendish, who missed three months this year through glandular fever caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, admits he may not be at peak fitness.

"I've finished second a few times and had some thirds so I'd like to change that", Porte told The Examiner.

"This year at the Tour de France I will live a new experience, because I'll have the freedom of taking my opportunities", said Swift, 29. "For me the more climbs the better", he said.

"I proved that past year".

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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