Tour de France 2016June 29, 2016
Tour de France 2016
Tour de France 2016: Preview
The 2016 Tour de France gets underway on Saturday 2nd July, when the world’s best riders leave the quaint town of Mont Saint Michel for the start of this year’s race. The world’s biggest cycling event is also the most popular annual sports event, and the 2016 version is set to generate great interest thanks to competition amongst the top riders and a course better suited to climbing specialists.
The route and format for the Tour de France changes every year, and this year is no exception this year. In a move that is likely to maintain interest in the race, and perhaps aid contenders from the weaker teams, organisers have opted for a format that does not include a team time trial. In fact, there are only two individual time trials within the 21 stages of the race, the first of which comes later in the race, at Stage 13. Both courses include inclines that will assist climbers and negate the advantage of the time trial specialists.
Favourite for the 2016 Tour is Brit and two-time winner, Chris Froome. Representing the Sky Racing Team, Froome is in fine fettle following his victory in the Criterium de Dauphine, the traditional lead up event for the General Classification contenders. In Froome’s two prior Tour de France victories, he has enjoyed great support from his Sky team mates, again this year they field another very strong team, that will support the Brit through the rigours of the 3-week event.
Also favoured to contend for the 2016 title is Columbian Nairo Quintana. The climbing specialist will be suited by the route and lack of time genuine time trial opportunities, where in the past, Froome has built an advantage. Quintana again will be aided by Movistar teammate Alejandre Valverde, who himself managed a podium finish in the 2015 Tour de France. Quintana is in good form this season having taken out the Tour de Romandie and Volta a Catalunya earlier this year.
Spaniard and two-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador is also in contention for the 2016 race. At 33, Contador still remains a force in world cycling, however, it is now 7 years since he has legitimately claimed victory at le Tour. Like Quintana, he is favoured by the emphasis on climbing in this year’s race and the absence of the team time trial.
The interesting contender in this year’s event is Australian Richie Porte. The Tasmanian was Froome’s right hand man in the 2015 tour, but has since transferred to the BMC Racing team, the same team that propelled fellow Aussie to victory in the Tour. The move is significant, not only does it weaken Team Sky’s ability in the mountains, it also gives the Aussie his first real chance at General Classification (GC) glory. Porte is currently rated a $17 chance by CrownBet; to read up on how you can place some hard earned on Australia’s best chance and set up an account with the Melbourne based bookmaker click here.
It’s sure to be a fascinating edition of the Tour de France. The absence of any time trials until Stage 13 is sure to create interest and excitement in the General Classification long into the race. For Australian fans, Porte is the first real contender since Cadel Evans.