SAM DAN­SIE

Procycling - - Le Tour -

Pro cy­cling Deputy Edi­tor

What’s your podium?

Quin­tana, Bardet, Froome. Ed has in­ally lost faith in Quin­tana, but I think this is his year. Mo­vis­tar will be strong and Quin­tana fresh – un­like 2017, when he was fraz­zled by hav­ing done the Giro. My nig­gling worry is his team-mate Landa. He wears am­bi­tion nakedly and if there’s a sni f of a chance to get ahead I think he’d take it with both hands this time.

Who else will make the top 10?

Nibali, Jun­gels, Mollema, Landa and three oth­ers. I’ll be watch­ing Jun­gels closely. Two white jer­seys at the Giro prom­ise much and the Tour, with its stead­ier rhythms, suits his strengths.

Which sprinter wins the most stages?

Not one, but two: Cav and Gav. Gaviria has a ten­dency to self-sab­o­tage, but I think he’s good for a cou­ple. Cavendish is at his best when his back is against the wall. The com­ing end of his ca­reer puts him there.

Who’s go­ing to win the other jer­seys?

I think ev­ery­body will conidently pre­dict Sagz will win his sixth mail­lot vert this year. Marc Soler for the white jersey. Spots for Bar­guil.

Who else might sur­prise us?

Let’s sup­port the Pro­cy­cling team: Dy­lan Teuns to win a stage and write about it in his di­ary.

What do you think of the route?

I think routemas­ter Thierry Gou­ve­nou might have over-egged the pud­ding. The irst week and the Alpine stages look par, though 22km of Roubaix pavé on stage 9 is an aw­ful lot. It’s the Pyre­nees that look for­bid­ding: stage 16 is 208km, with two late cat-1 climbs; stage 17 is 65km over two cat-1 and an HC climb; stage 19 is 200km over half the cir­cle of death. Few traps, just mighty ob­sta­cles.

What will be the tac­ti­cal nar­ra­tive?

The race piv­ots on Roubaix stage. The GC riders sim­ply need to stay in touch un­til then and then trust their luck. If Mo­vis­tar or Sky come out on top, the moun­tain stages will pass by with one team or the other grind­ing away on the front.

What else are you look­ing for­ward to?

The Bre­ton stages look at­trac­tive and var­ied. And in Wawa Bar­guil, the lo­cals have some­body to get be­hind.

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