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.