Sperrungen Tour De France Düsseldorf

Froome, Bardet, Quintana, Contador, Porte, Aru and Pinot could all do a decent case zum winning die 104th Tour de France, which it s okay under way in Düsseldorf top top Saturday


Chris Froome it s okay on his bike zum the presentation des the 104th edition of ns Tour dach France bei Düsseldorf. Photograph: wolfgang Rattay/Reuters
Chris Froome gets on his bike for the presentation des the 104th edition of die Tour außerdem France in Düsseldorf. Photograph: wolfgang Rattay/Reuters

Ten year ago, the would oase been hard zu envisage the Tour juni France beginning here, or everywhere else an Germany. The 2007 Tour ist remembered über British fan for the hugely successful großartiger Départ in London but weil das German cycle it was a different kind of landmark: when die country’s tv turned your backs on ns Tour after a year-long rash des doping scandals and confessions involving ns country’s flagship mannschaft T-Mobile.

Du schaust: Sperrungen tour de france düsseldorf

The telecom agency pulled out that November. It was followed von the backers von the country’s various other two top-level expert teams after much more doping situations and bei 2009 the successful deutschland Tour deshalb ceased to exist. That appeared to mark the ende of the German love affair with cycling, which had blossomed an the mid-1990s with ns rise of jan Ullrich und T-Mobile, who distinctive pink kit remains one of the sport’s most recognisable outfits.

The suddenness with which German skilled cycling expanded und the rate with which it unravelled do this one des the sport’s cautionary tales, as die Tour’s organisers acknowledge; die race director, christen Prudhomme, calls its background “a barometer of the troubles of our sport”. Die hope zu sein the Tour’s arrival on the bank of die Rhine wollen prove to be one more landmark as the sport rebuilds an Germany top top the back of champion such together Marcel Kittel und John Degenkolb und a new and slightly kooky team for the fans to love, Bora-Hansgrohe.

So far, deswegen simple. This being die Tour over there is deshalb a hard-nosed advertising element zu this grand Départ; it will support die rapid expansion des the Tour’s parent firm Amaury sports Organisation, which wollen relaunch the deutschland Tour following year, nur as die start in Yorkshire in 2014 permitted ns company zu gain a foothold in Britain. Ns Tour travel well yet it does not leave france without an eye to die bottom line.

Moving ~ above from the sport’s past ist never as smooth as the marketing guys would like, hence die vexed question of Ullrich, disgraced an Operation Puerto in 2006. The belastung German tour winner was left off the guest list zum the start, prompting die unlikely sight des Kittel and Lance Armstrong – admittedly with various agendas – appearing kommen sie agree the if die Tour kann sein find space zum Richard Virenque, it could probably have asked the einfallsreich Ullrich zu pop along und press die flesh.

British cycling’s current travails oase been an a different register to ns scandals that all but wiped out experienced cycling an Germany. Zum all they schutz revealed about mannschaft Sky’s management and methods, the package saga and the question des Sir Bradley Wiggins’s therapeutic usage exemptions are light years far from the train of events that carried down T-Mobile on sport’s register von scandal. There zu sein one vital similarity, however: die sense the ethics und values of a national institution room being dubbed into question.

Team Sky’s new white jerseys notwithstanding, that ist the background versus which chris Froome – that on Friday confirmed he had actually signed a two-year contract expansion with sky – und his team-mates collection off to verteidigung his Tour dach France title on the usual demanding route and against competition which, even in straightforward times, may prove the most severe prüfung he und they oase faced. Lacking die Dutchman Wout Poels und the Briton ian Stannard, and with the form of Geraint Thomas in doubt, Froome’s team do not schutz the intimidating look of other years.

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Riders von the BMC Racing team during a maintain session an Düsseldorf. Photograph: Jeff Pachoud/AFP/Getty ImagesThat was Richie Porte’s see on Thursday. In reality, Sky’s strength möchte only end up being clear hinweisen the end of next woche when die race heads into the jura mountains. And also revealing Froome’s form – bei some inquiry after his reasonably slow buildup to die race – that is where a pattern wollen develop. Prior to that, the key issue, as weil das all ns contenders, zu sein avoiding die crashes und punctures that kann wreck a favourite’s race prior to it has actually begun, as Alberto Contador and Porte uncovered out an Brittany last year.

Sky’s tactics are well known von now: place ns maximum number of team-mates around the leader in the mountains and control die race von intimidation. Weil das Froome’s attempt at a fourth Tour kommen sie take shape, that needs ns bulk von his team-mates to kommen sie through unscathed, und his main mountain assistants, Sergio Henao und Mikel Landa, an particular. Failing which, there möchte be no lack des rivals willing to put the boot in.

This race has “une pleiade dach favoris”, – a veritable Pleiades of favourites – in the poetic view of belastung year’s runner-up Romain Bardet. Whether or notfall the young Frenchman to know his standards – together opposed to the Classics – corresponding the seven sisters of Greek mythology, ns stars schutz aligned zu produce 7 contenders: Froome, Bardet, Nairo Quintana, Contador, Porte, Fabio Aru and Thibaut Pinot. Or if he was referring to the nine stars of the constellation, add in Simon Yates und Esteban Chaves together outsiders.

Froome and Porte space both solid enough kommen sie look at ns final time trial an Marseille through a comparable degree von optimism but die other seven wollen need a fragmented, unpredictable race that wollen offer openings long before that.

The hope is that an experimental route, with barely any type of time trials and only 2 pure mountain-top finishes, will result in less regulated racing, but ns opposite could be true, with the favourites biding their time for the obvious crucial moments: the road zu Chambéry, Peyragudes, Galibier und the Izoard.

The tonnage two grand tours – the Vuelta 2016 and this year’s Giro d’Italia – both threw nach oben utterly unforeseen scenarios of the kind that schutz rarely been seen in recent Tours dach France. über the law des averages, punkt some allude a cliffhanging Tour kommen sie match 1989 or 1987 – the last time the started bei Germany, if that is any omen – möchte happen again and there is better reason than usual kommen sie hope it could be this year.

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“It’ll it is in one von the tightest tourism we’ve seen zum a lang time,” predicted the Orica sporting director, matter White. As ever, die road wollen decide.

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