WITH the riders on a rest day after a week of jockeying for position, Tour de France expert JOHN TREVORROW revises his form guide.
AS WE move into week two of this fascinating Tour de France – Let’s take a look at how the race is playing out.
After stage four I rated how I thought the top contenders were looking. Now after 10 days and two fantastic stages in the gruelling Pyrenees mountains let’s revisit each of those and look at a couple of others who have impressed.
Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) – The Slovenian was my original pick to take out this year’s Tour. He has not put a foot wrong and his team has been the strongest, but I now have some doubts. When the team threw everything but the kitchen sink at the opposition on the last mountain on stage 9, his biggest threats were still able to counter punch.
Original prediction first overall – New prediction, second overall
Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) – The Colombian defending champion is looking better every day. His team are not the powerhouse of recent years but it doesn’t seem to be fazing him. After looking a bit shaky earlier in the Tour, he now seems to be finding his rhythm on the steeper climbs. His counter attack on the final climb of stage 9 was all about letting Roglic and Podacar know that he is still the man to beat. Original prediction second overall – New prediction, Top of the podium
Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) – The great French hope now has no hope. Original prediction – Third overall – New prediction a breakaway stage win only.
Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) – He cracked big time in the mountains and showed he does not have the form of last year. Expect him to improve and win at least one more stage.
Original prediction to win at least one more stage but won’t get near the final podium. New prediction is the same but even further away from the podium.
Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) – The 21 year old Slovenian has just gotten better each day. He will challenge for this Tour and actually looks the strongest right now. But I reckon his very young age will see him struggle a little in the final week. Original Prediction was a toss up between Pogacar and Pinot for third overall. New prediction still third and will win the Tour in the future
Adam Yates (Mitchelton Scott) – The dour Englishman put up a gutsy ride on stage 9 but just couldn’t hold the real contenders. He will be looking for stage win opportunities for the rest of this tour. Original prediction unchanged – to collect stage wins but not feature in the overall GC.
Richie Porte (Team Trek) – The diminutive Aussie is still looking good and seems to be improving each day. His ride on stage 9 was impressive but again his descending let him down.
Original prediction – a real chance to match his best fifth overall in what looks his last chance at the GC. Five to 10 – New prediction unchanged
Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma) – The powerful Dutchman will be crucial in the mountains if Roglic is to win this race.
Original prediction – will bury himself for Roglic – nothing has changed
Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic) – The talented Colombian Climbing specialist has actually improved each day and looks as if he could be a real challenger in the final week. As a former winner of the Giro and the Vuelta plus three times on the podium in the Tour de France, he knows what is required. Original prediction – top five to 10. New prediction closer to fifth.
Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) – The 26 year old Colombian super climber has shown flashes of brilliance but not enough to challenge for the podium.
Original prediction – Five to 10. New Prediction closer to 10
Rigoberto Uran (EF Education) – Seems to be getting back to some of the form that saw this Colombian climbing specialist finish second in the tour in 2017.
Original prediction Five to 10. New prediction same but closer to 5.
Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) –The Frenchman that looks most capable of getting on the podium. Currently third overall and looks to have the form to give this tour a real shake. Currently third at 28 seconds.
Original prediction – Five to 10. New prediction fourth.
A couple of riders have ridden back into calculations. Romain Bardet (AG2R) Was the darling of France a couple of years ago when he finished second and third in 2016 and 17. Finally finding a bit of the panache he was famous for. Currently fourth at 30 seconds he will be one to watch on the steeper Alpine climbs in the final week.
Mikel Landa (Bahrain McLaren) The Spaniard was touted as a challenger before the Tour and is now starting to show that he has the form to be in with a chance. Prediction 5 – 10.
GC after stage 9
|1||Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma||38:40:01|
|2||Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers||00:00:21|
|3||Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis||00:00:28|
|4||Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale||00:00:30|
|5||Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic||00:00:32|
|6||Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Pro Cycling||00:00:32|
|7||Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates||00:00:44|
|8||Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott||00:01:02|
|9||Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Astana Pro Team||00:01:15|
|10||Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain McLaren||00:01:42|
|11||Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo||00:01:53|
|12||Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team||00:02:02|
|13||Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo||00:02:31|
|14||Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma||00:03:22|
|15||Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers||00:03:42|
|16||Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain McLaren||00:03:42|
|17||Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team||00:03:43|
|18||Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe||00:05:45|
|19||Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Pro Cycling||00:06:08|
|20||Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott||00:12:13|
|21||Pierre Rolland (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept||00:15:21|
|22||Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic||00:18:26|
|23||Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Pro Cycling||00:20:04|
|24||Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ||00:28:32|
|25||Ion Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Astana Pro Team||00:28:51|
|26||Sepp Kuss (USA) Team Jumbo-Visma||00:29:55|
|27||Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale||00:32:15|
|28||Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) CCC Team||00:33:53|
|29||George Bennett (NZl) Team Jumbo-Visma||00:35:15|
|30||Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana Pro Team||00:36:04|