Saturday, 23 June 2012

Tour de France-Sky's the limit.

In one week, Bradley Wiggins will begin his journey that could see him become the first Briton in history to win this world famous event. Even he couldn't have imagined being the favourite for the yellow jersey four years ago. To reach this position he has shown a combination of his improved physical prowess with being a part of the strongest Sky team ever, currently ranked number one in UCI rankings. Thirdly, with the banned Alberto Contador out of the competition and an injured Andy Schleck, the raining champion Cadel Evans racing for BMC is perhaps his main  and only threat. Wiggins is entering the Tour in remarkable form after winning the eight stages of Dauphiné aided by excellent support work from his team; Michael Rogers, Richie Porte, Chris Froome, Konstantin Siutsou, Christian Knees, Boasson Hagen, Bernhard Eisel, and not forgetting BBC Sports Personality of the Year Mark Cavendish.
Tour de France route 2012
It is clear that the main focus of this pool of cyclists is Wiggins winning the Tour but Cavendish still has the support of certain team members for his nail biting sprint finishes. The Isle of Man sprinter has voiced his main focus on achieving Olympic glory this year, but he will still be looking to add to his 20 stage wins and defending his green jersey. Throughout the mountainous stages Rogers, Porte, Siutsou, Knees and Froome will be the main supporting pack in the peleton for Wiggins after successful past performances working together. The making of this Sky team really has been a long process attempting to extract the best individual performances possible from all these riders and culminating them into a strong team effort. A sport often the focal point of worldwide drama from drug cheating allegations to horrific crashes, this year UK fans will be hoping the big story is the crowning of a British champ- no pressure Brads!
One day I hope to make it to the Tour to run alongside the cyclists in a crazy costume but for now I can settle with a memory from my year in France. En route to a ski holiday in Vaujany, we past through a very small village called Le Bourg d'Oisans which lies at the bottom of the road up to Alpe d'Huez. Dropped off outside the village hotel immediately I spotted jerseys on its  balconies and indeed the Tour does often pass through the village. 
To love cycling can be described in a way to love geography and different regions and Le Tour de France certainly ticks all these boxes.

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