Tour de France Previews

The Tour de France is quickly approaching, so here's some reading prep that previews the course as well as the riders. It's really hard to guess what will happen this year. Last year demonstrated that unlikely crashes could dominate a race: Beloki, Hamilton, Ullrich, and Armstrong all had prominent crashes that affected the overall outcome (Beloki crashed out, Hamilton broke his collarbone but still finished prominently, Ullrich crashed on the crucial final time trial, Armstrong's crash seemed to fuel his next attack that gave him overall victory).

Looking at the top riders' performances this year, Iban Mayo struck fear into some Armstrong fans' hearts by dominating the Dauphine Libre, and both Hamilton and Ullrich have been racing strong. Meanwhile, watching the Lance Armstrong Chronicles on OLN have done nothing to encourage my belief that Armstrong is stronger this year, as the Chronicles make it appear that he does nothing other than shoot Nike/Subaru commercials and hang out with Sheryl Crow all day. Armstrong won't have to worry about Vino or Beloki this year, but it should still be tough.

(via tdfblog)

related articles: Tour de France 2004