Oct 22, 2014

2015 Tour de France: A Classic Touch - Hitting The Wall & Tribute To The KoMs

Hitting the Wall,
2014 La Fleche Wallonne.





I wonder whether Dan Martin is thinking of the 2015 Tour de France? If he is selected to ride, then stage 3 can be most interesting. I'll get to that a little later.



A look at the course...

The course has been revealed and special thanks go to race organizers for creating a parcours suited for the climbers. Notably, organizers are keen to pay tribute to the 40th anniversary of the climber's polka dot jersey. Light on time trials and, thankfully, heavy on climbing. I think this Tour is one of my favorites - for the second year in succession cue in cobblestones. On stage 4, seven sections of 'nice' pave to keep everyone focussed. It's 211km long, 13.3km of pave and the riders will be wishing the weather gods will be fair.


A Classic Touch...

The Grand Départ is in Utrecht and then along the North Coast of The Netherlands. Stage 3 finishes on the steep ramp of the Muy de Huy in Belgium. Dan Martin came tantalizingly close to winning La Fléche Wallone and has a proven classic track record in a race that really suits his climbing abilities (2012: 6th, 2013: 4th, 2014: 2nd)...





 












The beautiful mountains...

A rest day in Pau before the Pyrenees, three summit finishes in a row and up La Pierre St-Martin on stage 10. Cauterets and then the Tourmalet on stage 11. Fearsome ascent up the Plateau de Beille on stage 12. But, the Alps will be mighty nasty. Four days in the Alps with three summit finishes on Pra-Loup (stage 17), la Toussuire (stage 19) and l'Alpe d'Huez. Stage 20 is the penultimate stage before Paris and just looks nasty...






The 21 hairpins (13.8km at 8.1%) of Alpe d'Huez is the perfect icing on this 2015 Tour. It promises to be a dramatic finish. Hugely popular appearing 28 times, last won in 2013 by Christophe Riblon.




The Penultimate stage killer.





The Players...

In my opinion, Nairo Quintana looks well suited to this mountainous Tour. Then again, he won't be alone. He'll have to stay upright along with these guys to the Alps: Contador, Nibali, Froome. But, wouldn't it be fitting for one of these French challengers to take la Grande Boucle? My French picks to break the 30 year drought are; Romain Bardet, Thibault Pinot and Jean-Christophe Péraud.


French dreams can come true.




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