Tour de France '05
We all have our favourites... and there's ceratinly plenty to choose from. I suspect that this will be a very aggressive Tour as there are a few new faces who want to make a mark.
So I think the teams will be riding on the attack from day one and suspect that Discovery will have a very stressful three weeks. Phonak and CSC seem to be looking just as determined as we come into the race. T-Mobile's uber squad need a result too...
Here's the RCUK top ten...
1. Lance Armstrong
I think Lance will either win it or not finish. There's a lot of pressure on his 7th win. He looked a bit stressed at the Dauphine, but that's when he starts to get fired up.
2. Ivan Basso
If Lance doesn't win Basso could. He's been resting up since the Giro and he showed there that he's in great shape.
3. Jan Ullrich
Lack lustre performances so far this year, apart from the TT in the Tour of Switzerland I expect him to win a TT stage and if he finds his climbing legs, who knows?
4. Alexandre Vinokourov
Always has a bad day and rarely challenges the above in the time trials, could put pressure on the Disco boys.
5. Santiago Botero
Silly-fast in a TT or on the descents. Climbing may let him down. Could shock the big boys though.
6. Floyd Landis
Who knows, good rider and a strong team, with Botero on his side they could be really dangerous
7. Levi Leiphiemer
Plenty of ability, could challenge if it blows apart in the hills. Great climber and TT rider.
8. Andreas Kloden
Poor form so far this year, but we've said that of other riders before and they've done great things...
9. Aitor Gonzalez
Had a strong Tour of Switzerland, spanked Ullrich in the hills too...
10. Christophe Moreau
Top French rider and the best chance of a top ten. Looks good so far this year andcould win a stage or two.
So the Tour de France starts tomorrow. But who's going to win? RCUK have a special competition ready for the start of the Tour. Vote for the top three GC riders to finish in Paris. We will keep the competition open until Bastille Day (14th July) just so you can have a week or so to suss out the competition. (The competition page will be live on 8th July).
Evans have supplied a Specialized helmet worth £100 for the winner, we will draw it the Monday after the finish. So get voting!