With the 100th edition of the Tour de France starting this Saturday, Staff riders Adam and James both looked closely at the stages in the first week and gave their stage-by-stage predictions...
Stage 1 When
: 29th June | Where
: Porto - Vecchio-Bastia | Distance
: 212km Unusually, there is no prologue to start the Tour. Instead, the 100th edition of the Tour de France will start with a pan flat stage along the magnificent Corsica’s East Coast. Corsica is the only region of France never to have welcomed the Tour de France. James' Prediction
: Must be a stage win and the yellow jersey for Cavendish. Adam's Prediction
: The Manx Missile, Mark Cavendish has worn the leaders Jersey in the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a España but the Yellow Jersey of the Tour de France is still to allude him - I think that is all the motivation Cav will need and with that in mind I can't see anything but a stage win for the Cavendish either.
Stage 2 When
: 30th June | Where
: Bastia-Ajaccio | Distance
: 154km We feel that stage 2 of the 100th edition TdF could be the hardest second day of the Tour de France in living memory! First the peloton will climb over the Col de la Serra and then proceed on and over the Col de Vizzavona. These are only secondary category climbs but very tough indeed. Just 12km before the end of the stage the riders will face a third category climb to finish what looks to be brutal day. We're getting cramp just thinking about it! James' Prediction
: My money is on Peter Sagan to win this tough 213km stage. Sagan shone bright in the 2012 Tour and will be looking to impress again. Adam's Prediction
: I think this stage is going to be a real interesting one. I'd like to think Philippe Gilbert of the BMC Racing Team will emerge victorious in this stage.
Stage 3 When
: 1st July | Where
: Ajaccio-Calvi | Distance
: 145km The 100th Edition Tour won’t be won on the beautiful island of Corsica but could certainly be lost here. Stage 3 is another testing day which will see the riders climb second, third and fourth category climbs before arriving in Ajaccio. James' Prediction
: I think that Omega Pharma-Quickstep rider Silvain Chavanel could well take this classic style stage. Adam's Prediction
: I have a feeling that Irishman, Daniel Martin will prevail for Garmin-Sharp in this stage.
Stage 4 When
: 2 July | Where:
Nice-Nice | Distance
: 25km Team Time Trial (TT) Stage 4 will see a fairly technical out and round course on the stunning Promenade des Anglais. Due to the very flat nature of this stage we reckon this could be a very fast stage - anticipate speeds of 50-60kmh average. Times are taken on the fifth rider in each team to cross the line. James' Prediction
: After Sky’s brilliant TTT at the Giro, they must be one of the favourites and are my tip. Adam's Prediction
: I can't look beyond Team Sky for this stage. With riders such as Froome, Porte and Uran all riding very strong so far in 2013 it's hard to see anybody beating the British Team.
Stage 5 When
: 3 July | Where
: Cagnes-sur-Mer – Marseille | Distance
: 219km Stage 5 should be one for the sprinters. Covering over 200km, it's a very long and undulating stage and temperatures will more than likely be high. James' Prediction
: Although this could be a stage for the sprinters I think that this stage could be a bit testing for Cavendish. With that in mind I will back Peter Sagan to emerge victorious. Adam's Prediction
: Sagan would be a good bet on this stage. In the interest of being different to James, I'm going to back Lotto-Belisol rider Andre Greipel.
Stage 6 When
: 4 July | Where
: Aix-en-Provence – Montpellier | Distance
: 176km Stage 6 is very flat. The riders will start in Cagnes-sur-Mer and cover 228.5km before finishing in Marseille. This could well be another hot day for the riders. James' Prediction:
I anticipate a showdown between old team mates Andre Greipel and Mark Cavendish with possibly Greipel snatching glory. Adam's Prediction
: We're sure the likes of Mark Cavendish and Andre Greipel will already have there sights on this stage. I'm going to go with the Manx Missile, Mark Cavendish for this stage.
Stage 7 When
: 5 July | Where
: Montpellier – Albi | Distance
: 205km Stage 7 is another long stage with two big lumps in the middle entering the stunning Tarn area of France. The riders will start in Montpellier and finish nearer the Pyrenees in Albi some 205.5km later. We think that this stage is going to be won by an all-rounder. James' Prediction
: I think this is tailor made for a breakaway so could favour a non GC journeyman such as Alejandro Valverde of Movistar. Adam's Prediction
: Something tells me that BMC rider Cadel Evans is going to want to take this stage. Only time will tell.
Check back soon for our Stage-by-Stage guide and predictions for the second week of the Tour de France.