With the 100th edition of the Tour de France approaching the final week, Staff riders Adam and James both looked closely at the stages and gave their stage-by-stage predictions…
When: 13th July | Where: Saint-Pourcain-sur-Sioule - Lyon | Distance: 191km
This stage will leave no chance for the sprinters with a saw-blade profile which includes 7 third/fourth category climbs. This could be a great day for a breakaway as long as there is no-one too dangerous overall in the group.
James’ Predicition: If the stage manages to avoid any disruption and the pack stays together it will be another great day for Peter Sagan.
Adam’s Prediction: I’m going to predict a Philippe Gilbert stage win hot on the heels of his BMC Racing contract extension.
When: 14th July, | Where: Givors – Mont Ventoux | Distance: 242km
Stage 15 kicks off what can only be described as a horrendous final week and will undoubtedly shake up the GC standings. This is the longest stage of the 100th edition Tour de France culminating on the top of the infamous Mont Ventoux.
Mont Ventoux is not only 20.8km in length but has an average gradient of 7.5% meaning this lunar landscape can also be very hot and windy.
James’ Prediction: I think it will be Alberto Contador’s day but I cannot see him taking any time from Chris Froome and the other contenders. I do predict however that some riders will lose big time here.
Adam’s Prediction: I’m going to predict a stage win for French, Team Europcar rider Thomas Voeckler.
Date: 16th July | Where: Vaison-la-Romaine – Gap | Distance: 168km
The rest day will have been well received by all - the sprinters especially. Stage 16 is a very unusual stage which is almost completely uphill for the entire 168km, with a 12.5km high speed descent into Gap – this will provide a very exciting finish to the stage!
It’s uphill right from the start, climbing the Cote de la Montagne de Bluye and then the Col de Macuegne and then grinding up to the Col de Manse.
James’ Prediciton: This looks like the perfect opportunity for Alejandro Valverde to take his stage win.
Adam’s Prediction: I think it would be great to see Dan Martin do well for Garmin-Sharp.
Date: 17th July | Where: Embrun – Chorges | Distance: 32km ITT
Lake Serre-Poncon will give a tremendous backdrop to the mountainous Individual Time Trial today – truly spectacular. The profile of this stage suggests it’s not one for the usual TT riders but again the stage will be very fast with a long downhill section to the finish. With this in mind; bike, wheel and equipment selection will be key.
James’ Prediction: I can see Chris Froome extending his lead on this stage.
Adam’s Prediction: I can also see Chris Froome winning stage 17.
Date: 18 July | Where: Gap – Alpe D’Huez | Distance: 168km
This is the stage all cycling fans have been looking forward to since the route was announced and I am sure all the riders have been dreading.
Stage 198 will see not one, but two ascents of the mighty 21 hairpins of the legendary Alpe D’huez including a descent in between on a road paved especially for the occasion.
I would imagine it will all stay together on the first climb and hopefully (for cycling fans) it will break loose on the second. Both Adam and I are predicting the Tour de France will be won or lost today and another rider will go down in cycling folklore with a stage win here.
James’ Prediction: I cannot look beyond Chris Froome on this stage.
Adam’s Prediction: I have to agree with James. Cycling fans will be revelling in Chris Froome-mania by stage 19 in the same way we all did Bradley Wiggins in 2012.
When: 19 July | Where: Le Bourg-d’Oisans – Le Grand Bornand | Distance: 204km
The ‘Souvenir Henri Desgrange’ will be presented today to the first rider over the Col de la Madeleine as at 2000m, it is the highest mountain in this years Tour de France, but that’s after they have climbed the Col du Glandon at 1924m! After the 30km descent from the top of the Madeleine there is still a second and two first category climbs to go, with a downhill finish at Le Grand-Bornand. After what promises to be a brutal stage 18 this will test the riders to their absolute limit.
James’ Prediction: Would be nice to see a French victory today so I am going for Pierre Rolland.
Adam’s Prediction: I can see a French winner too. As I like to differ from James’ views when I can, I’ll say Thibaut Pinot will take this stage.
When: 20 July | Where: Annecy – Mont Semnoz | Distance: 125km
The penultimate stage is a fairly short one. The riders will still have to complete the first category Mont Revard and the Mont Semnoz. Once again the Tour visits the Annecy region and its stunning scenery, not that the riders will have time to notice it as the final climb is a real brute; 10.7km long at 8.5% gradient.
James’ Prediction: After this arduous third week, fatigue will be a factor and I would fancy a non GC climbing specialist to have targeted this stage, so my tip for today is Joaquim Rodriguez. At the end of the stage we will know who has won the 100th Tour de France.
Adam’s Prediction: This is probably the one stage I didn’t have an instant thought as to who would win. I think this stage could be won by a number of riders. I’m going to predict BMC Racing rider, Tejay Van Garderen.
Date: 21 July | Where: Versailles – Paris | Distance: 118km
This is it! The final stage of the 100th Tour de France is upon us and for the first time in it’s history, the peloton will finish at night. I certainly wish I could be at the Champs Elysees for what promises to be a sensational atmosphere.
James’ Prediction: After the long transfer back to Paris, champagne will be on ice and Mark Cavendish will win on the Champs Elysees for the 5th time in as many years.
Adam’s Prediction: I’m again going to disagree with James (although, my head is telling me the Manx Missile will win) – I am going to back Marcel Kittel. The German, Argos-Shimano rider has been red hot this year!
Overall GC Prediction
James’ Prediction: Chris Froome (Team Sky)
Adam’s Prediction: Chris Froome (Team Sky)