First of all, it is with great pleasure that I will be posting blogs about the Tour de France this year again. As for the race, we all know now, there won’t be any prologue and only 2 TT for this year’s Tour de France and I’m welcoming these changes with great hopes! I hope that with less TT, we will have a much more open Tour and that each single stage will be a real battle with great scenarios everyday.
I guess this year’s Tour will be for a sprinter that has also great abilities in the mountains; this is why I’m picking Cadel Evans as my favourite. For those of you who are into betting, you should pick guys like Andy Schlek, Damiano Cunego or even Valverde. Why Cadel? I think he is doing very well right now, he has huge potential and the only that he was missing was a strong team to back him up. With the arrival of Popovych, I think Silence-Lotto has everything in store to boost Cadel for the yellow jersey race this year.
But the Tour de France is no easy to win and the most important stages will always be the Alps and Pyrenees stages again. The Tour de France is all about the mountains but I would also count on the TTs which will have a greater impact than before. They should be fantastic to watch as they will be highly strategic because of all the points you can loose or win in them.
Talking about strategy, the beginning of this Tour will be much more exciting to watch than the 2007 event, and I’m betting that the first three or four days will be just crazy. Sprinters will give their bests to make a little difference and build their team’s position on the rankings.
I don’t know how you feel today but I just can’t wait for this Tour de France to begin. These few days before the Tour, it reminds me of this mixed feeling between excitement and stress and although I may have stopped cycling as a pro in 1997, you know what? To me, when I get this feeling, it’s just like if I was going to be out there as a pro. Pro or amateur, we all have the same excitements and stresses when the event approaches! That’s what we live for, don’t we?
I look forward to receiving your comments. Feel free to ask any question you want on the Tour de France. I should be able to help.
Ronan Pensec participated in 8 Tours, and wore the yellow jersey in 1990 while racing for Greg Lemond's Z team. He now operates Ronan Pensec Events, an official Tour de France operator hosting VIP cycling tours for recreational cycling enthusiasts.