A guide to the Tour de France
25th June 2016
Etixx Quick-Step have selected their team for the Tour de France 2016. It is focused on the sprinting abilities of Marcel Kittel, but he isn't the only card Etixx-Qick-Step have to play - there are the talents of Dan Martin, Tony Martin, and Julian Alaphilippe too.
Kittel has 10 wins so far this season, including two at the Giro d'Italia, and he will be expcted to deliver more in the Tour de France, including on Stage 1 from Mont Saint-Michel to Utah Beach.
Dan Martin is 29, and this will be his fourth Tour de France. He has improved his climbing recently, and he took third place in the 2016 Critérium du Dauphiné. He has a chance of a stage win, and a high place in the general classification.
German Tony Martin's speciality is the time trial, but he'll also ride in Kittel's sprint train, and go for stage wins by trying to power away from the field some distance from the line.
Julian Alaphilippe is 24, and won the white jersey at the Dauphiné, getting a top-10 place. He also won the Tour of California. This will be his first Tour de France, and his first Grand Tour. Etixx Quick-Step describe his talents as a 'fascinating combination of fast sprint and solid climbing skills'.
The full Etixx Quick-Step team is: Marcel Kittel, Dan Martin, Tony Martin, Julian Alaphilippe, Iljo Keisse, Maximiliano Richeze, Fabio Sabatini, Petr Vakoc, and Julien Vermote.
Etixx Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere said, 'The team is built around Marcel, and that comes as no surprise, because when you have a guy capable of winning stages in Grand Tours, it's normal to do this. We also have Daniel Martin, another rider who has proved himself at the Tour de France in the past, and who we believe can do even better now, as he has the instinct and the form for this. Tony will also be there, bringing his huge experience and knowledge; in the past weeks, he worked hard to be in top shape for this race and can make something great again, while at the same time being a valuable rider for the strategy we built around Kittel...'
André Greipel will be one of Kittel's main rivals. He is
supported by an experienced Lotto
Soudal team of Lars Bak, Thomas de Gendt, Jens Debusschere,
Tony Gallopin, Adam Hansen, Greg Henderson, Jurgen Roelandts, and
The 2016 Tour de France begins at Mont St Michel, in the Manche département of France. It tackles the Pyrenees before the Alps, and as always there's a final processional stage to Paris.
17th June 2016
Chris Froome's Col de Joux Plane recon was disrupted on Wednesday when part of the road was missing, and he and his teammates had to get off and carry their bikes. The Col de Joux Plane is the last climb on the last stage in the Alps, and could be crucial. Read about Froome's Col de Joux Plane recon...
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