Who will win Le Tour?

The Classics season is over. The Giro’s finished. The Dauphine Libere starts this coming weekend. Most of the early season favourites have shown form of some description, but this remains the most open of Tours in years. So who is going to win?

Contador goes into the Dauphine – traditionally Lance’s Tour warm up event – as one of the favourites and has an opportunity to be the genuine Astana (or whatever their name is come July 4th) team leader. Levi’s early season form seems to have deserted him, but Astana look incredibly strong and – as mentioned in my Giro reflections – I wouldn’t write off Lance just yet. The Schleck brothers looked very good – bar Frank’s crash in the Amstel Gold race – in the Classics, but will either trascend the status of young prospect and mount a serious yellow jersey bid? Can Menchov challenge in a second successive grand tour? Is Basso up to the task as he continues his come back? Does Evans have the ability to go one better than 2008? Will Sastre improve on his Giro form and retain his title?

Here are the latest odds.

TdF Odds

So far 75% of you think Contador, making him the undisputed favourite. Vote now!

Who do you think will be the winner in Paris?

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The Poll – Tour de France

 

As I prepare this site for it’s July kick off – experimenting with some features, widgets, gadgets and thingy-ma-jigs – my mind has naturally wandered onto one fascinating prospect that will also kick off in July. Whichever way you look at it, the 2009 Tour de France is promising to be a real corker. We’ve not even finished the classics season and already we’ve had the come back of one of the greatest cyclists in history, followed quickly by said cyclist’s broken collar bone, followed even more quickly by allegations of doping violations. We’ve seen disputes over team leadership – unsurprisingly also involving said cyclist – with the two team mate rivals launching their seasons in fine fettle; Leipheimer winning the Tour of Castille and Leon, and Contador winning several stages (and at the time of writing leading the Tour of the Basque country). Meanwhile, we’ve also watched Mark Cavendish continue his superb form from 2008 by winning Milan-San Remo, and promising another stage win haul come July. And we’ve heard Bradley Wiggins talk about his season off the track to focus on the road, which could mean he joins Cavendish on the TdF podium. Whatever happens between now and 5th July, the 2009 Tour will surely be one of the most exciting in years. But who’s going to win the yellow jersey? Well, my personal view is…