Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Tour de France picks

I'm committing early, for maximum credit when my predictions bear fruit.

  1. Wiggins
  2. Evans
  3. DeGendt
  4. Hesjedahl
  5. Andy Schleck

I'm not convinced Hesjedahl, while he was strong enough to barely win the Giro, is fast enough in time trials to win this Tour, and lacks the explosiveness or superior aerobic power on climbs to gain back the time there.

DeGendt was stronger at the end of the Giro, though, and he was faster in the time trial despite an epic effort the day before. That's a good sign for the Tour. He's also relatively young, so is still improving and discovering his abilities.

And forget about Frandy. Still, you can't ignore their prior success, so I don't see them dropping further than fifth.

Wiggins is possessed this year: a man on a mission. If he doesn't crash, I think he's the strong favorite. Evans looks good but is getting a bit old, and will have a hard time holding off a Wiggins who can avoid bad luck.


El Hombre said...

Don't bet on De Gendt. He won't be riding the Tour. His wedding date is the 30th of June 2012 and he's giving it priority over the race - apparently it was planned before the Tour schedule was shifted (last year) to make room for the Olympics.

If you'd want a Belgian to bet on, maybe Jurgen VdB. Though given his time trialing capabilities I expect him to contend for top 5 rather than the win.

djconnel said...

You just completely shattered the wonderful smugness I was feeling after my #1 pick crushed all in today's timetrial. Too bad on De Gendt...

I'd be okay moving Hejedahl up to third but do I have to move Schleck up to 4th? I'd rather not...

Anyway, I'll wait until seeing the start list.

TCM said...

Not sure Hejedahl features in Jonathon Vaughters' mighty plan for the tour... as in, Hej peeked for the Giro... maybe Vande Velde will be Garmin's main gun?

Also, I could see Robert Gesink make the podium... good at the TT and in the mountains, as we saw in the TOC

djconnel said...

Gesink is a good pick : I was just thinking about him. He lost 39 seconds to Zabriskie, which means he'd need to be able to dominate in the mountains to win this TT-heavy Tour against Wiggins and Evans. Third is more open, however... Hesjedahl has said he's "on the form of his life" and will have team support, so if I trust him on that, I'll still pick him third assuming no DeGendt. Then maybe I'll put Gesink and Jurgen Van Den Broeck in there -- I'd overlooked them initially. Then Schleck (his set-back @ Dauphine hasn't helped) then maybe Froome (working for Wiggins, or he'd be higher).