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PCM.daily » PCM.daily's Management Game » [Man-Game] General
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Tour de France Discussion
cunego59
.
Tour de France
--
Preview
i.imgur.com/gJvKsqM.jpg

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is time: The Tour de France, the biggest race on earth, the pinnacle of cycling, three full weeks of nothing but high quality, high intensity racing lie ahead of us. With the entire podium of last year’s edition not competing this time around, the door is wide open for new faces on the steps in Paris. Who could that be, and what do they have to go through to get there? Well, let’s take a look, shall we? This is the Tour de France 2019:

Week One

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/profiles/ptm_tdf1.jpg

To start the race, the sprinters will get the opportunity to have their day in yellow. The course that starts and ends in the Belgian capital of Bruxelles has two category 4 climbs that will also have breakaway riders fighting for the first polkadot jersey.

We continue with three stages that end flat-ish after some hills, although each with decidedly different characteristics: After crossing the border into France, the peloton sees a quick succession of nasty short ascents just before the finish with a short but steep ramp in Épernay on day two, then a more regular flat stage with one small climb towards the end before the riders end up in the first more serious climbs as they hit the Vosges on their way to Colmar.

Cholet is the location of the team time trial on day five, an early shakeup for the GC before we have the first mountain top finish with the traditional climb up to La Planche des Belles Filles. The week concludes with a long, but otherwise pretty straightforward flat stage.

Week Two

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/profiles/ptm_tdf2.jpg

The second week has the riders moving through the Massif Central over hilly terrain that should suit the puncheurs and could also provide some opportunity for breakaways. After another day for the sprinters that ends in Toulouse, we’re finally in the Pyrenees.

Stage 12 challenges the peloton with a brutal duo of the Col de Peyresourde and La Hourquette d'Ancizan, two steep category 1 climbs. It ends in a long descent, though, which makes this a classical “the Tour won’t be won here, but it can be lost” scenario. The only individual time trial of the race is followed by a mountain top finish at the legendary Col du Tourmalet at the end of just 121 kilometers.

Week Three

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/profiles/ptm_tdf3.jpg

Week three begins with the final stage of the Pyrenees, a tough 191 kilometers over three summits with to the finish in Foix Prat d’Albis. Then it’s time for the sprinters once again, their last shot before the Alps and Paris. Stage 17 makes the transition to the Alps on a textbook breakaway day before the final three mountain stages will decide the GC.

The first graces us with both the Col d’Izoard and the Col du Galibier on the way to Valloire - not a mountain top finish, but this could still be a very selective stage. The Col de l’Iseran is the main difficulty of the following stage as the riders make their way towards the shorter climb up to Tignes. The final challenge and the final opportunity for GC contenders to duel it out is the climb to Val Thorens at the end of a crisp 125 kilometers before the teams board their planes to Paris.

In total, this gives us 7 stages classified as flat, 5 hilly stages, 7 mountain stages of which 5 end with a mountain top finish, and 1 ITT and 1 TTT. A nice and balanced route!

Before we go through the riders of this year, let’s remind ourselves of the winners of the past 


Year1st2nd3rd
2018 TaaramÀe Spilak Gesink
2017 Spilak Phinney Gesink
2016 A.Schleck TaaramÀe Spilak
2015 Pluchkin TaaramÀe Amador
2014 A.Schleck Pluchkin Spilak
2013 Madrazo Cunego A.Schleck
2012 Cunego Madrazo Pluchkin
2011 Spilak Dekker Popovych
2010 Fothen Devolder Spilak
2009 Devolder F.Schleck Gadret
2008 F.Schleck Di Luca Valverde
2007 Moreau Vinokourov Leipheimer



 and the Top 10 of last year:

1Rein TaaramÀeT-Mobile82h19'39
2Simon SpilakIsostar - Slovenija+ 52
3Robert GesinkBerg Cycles+ 9'58
4Romain SicardAir France - KLM+ 10'02
5Pierre-Henri LecuisinierFestina - Dexia+ 13'16
6Fredrik Strand GaltaAker - MOT+ 22'49
7Warren BarguilMoser - Sygic+ 24'13
8Tim WellensVolvo acc. by Spotify+ 25'24
9Benat IntxaustiPorto - Prio+ 27'18
10Thomas DekkerAegon - Lavazza+ 31'52


The Contenders

i.imgur.com/XoCIPih.png

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gzl.png Angel Madrazo
Gazelle

i141.photobucket.com/albums/r44/CountArach/Man%20Game%202/TDF19-27.jpg
Angel Madrazo winning stage 19 of the 2013 Tour de France, securing his overall victory.

Grand Tour History
'18'17'16'15'14'13'12'11Stage WinsJerseys
Giro3.2.3.2.5
Tour5.1.2.28.3i.imgur.com/yDeiaNH.png i.imgur.com/DYYXmJ2.png i.imgur.com/DYYXmJ2.png
Vuelta3.4.1.16.8i.imgur.com/yDeiaNH.png i.imgur.com/1giQ34h.png i.imgur.com/DYYXmJ2.png

2019 Results
Tour of East JavaPro Hallstatt ClassicGP LiechtensteinDauphiné
2.2.5.3.

Stats
FLMOHITTSTRSRCCOSPACFTDHPR
68857677818081556372666977

Main Domestiques
MOHISTRSRCMOHISTRSRC
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gzl.png Karnulin7874767577pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gzl.png Vervaeke7673767778
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gzl.png Kangert7577767575pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gzl.png Konrad7576767372


It's hard to look past Angel Madrazo as the top favorite for this year's Tour de France. The Spaniard is an accomplished Grand Tour rider: Since 2012, he's finished 10 Grand Tours and podiumed 8 of them! His last GC victory, which makes him one of only two previous Tour winners in this peloton, dates back to 2013, though - but with the likes of Rein TaaramÀe, Simon Spilak or Alexandr Pliuchkin not present, this might be the year for him to return to the top step!

He is the single best climber in this race and his combination of Stamina, Resistance and Recovery is unmatched. He is one of the better puncheurs among the contenders and his time trialing is only bested by Taylor Phinney. And to top it off, he has strong team support both in the mountains and the team time trial. He showed signs of weakness on the first mountain stage of the Dauphiné, but a dominant stage win to end the race has him right back at the top of the list. Angel Madrazo is the man to beat - so, who's going to try to do just that?

i.imgur.com/xwzSNZB.png

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bnm.png Lachlan Morton
Bennelong - Mitchelton

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Races/PT/GPL/26.jpg
Lachlan Morton finishes third in this year's GP Liechtenstein ahead of Lecuisinier.

Grand Tour History
'18'17'16'15Jerseys
Giro5.3.i.imgur.com/DYYXmJ2.png
Tour15.
Vuelta21.

2019 Results
BadalingTirreno-AdriaticoPro Hallstatt ClassicGP LiechtensteinDauphiné
12.6.5.3.2.

Stats
FLMOHITTSTRSRCCOSPACFTDHPR
70847673797878545767686873

Main Domestiques
MOHISTRSRCMOHISTRSRC
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bnm.png Smith7875727475pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bnm.png Dyball7673757172
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bnm.png Canty7573717173pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bnm.png Roe7573716972

Lachlan Morton earns the spot as top challenger by virtue of being the only rider to beat Madrazo not once but twice this season, with a third place in Liechtenstein and most recently a second place at the Dauphiné. His Grand Tour palmares is not the strongest, but a third place at the Giro two years ago, accompanied by the U25 jersey, is a good foundation to build upon. His best result in France was a 15th place - expect that to have changed by the end of this race.

Morton is an elite climber and he has good-to-great secondary stats to back it up. He’s not the greatest time trialist, but only 25 individual TT kilometers will be to his liking this year. His biggest flaw is his lack of acceleration, but it hasn’t held him back a lot so far this year. Bennelong supports him decently well - the ceiling is very high for the Australian.


pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/afk.png Romain Sicard
Air France - KLM

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Races/PT/Dauphine/S6/29.jpg
Romain Sicard wins his second mountain stage in the yellow jersey at the Dauphiné, ahead of Morton and Madrazo!

Grand Tour History
'18'17'16'15'14'13
Giro8.
Tour4.9.5.9.8.
Vuelta

2019 Results
Paris - NicePro Hallstatt ClassicGP LiechtensteinDauphiné
1.6.7.1.

Stats
FLMOHITTSTRSRCCOSPACFTDHPR
73827876807982576470776576

Main Domestiques
MOHISTRSRCMOHISTRSRC
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/afk.png Salinas7773747470pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/afk.png Rosch7772707472
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/afk.png Koch7773697474

Romain Sicard is one of two main contenders who has not been on a Grand Tour podium. As such, he was one of the tragic figures of last year's Tour, finishing fourth behind Gesink by just four seconds. There are quite a few riders who are stronger pure climbers than the French, and only a few weeks ago, he would have been a good bit further down on this list. But then he just dominated the DauphinĂ© and I felt like I didn’t have choice but to put him up here.

That might be an overreaction, but we should also note that Sicard’s well-roundedness as a rider is rivaled possibly only by Angel Madrazo. He's safely the best puncheur among the top tier contenders, a strong time trialist, has the highest recovery and elite stamina and resistance to back it up and he’s probably the most aggressive of the contenders. Air France supports him with a really solid team as well - the quest for a podium place won't be easy, but it's definetely possible.


pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Pierre-Henri Lecuisinier
Festina - OAKA

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Races/PT/tdf/tdf20_57.jpg
Pierre-Henri Lecuisinier outsprints Simon Spilak to take stage 20 last year in the white jersey!

Grand Tour History
'18'17'16'15Stage WinsJerseys
Giro4.1i.imgur.com/DYYXmJ2.png
Tour5.7.13.1i.imgur.com/DYYXmJ2.png
Vuelta7.4.13.i.imgur.com/DYYXmJ2.png i.imgur.com/DYYXmJ2.png

2019 Results
Tirreno-AdriaticoTour de PologneGP Liechtenstein
5.1.4.

Stats
FLMOHITTSTRSRCCOSPACFTDHPR
71837577788079656774657077

Main Domestiques
MOHISTRSRCMOHISTRSRC
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Cataldo7673717370pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Vuillermoz7573727471

Pierre-Henri Lecuisinier is the youngest of the main challengers and the second one who doesn't have a Grand Tour podium to his name yet. Still, he has accomplished a lot already, winning the best young rider classification in all three GTs and getting into the Top 5 in both the Giro and the Tour last year. And he's only gotten stronger since.

He is still a weaker rider on paper than Madrazo, not quite the climber as Morton and he doesn't have the same strong squad behind him, neither in the mountains nor in the TTT. But with his good hill and time trialing skills and elite secondary stats, he's as complete a rider as almost anyone else here. And he has beaten Madrazo once already this season, in Liechtenstein. Just like for Sicard, the door is wide open for Lecuisinier to go for his first podium place - or possibly more.


pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png Joseph Dombrowski
eBuddy

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Races/PT/Tirreno/mg19_ta_s05_23.jpg
Joseph Dombrowski finishing third behind only Herklotz and Spilak in this year's Tirreno-Adriatico!

Grand Tour History
'18'17'16'15'14Stage WinsJerseys
Giro2.17.1i.imgur.com/DYYXmJ2.png
Tour4.7.i.imgur.com/DYYXmJ2.png i.imgur.com/DYYXmJ2.png
Vuelta2.22.3

2019 Results
Tour of East JavaTirreno-AdriaticoGP Liechtenstein
7.3.12.

Stats
FLMOHITTSTRSRCCOSPACFTDHPR
70847571807878556075677271

Main Domestiques
MOHISTRSRCMOHISTRSRC
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png Brambilla7976757376pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png Majka7671767275
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png Aru7874747576

Joe Dombrowski has a history of coming really close. In 2016, he missed the Tour podium by 11 seconds. 2017, he was 27 seconds off a Vuelta GC victory. And while last year's second place in the Giro was a little less close, he certainly hopes that second places won't be the pinnacle of his GT career.

This year might be a chance to change that on the biggest of stages. He's the weakest time trialist among the first tier of contenders, but the one ITT might only play a minor role. eBuddy brings a decent, albeit not elite squad to support him. He's shown his strength at the Tirreno-Adriatico, beating riders like Lecuisinier, Morton and even TaaramÀe - with the National Champion's jersey on his shoulders, he will try and go for it all.


i.imgur.com/qjxBaHZ.png

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/grm.png Taylor Phinney
Grieg - Maersk

Grand Tour History
'18'17'16'15'14'13'12'11'10Stage WinsJerseys
Giro1.22.2i.imgur.com/yDeiaNH.png i.imgur.com/DYYXmJ2.png
Tour2.5.4.13.7.8i.imgur.com/yDeiaNH.png i.imgur.com/DYYXmJ2.png
Vuelta2.24.3

2019 Results
Praha - Karlovy Vary - Praha Tour de Suisse
1.1.

Stats
FLMOHITTSTRSRCCOSPACFTDHPR
73837783777476587275687183

Main Domestiques
MOHISTRSRCMOHISTRSRC
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/grm.png Nesset7873777674pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/grm.png Laengen7673767575
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/grm.png Iturria7773777476pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/grm.png Eg7570757373

Taylor Phinney is one of four former Grand Tour winners present (Madrazo being the first) and he finished second in both of his last GTs including the 2017 Tour de France. And in the Grieg-Maersk jersey, he has yet to finish a race without winning it - continuing this stretch here would be the ultimate accomplishment. It might be a surprise to see him comparatively low on this list, and he may very well outperform it by a lot, but there’s a reason for it.

As one of the more accomplished riders in ManGame GT history, Phinney was always able to rely on his extraordinary time trialing. With just 25 kilometers of ITT, that singular strength is severely undercut. His resistance and recovery are among the worst of the top contenders and there are arguably a few stronger climbers as well. Ultimately, the American’s fate in this year's race will probably depend on the impact the two TT stages will have on the GC. Not only is he the favorite for the ITT, but Grieg - Maersk is also the hottest bet for the TTT. Depending on how much time he and his team can gain, Phinney could very well enter the final week in the yellow jersey, and then everything is on the table.


pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eav.png Andy Schleck
EA Vesuvio

Grand Tour History
'18'17'16'15'14'13'12'11'10'08'07Stage WinsJerseys
Giro1.1.3.5.4i.imgur.com/yDeiaNH.png i.imgur.com/1giQ34h.png
Tour1.1.3.6.7i.imgur.com/yDeiaNH.png i.imgur.com/1giQ34h.png
Vuelta1.2.1.8i.imgur.com/yDeiaNH.png i.imgur.com/1giQ34h.png

2019 Results
Giro d'Italia
4.

Stats
FLMOHITTSTRSRCCOSPACFTDHPR
69837372747979516076686271

Main Domestiques
MOHISTRSRCMOHISTRSRC
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eav.png Goos7774787576pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eav.png Wirtgen7472737271

Speaking of accomplished riders: Andy Schleck is a ManGame legend. Rivaled in his GT prowess perhaps only by Damiano Cunego, he is the only rider to have won every Grand Tour twice - which makes him the second former Tour winner next to Madrazo - and he had an incredible five year streak during which he won every single GT he entered. That streak has broken, though, and it broke in this year's Giro d'Italia.

There's no denying that Andy Schleck is still a legitimate threat to any other contender. But he is also slightly past his peak. He still has elite skills that could have him in contention for the podium or even the overall victory, but at 34 years, his variance has increased. He also has one of the weakest cores of support in the mountains - although Goos should not be underestimated -, but EA Vesuvio at least provides him with a strong team for the TTT.


pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png Stefan Denifl
SPAR - Siam Cement

Grand Tour History
'18'17'16'15'14'13'12Stage Wins
Giro6.9.16.8.
Tour
Vuelta5.6.11.2

2019 Results
Tirreno-AdriaticoGP LiechtensteinVuelta a Espana
14.10.5.

Stats
FLMOHITTSTRSRCCOSPACFTDHPR
70847672757176546665736472

Main Domestiques
MOHISTRSRCMOHISTRSRC
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png Jang7676727070pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png Gidich7376767570

Stefan Denifl has possibly the least impressive Grand Tour palmarĂšs of any of the top riders, but he's here to change that. He showed his potential with a fifth place at this year's Vuelta, and his stats back up his ambitions as he enters the Tour de France as a contender for the first time.

As one of the best climbers, he is mainly held back by his resistance and recovery, similar to Phinney, but in contrast to the American, he also is a subpar time trialist and he doesn't have the greatest team support either. Denifl is maybe the rider with the highest variance: If he manages to replicate his Vuelta result, I assume he would be very happy - a few breakout performances in the moutains could see him aiming even higher, but he could also finish quite a bit lower if his resistances catches up with him one too many times.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png Jose Alarcon
Repsol - Netflix

Grand Tour History
'18'17'16'15'14'13'12'11Stage WinsJerseys
Giro6.1.2.4.9i.imgur.com/yDeiaNH.png i.imgur.com/1giQ34h.png
Tour4.20.1
Vuelta8.17.1.3i.imgur.com/1giQ34h.png

2019 Results
Tour of East JavaGiro d'Italia
21.7.

Stats
FLMOHITTSTRSRCCOSPACFTDHPR
69847367717473505978796666

Main Domestiques
MOHISTRSRCMOHISTRSRC
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png Ndayisenga7875696873pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png Herrada7573727270
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png Novak7773757375

Jose Alarcon is the fourth former Grand Tour winner. His 2017 Giro ranks amongst the most dominant GT wins of all time, with four stage wins and the fifth biggest win margin ever in any of the GTs, but it seems unlikely that he will be able to reach those heights again.

His climbing skills are still absolutely elite, but both his time trialing and his backup stats are the worst among the top contenders. He is expected to be in the Top 5-10 range, but a few strong days in the mountains and a great TTT by Repsol could just as well vault him into podium contention.


The Top 9 at a glance
MOHITTSTRSRCACTTT
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gzl.png Madrazo85767781808172****
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bnm.png Morton84767379787867***
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/afk.png Sicard82787680798270****
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Lecuisinier83757778807974***
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png Dombrowskiiiiiii84757180787875***
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/grm.png Phinney83778377747675*****
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eav.png Schleck83737274797976****
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png Denifl84767275717665***
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png Alarcon84736771747378****


i.imgur.com/KxGetgA.png

MOHITTSTRSRCACTTT
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tmo.png Henao Montoya82717175797773**
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tmo.png Guldhammer81777174757476**
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fpc.png Monsalve81767279807773**
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fab.png Wellens81757279807668***
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/mos.png Barguil81757077778275***
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Galta81737378797766*****

The riders in this category will likely fight for the rear spots in the Top 10, hoping one or three of the riders above fail to live up to expectations.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tmo.png Sergio Luis Henao Montoya is the number one climber in this group. He has good secondary stats, and although his most recent Grand Tour outing resulted in just a 13th place at this year’s Giro, he's proven himself in GTs before, with multiple Top 10s and even Top 5s in all three. But he's going to be in trouble on tougher hill stages and we also get into murky territory in terms of team time trial squads. Consequently, that handicap also applies to his teammate pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tmo.png Rasmus Guldhammer, who gives T-Mobile double the chance of a Top 10. In contrast to Henao, he is a really good puncheur but lacks resistance and recovery.

Very well-rounded and experienced, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fpc.png Yonathan Monsalve, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fab.png Tim Wellens and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/mos.png Warren Barguil are very close in terms of their climbing, their hill and time trialing, both individually and with their teams. All three have been in the Top 10 of the Tour before, the latter two as recently as last year (8th and 7th, respectively), and nothing less will be the goal again.

Last year's 6th place is pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Fredrik Strand Galta. In addition, he won not one but two stages as well. This might make him undervalued in this spot, but given the depth of stronger climbers, it does seem difficult to repeat such a strong result. It's definetely not impossible, though!

i.imgur.com/FH6605c.png

MOHITTSTRSRCACTTT
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png Velits81747372717165****
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/and.png Machado81747172696967**
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png Brambilla79767075737663***
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fpc.png Carthy79746575757669**
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/pum.png Arndt79765677767275*
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ino.png Brenes79736973807070*
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/evo.png Lopez78797074737376*

In the fifth tier, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png Peter Velits and Wild Card hope pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/and.png Tiago Machado are the standout riders. Both have impressive resumees: Velits finished second at the Giro as recently as 2017 and seventh at the Dauphiné just a couple of weeks ago, and Machado has been in the Top 10 of all of the seven GTs he's finished since 2012. But age has caught up with both of them, apparent most notably in pretty rough resistance and recovery stats. At 34 years of age, three weeks is a long time to be in the saddle - we'll see what they can accomplish.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png Gianluca Brambilla and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fpc.png Hugh Carthy are the first deputies to be listed, riding primarily for Dombrowski and Monsalve, respectively. But both have ambitions of their own: Brambilla just finished sixth (!) at this year’s Vuelta, has a number of Top 20 GT results to his name and would certainly like to add another one. Carthy, meanwhile is one of the two main contenders for the white jersey of the best young rider.

The other one: pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/evo.png Miguel Angel Lopez. The Colombian is the strongest puncheur of any of the contenders, so he willl look for the hilly stages to make up the time he might lose in the mountains. Unfortunately, Evonik is arguably the worst time trialing squad at this race, so he has to expect to lose a ton of time there as well.

The same applies for pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/pum.png Nikias Arndt and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ino.png Gregory Brenes, two of the team leaders on the lower end of the spectrum. Arndt, in addition, is also easily the worst individual time trialist here. A Top 20, even a Top 15 is certainly not out of the question for both, but it's going to be a long road. They could also chose to go more for stage wins and the polkadots, which is true for the other riders in this category as well.


Fringe Contenders and Top Domestiques

MOHITTSTRSRCACTTT
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png Dekker78727572777566****
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Lunke78727376747864***
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gzl.png Karnulin78747076757770****
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/grm.png Nesset78736977767469*****
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bnm.png Smith78756872747574***
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png Aru78746474757670***
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png Ndayisenga78756569687373****
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/evo.png Vosekalns78756269737271*
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eav.png Goos77747678757673****
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png Novak77737675737565****
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png Novikov77727074717170**

Finally, we have another few domestiques who could sneak into the back end of the Top 20 or play a good role in breakaways in the mountains. 8 time Tour de France stage winner pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png Thomas Dekker is obviously the biggest name. With 35 years, he's also the single oldest rider in the peloton.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png Ndayisenga should be noted as a third possible contender for the white jersey, who will find himself in a helper role mostly, but should be able to count on a boost from the team time trial. Meanwhile, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png Novikov is Tinkoff's strongest climber.

Of the other riders, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Sindre Skjostad Lunke and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gzl.png Denys Karnulin arguably have the best stats, maybe alongside pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eav.png Marc Goos, and as part of good teams, they might be the most likely to have a good GC result. But in this part of the contenders list, so much is dependent on team strategy, breakaways and situational awareness that it's hard to make any predictions.

This category could also have been extended by another 10 to 15 riders, but for clarity's sake, I've made a cut here. Many of those riders can be found as the main domestiques of the top contenders, though. One special mention goes to pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gzl.png Tanel Kangert, who sensationally finished 13th last year.


To conclude the GC part of the preview, let's have a closer look at the team time trial:

Team Time Trial
Top 3Top 5Top 7
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/grm.png Grieg - Maersk807977
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png Podium Ambition797975
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gen.png Generali *787877
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png Repsol - Netflix797775
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png Aegon - Lavazza787776
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/afk.png Air France - KLM *787775
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gzl.png Gazelle777675
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eav.png EA Vesuvio777674
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png eBuddy777573
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png SPAR - Siam Cement777572
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bnm.png Bennelong - Mitchelton767573

Spoiler
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Aker - MOT757471
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Festina - OAKA777370
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/mos.png Moser - Sygic767370
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fab.png Fablok - Bank BGZ757371
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/and.png Andorra Cycling Project *757168
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fpc.png Farfetch Pro Cycling737068
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png Team Tinkoff717070
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tmo.png T-Mobile717068
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/iso.png Isostar - LimeBike706866
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/pum.png Team Puma - SAP706765
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ino.png Indosat **696665
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/evo.png Evonik - ELKO696664
The number denotes the average TT skill of the respective riders.
* indicates 7 instead of 8 riders
** indicate 6 instead of 8 riders

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/grm.png Grieg - Maersk is the favorite for the stage win, and Taylor Phinney could snatch the yellow jersey to give himself a confidence boost ahead of the first mountain stages. But there are three to five squads that could beat them on a good day. For most teams though, it's just about setting as good a time as possible for their GC captains.


The Sprinters

i.imgur.com/qjxBaHZ.png

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/pum.png Arnaud Demare

Grand Tour Stage Wins
'18'17
Giro6
Tour2
Vuelta

2019 Highlights
Milano - San RemoRund um KölnRiga - Jurmala
3.8.5.

Stats
FLMOHITTSTRSRCCOSPACFTDHPR
73678061757280638281706361

Key Support
FLSPACHIRCFLSPACHIRC
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/pum.png Felline6874787771pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/pum.png Cavagna7673717471

Arnaud Demare has struggled in sprints this season, with the one exception being Milano - San Remo. But the field of sprinters isn't particularly deep in this year's Tour, and Grand Tours have brought the best out of him before. What makes him especially dangerous, of course, is the fact that he's also among the best puncheurs in the peloton, and quite a few of the seven stages categorized as flat have some difficulties - not to mention the hilly stages, where he's a big threat as well. Demare is the odds-on favorite for the green jersey, there's no doubt about it.


pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png Dylan Groenewegen

Grand Tour Stage Wins
'18'17
Giro2
Tour
Vuelta2

2019 Highlights
Milano - San RemoRund um KölnTirreno-Adriatico
2.2.Stage Win

Stats
FLMOHITTSTRSRCCOSPACFTDHPR
73616664747185598281596472

Key Support
FLSPACHIRC
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png Boom7359727370

Dylan Groenewegen is on par with Demare as a sprinter, as evidenced by beating him in the finale of Milano - San Remo. He also has the highest recovery of any rider at this race, which makes him a prime favorite for the Champs Elysees. But he can't compete with the French as soon as the road turns uphill, and he lacks any meaningful team support. Still, it would be a surprise, and certainly a disappointment, if the Aegon rider failed to add his first Tour de France stage win to his palmares.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eav.png Nick Van der Lijke

Grand Tour Stage Wins
'18'17'16
Giro
Tour
Vuelta11

2019 Highlights
Milano - San RemoRonde van NederlandRund um Köln
9.4. (Stage 2)9.

Stats
FLMOHITTSTRSRCCOSPACFTDHPR
73647666737178648279666368

Key Support
FLSPACHIRCFLSPACHIRC
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eav.png Reimer7577807577pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eav.png Kneisky7967716773

There are one or two other riders who could claim to be better pure sprinters than Nick Van der Lijke, and he arguably is a step below Demare and Groenewegen. Two things still elevate the Dutch to this top tier: his really good hill stat, that should come in handy in more than one stage, as mentioned above; and Martin Reimer, who is possibly the single best leadout in a peloton that is sorely lacking of those.

The Top 3 at a glance

FLSPACSTRSRCMOHI
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/pum.png Demare7382817572806780
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png Groenewegen7382817471856166
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eav.png Van der Lijke7382797371786476



i.imgur.com/KxGetgA.png

FLSPACSTRSRCMOHI
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png Nelson7281817064795560
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png Van Poppel7281787471786064
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Stauff7480817469765365
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png Samolenkov7480797571786464

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png Ricki Nelson is probably the rider who can most closely rival Demare and Groenewegen in terms of pure speed. But once either the pace gets too high for longer stretches or there's an incline, he suffers, and it's not going to be easy for him to get to Paris. He does however have one of the few great leadouts in Alaphilippe (see below).

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png Danny Van Poppel is a very fast man as well, and although he lacks the elite acceleration of a Nelson, his resistance is much better. He is very much on his own in sprints, though, as his team focusses on supporting Dombrowski.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Andreas Stauff on the other hand has one of the better domestiques in Rudy Barbier and his acceleration is top tier. Like Nelson, he struggles mightily on the uphill, which should provide him with some challenges here.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png Artem Samolenkov is Tinkoff's hope in the sprint. Compared to the others, he holds up somewhat well in steeper territory, and his speed is nothing to sneeze at either.


i.imgur.com/FH6605c.png

FLSPACSTRSRCMOHI
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png Bouhanni7480777469745563
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/mos.png Soupe7279777269766466
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/iso.png Van der Sanden7378797169776065
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/evo.png Liepins7378797368776066
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eav.png Reimer7577807770776675
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png Alaphilippe7277777469816673
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/evo.png Eislers7577747475726766

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png Nacer Bouhanni and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/mos.png Geoffrey Soupe are the second and third options for a French sprint win, next to Demare. Both have good speed and slightly worse acceleration, but while Soupe is a decent rider uphill, Bouhanni is in the same boat as Nelson and Stauff: possibly facing the fight against the time limit on several occasions.

In other years, riders like pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/iso.png Geert Van der Sanden and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/evo.png Emils Liepins might not be in the conversation for top results in a Tour de France sprint stage, but this year's start list sees them pretty close to the top. As neither Isostar nor Evonik have top tier GC contenders, the two could provide some highlights for their teams.

Finally, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eav.png Martin Reimer, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png Julian Alaphilippe and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/evo.png Ingus Eislers are the most capable leadouts, with a pretty big drop afterwards. Alaphilippe will also have his sight set on the tougher flat stages where his leader Nelson might struggle.
 
cunego59
.
Stage Hunters

PuncheursHIACRSMOFTTime TrialistsTTFLRSRC
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gen.png Ulissi8075716675pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png Zmorka82747572
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ino.png Anuar Aziz8069716757pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Vlatos81727167
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png Chernetskiy7971697176pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png Sergent80797471
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/evo.png Moazemi7873727365pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/grm.png WĂŒrtz80767774
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bnm.png Watson7872726573pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png Lammertink80747670
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/pum.png Felline7778736668pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png Van Winden80747074
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gzl.png Kangert7772757573pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png Howson80717472
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/iso.png Pernsteiner7772717569pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png Gonzalez Salas80707667
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/pum.png Mager7771707468pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png Paillot80707468
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fab.png Raileanu7770737769pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gen.png Viviani79787774

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gen.png Ulissi and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ino.png Anuar Aziz are the premier puncheurs of this race, with one exception of course in pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/pum.png Demare, who's on par on hills but obviously has a quicker finish and even slightly better secondary stats.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/evo.png Moazemi joins his leader pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/evo.png Lopez to form a pretty strong duo for hill stages, hoping for a stage win. Meanwhile, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png Chernetskiy is Tinkoff's second rider going after stage wins, next to pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png Samolenkov in the sprints. As the team doesn't really have a good GC rider, a lot rests on their shoulders.

A lot of strong puncheurs fill the rest of this list. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eav.png Smit, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bnm.png Bayly and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fab.png Bostner stand out as the most aggressive, while Bostner's teammate pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fab.png Raileanu brings strong climbing ability to the table.


Probably because of the team time trial, the race is also packed with strong time trialists. But only a handful of them will actually fight for the stage win in the ITT - and the top favorite for that is still pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/grm.png Phinney. Chief among his challengers is pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png Zmorka, the best pure time trialist of this bunch.

But he's not the only one who has his eyes on that day. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Vlatos, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png Sergent and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/grm.png WĂŒrtz also count as top favorites, if not for the stage then at least for a podium. And pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png Paillot will hope for some home soil bonus and a nice boost by the spectators.


Lastly, there are a number of teams who have set goals for this race - some maybe more realistic than others:

Goals

TeamGoalLeaderMO
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/grm.png Grieg - MaerskWin Phinney83
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_tmo.png T-MobileWin Henao Montoya82
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png Aegon - LavazzaTop 3 Velits81
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png eBuddyTop 3 Dombrowski84
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gzl.png GazelleTop 3 Madrazo85
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/afk.png Air France - KLMTop 5 Sicard82
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bnm.png Bennelong - MitcheltonTop 5 Morton84
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fpc.png Farfetch Pro CyclingTop 5 Monsalve81
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Festina - OAKATop 5 Lecuisinier83
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Aker - MOTTop 10 Galta81
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ino.png Indosat Ooredoo - ANZTop 10 Brenes79
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png SPAR - Siam CementTop 10 Denifl84
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eav.png EA VesuvioTop 10 Schleck83
SP
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png Podium AmbitionPoints Nelson81


The stage is set for another edition of the Grand Boucle. Success and failure, excitement and disappointment and a lot of drama await us over these coming three weeks. I hope you’re looking forward to it - I know I am!

Startlist


pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Races/GTM/Tour/Startlist.jpg

Spoiler
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png GroenewegenDylanAegon - Lavazza
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png PaillotYoannAegon - Lavazza
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png VelitsPeterAegon - Lavazza
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png DekkerThomasAegon - Lavazza
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png DumoulinTomAegon - Lavazza
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png BoomLarsAegon - Lavazza
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png FrisonFrederikAegon - Lavazza
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png KoepThomasAegon - Lavazza
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/afk.png SicardRomainAir France - KLM
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/afk.png KwokHo-TingAir France - KLM
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/afk.png KochMichelAir France - KLM
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/afk.png SalinasJonathanAir France - KLM
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/afk.png RoschDavidAir France - KLM
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/afk.png BernaudeauMathieuAir France - KLM
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/afk.png AndersenMichael ValgrenAir France - KLM
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/afk.png BouetMaximeAir France - KLM
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png GaltaFredrik StrandAker - MOT
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png LunkeSindre SkjostadAker - MOT
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png VangstadAndreasAker - MOT
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png AasvoldLorents OlaAker - MOT
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png PruusPeterAker - MOT
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png WalslebenPhilippAker - MOT
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png SilvaNihalAker - MOT
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png YzeirajMarildoAker - MOT
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/and.png SummerhillDannyAndorra Cycling Project
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/and.png MachadoTiagoAndorra Cycling Project
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/and.png MottinHuguesAndorra Cycling Project
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/and.png NovakDomenAndorra Cycling Project
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/and.png KirevaAlbertAndorra Cycling Project
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/and.png BaltazarCarlosAndorra Cycling Project
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/and.png GalievUlugbekAndorra Cycling Project
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/and.png UrcelayAdriaAndorra Cycling Project
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bnm.png MortonLachlanBennelong - Mitchelton
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bnm.png SmithDionBennelong - Mitchelton
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bnm.png DyballBenjaminBennelong - Mitchelton
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bnm.png RoeTimothyBennelong - Mitchelton
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bnm.png WatsonCalvinBennelong - Mitchelton
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bnm.png CantyBrendanBennelong - Mitchelton
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bnm.png BaylyCameronBennelong - Mitchelton
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bnm.png OramJamesBennelong - Mitchelton
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eav.png SchleckAndyEA Vesuvio
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eav.png Van der LijkeNickEA Vesuvio
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eav.png GoosMarcEA Vesuvio
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eav.png ReimerMartinEA Vesuvio
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eav.png WirtgenTomEA Vesuvio
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eav.png JungelsBobEA Vesuvio
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eav.png SmitWillieEA Vesuvio
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eav.png KneiskyMorganEA Vesuvio
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png DombrowskiJosepheBuddy
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png LammertinkSteveneBuddy
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png Van PoppelDannyeBuddy
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png BrambillaGianlucaeBuddy
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png HowsonDamieneBuddy
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png AruFabioeBuddy
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png MajkaRafeleBuddy
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png GoldsteinOmereBuddy
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/evo.png LopezMiguel AngelEvonik - ELKO
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/evo.png MoazemiArvinEvonik - ELKO
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/evo.png VosekalnsAndrisEvonik - ELKO
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/evo.png LiepinsEmilsEvonik - ELKO
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/evo.png SergisKasparsEvonik - ELKO
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/evo.png EggerMike AaronEvonik - ELKO
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/evo.png EislersIngusEvonik - ELKO
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/evo.png BelgasemAhmed YoussefEvonik - ELKO
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fab.png WellensTimFablok - Bank BGZ
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fab.png RaileanuCristianFablok - Bank BGZ
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fab.png HaceckyMartinFablok - Bank BGZ
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fab.png NareklishviliGiorgiFablok - Bank BGZ
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fab.png ShapiraIdanFablok - Bank BGZ
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fab.png BostnerJakaFablok - Bank BGZ
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fab.png KaczmarekJakubFablok - Bank BGZ
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fab.png StimulakKlemenFablok - Bank BGZ
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fpc.png MonsalveYonathanFarfetch Pro Cycling
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fpc.png CarthyHughFarfetch Pro Cycling
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fpc.png BettiolAlbertoFarfetch Pro Cycling
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fpc.png AtkinsJoshFarfetch Pro Cycling
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fpc.png GoglMichaelFarfetch Pro Cycling
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fpc.png SalzmannJodokFarfetch Pro Cycling
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fpc.png MentenMilanFarfetch Pro Cycling
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fpc.png TizzaMarcoFarfetch Pro Cycling
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png LecuisinierPierre-HenriFestina - OAKA
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png VlatosPanagiotisFestina - OAKA
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png StauffAndreasFestina - OAKA
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png CataldoDarioFestina - OAKA
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png IoannidisNikolaosFestina - OAKA
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png VuillermozAlexisFestina - OAKA
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png BarbierRudyFestina - OAKA
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png MavrikakisMichailFestina - OAKA
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gzl.png MadrazoAngelGazelle
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gzl.png KangertTanelGazelle
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gzl.png KarnulinDenysGazelle
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gzl.png BibbyIanGazelle
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gzl.png VervaekeLouisGazelle
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gzl.png KonradPatrickGazelle
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gzl.png BoaroManueleGazelle
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gzl.png FejesGaborGazelle
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gen.png UlissiDiegoGenerali
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gen.png OliveiraNelsonGenerali
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gen.png VivianiEliaGenerali
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gen.png BrownNathanGenerali
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gen.png KungStefanGenerali
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gen.png DeesTimGenerali
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gen.png RosskopfJoeyGenerali
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gen.png GhyselinckJanGenerali
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/grm.png PhinneyTaylorGrieg - Maersk
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/grm.png WĂŒrtzMadsGrieg - Maersk
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/grm.png LaengenVegard StakeGrieg - Maersk
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/grm.png NessetSigurdGrieg - Maersk
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/grm.png HansenLasse NormanGrieg - Maersk
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/grm.png IturriaMikelGrieg - Maersk
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/grm.png EgNiklasGrieg - Maersk
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/grm.png KorsaethTruls EngenGrieg - Maersk
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ino.png Anuar AzizMohamed ShawalIndosat Ooredoo - ANZ
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ino.png BrenesGregoryIndosat Ooredoo - ANZ
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ino.png OkbamariamTesfomIndosat Ooredoo - ANZ
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ino.png ManulangRobinIndosat Ooredoo - ANZ
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ino.png KulimbetovNurbolatIndosat Ooredoo - ANZ
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ino.png ArifinMuhammad ImamIndosat Ooredoo - ANZ
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/iso.png PernsteinerHermannIsostar - LimeBike
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/iso.png GilanipoorAbolfazlIsostar - LimeBike
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/iso.png Van der SandenGeertIsostar - LimeBike
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/iso.png JaramilloDaniel AlexanderIsostar - LimeBike
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/iso.png FrankinyKilianIsostar - LimeBike
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/iso.png AugustynJohn-LeeIsostar - LimeBike
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/iso.png VermoteJulienIsostar - LimeBike
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/iso.png KatrasnikGasperIsostar - LimeBike
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/mos.png BarguilWarrenMoser - Sygic
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/mos.png PradoIgnacio JesusMoser - Sygic
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/mos.png SoupeGeoffreyMoser - Sygic
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/mos.png MaryczJaroslawMoser - Sygic
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/mos.png DanacikJakubMoser - Sygic
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/mos.png TurekDanielMoser - Sygic
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/mos.png KolarMichaelMoser - Sygic
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/mos.png SchönbergerSebastianMoser - Sygic
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png CatafordAlexandorPodium Ambition
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png NelsonRickiPodium Ambition
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png SergentJessePodium Ambition
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png HepburnMichaelPodium Ambition
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png AlaphilippeJulianPodium Ambition
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png PostlbergerLukasPodium Ambition
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png QuaadeRasmusPodium Ambition
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png VanderpoolKristianPodium Ambition
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png AlarconJoseRepsol - Netflix
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png ZmorkaMarlenRepsol - Netflix
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png NovakJakubRepsol - Netflix
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png NdayisengaValensRepsol - Netflix
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png Gonzalez SalasMarioRepsol - Netflix
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png HerradaJesusRepsol - Netflix
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png CastroviejoJonathanRepsol - Netflix
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png DunbarEddieRepsol - Netflix
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png DeniflStefanSPAR - Siam Cement
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png DavidTomSPAR - Siam Cement
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png BouhanniNacerSPAR - Siam Cement
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png Van WindenDennisSPAR - Siam Cement
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png GidichYevgeniySPAR - Siam Cement
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png LeungChun WingSPAR - Siam Cement
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png JangGyung GuSPAR - Siam Cement
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png DelgerbayarSonomtserenSPAR - Siam Cement
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/pum.png DemareArnaudTeam Puma - SAP
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/pum.png FellineFabioTeam Puma - SAP
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/pum.png ArndtNikiasTeam Puma - SAP
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/pum.png MagerChristianTeam Puma - SAP
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/pum.png CavagnaRemiTeam Puma - SAP
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/pum.png WackermannLucaTeam Puma - SAP
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/pum.png DunneConorTeam Puma - SAP
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/pum.png NiuYikuiTeam Puma - SAP
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png SamolenkovArtemTeam Tinkoff
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png ChernetskiySergeyTeam Tinkoff
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png KolesnikovSergeiTeam Tinkoff
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png RybalkinAlekseyTeam Tinkoff
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png NovikovNikitaTeam Tinkoff
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png MamykinMatveyTeam Tinkoff
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png FoliforovAlexanderTeam Tinkoff
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png ShalunovEvgenyTeam Tinkoff
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tmo.png GuldhammerRasmusT-Mobile
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tmo.png Henao MontoyaSergio LuisT-Mobile
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tmo.png WohrerDavidT-Mobile
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tmo.png SanogoAbouT-Mobile
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tmo.png RestrepoJhonatanT-Mobile
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tmo.png KanepejsDeinsT-Mobile
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tmo.png Lemus DavilaLuis EnriqueT-Mobile
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tmo.png GoncalvesGasparT-Mobile
.



MGUCI Era Stats

Here's an overview of some all-time stats, courtesy of the work Aquarius and jandal7 did previously, showing the MGUCI-Era stage wins and days in the respective jersey. They're updated to include last year's race, which saw Simon Spilak and Rein TaaramÀe move up into the Top 3 in stage wins and, to my great delight, Dominik Nerz take second place in all time days in the polkadot.

Emboldened names denote riders that have won that classification, riders in italic compete this year.

Most Stage Wins
1Tom Boonen14
2Rein Taaramae11
3Simon Spilak8
4Aleksandr Pluchkin8
5Thomas Dekker8
6Ben Swift8
7Taylor Phinney8
8Daniele Bennati7
9Andy Schleck7
10Sam Bewley7
11Robbie McEwen6
12Fabian Cancellara6
13Frank Schleck6
14Alessandro Petacchi5
15Damiano Cunego5
16Michael van Stayen5
17Filippo Pozzato4
18Yuri Trofimov4
19Oscar Guerao4

Spoiler
20John Gadret3
21Raul Granjel Cabrera3
22David Zabriskie3
23Angel Madrazo3
24Jerome Coppel3
25Simone Ponzi3
26Andrei Amador3
27Eduard Grosu3
28Thor Hushovd2
29Cyril Dessel2
30Danilo di Luca2
31Jerome Pineau2
32Jose Rujano2
33Alexandre Vinokourov2
34Allan Davis2
35Stijn Devolder2
36Gert Steegmans2
37Mark Cavendish2
38Markus Fothen2
39Florian Morizot2
40Sergio Luis Henao Montoya2
41Jan Bakelants2
42Romain Vanderbiest2
43Tsgabu Gebremaryam Grmay 2
44Arnaud Demare2
45Aleksandar FlĂŒgel2
46Fredrik Strand Galta2
47Paolo Savoldelli1
48Oscar Freire1
49Igor Astarloa1
50Levi Leipheimer1
51Kim Kirchen1
52Enrico Gasparotto1
53Matthias Kessler1
54Sergio Marinangelli1
55Tom Veelers1
56David Lopez Garcia1
57Carlos Barredo1
58Vladimir Karpets1
59Bernhard Kohl1
60Rigoberto Uran1
61Benoit Vaugrenard1
62Gianpaolo Caruso1
63Mauricio Soler1
64Francisco Ventoso1
65Johann Tschopp1
66Florentino Marquez1
67Ian Bibby1
68Peter Velits1
69Sylvain Chavanel1
70Dmitri Medvedev1
71Timothy Vangheel1
72Jacob Fiedler1
73Jocelin Maillet1
74Kenneth Vanbilsen1
75Maxime Vantomme1
76Jacopo Guarnieri1
77Daniel Teklehaimanot1
78Alex Kirsch1
79Matthias Frank1
80Justo Tenorio1
81Leigh Howard1
82Jose Alarcon1
83Aleksej Kunshin1
84Paolo Scarponi1
85Ilnur Zakarin1
86Arnold Jeannesson1
87Konstantin Siutsou1
88Hugo Houle1
89Erik Mohs1
90Maxime Monfort1
91Tim Wellens1
92Peter Sagan1
93Nico Keinath1
94Lars Boom1
95Jonas Ahlstrand1
96Robert Gesink1
97Michael Olsson1
98Alexandr Braico1
99Kaspars Sergis1
100Pierre-Henri Lecuisinier1


Most Days in the Yellow Jersey
1Aleksandr Pluchkin30
2Simon Spilak27
3Damiano Cunego21
4Frank Schleck20
5Stijn Devolder19
6Taylor Phinney14
7Rein Taaramae13
8Fabian Cancellara11
9Andy Schleck11
10Alexandre Vinokourov10
11Thomas Dekker10
12Jerome Coppel10
13Rigoberto Uran5
14Yuri Trofimov5
15Angel Madrazo5
16Robert Gesink5
17Romain Sicard4
18Robbie McEwen3
19Danilo di Luca3
20Thomas Faiers3
21Ben Swift3
22Paolo Savoldelli2
23Christophe Moreau2
24Gert Steegmans2
25Markus Fothen2
26Jan Bakelants2
27Peter Sagan2
28Lars Boom2
29Daniele Bennati1
30Bradley Wiggins1
31Jacob Fiedler1
32Sam Bewley1



Most Days in the Green Jersey
1Tom Boonen22
2Daniele Bennati21
3Robbie McEwen20
4Taylor Phinney20
5Filippo Pozzato19
6Ben Swift19
7Damiano Cunego16
8Gert Steegmans15
9Sam Bewley15
10Simon Spilak14
11Yuri Trofimov9
12Arnaud Demare6
13Robert Gesink6
14Simone Ponzi5
15Oscar Guerao5
16Jacopo Guarnieri5
17Thor Hushovd4
18Angel Madrazo4
19Andy Schleck4
20Aleksandr Pluchkin3

Spoiler
21Jerome Coppel3
22Rein Taaramae3
23Fabian Cancellara2
24Kenneth Vanbilsen2
25Jonas Ahlstrand2
26Paolo Savoldelli1
27Jerome Pineau1
28Thomas Dekker1
29Michael van Stayen1
30Lars Boom1
31Chun Wing Leung1



Most Days in the Polka-Dot Jersey
1Sebastien Duret21
2Dominik Nerz13
3Koldo Gil12
4Alexey Lutsenko11
5Andy Schleck10
6Jose Rujano8
7Alberto Contador8
8Aleksandr Pluchkin8
9Pawel Bernas8
10Alexander Giraldo7
11Thomas Voeckler7
12Rigoberto Uran7
13Jelle Vanendert6
14Matthieu Sprick5
15Pavel Brutt5
16Andrei Kashechkin5
17Laurens Ten Dam5
18Thibaut Pinot5
19Kenneth Vanbilsen5
20Paolo Scarponi5
21Tsgabu Gebremaryam Grmay5
22Michael Rasmussen4

Spoiler
23Florian Morizot4
24Jose Antonio Redondo3
25Mathieu Perget3
26Aidis Kruopis3
27David Lopez Garcia3
28Anthony Roux3
29Johan Esteban Chaves3
30Martijn Keizer3
31Carlos Barbero3
32Gabor Fejes3
33Romain Le Roux3
34Anthony Geslin2
35Mickael Delage2
36Robin van der Hugenhaben2
37Jaroslav Popovych2
38Brent Bookwalter2
39Jocelin Maillet2
40Lars van der Haar2
41Bradley Wiggins1
42Magno Nazaret1
43Enrico Gasparotto1
44Linus Gerdemann1
45Christophe Brandt1
46Simon Gerrans1
47Thomas Dekker1
48Vladimir Karpets1
49Christian Knees1
50Damiano Cunego1
51Simone Ponzi1
52Pieter Ghyllebert1
53Ricardo van der Velde1
54Marcel Kittel1
55Lars Boom1
56Pedro Merino Criado1
57Juan Ernesto Chamorro1
58Ken Sebastian Vassdal1
59Taylor Gunman1
.
 
cunego59
Sorry for any confusion for those reading this immediately, evidently the first post contained too much text so I had to do a quick edit. Hope I didn't overdo it in general, I just had fun compiling it all and decided to go with it Wink But there should be enough overviews in between that it works if you just want to skim over it, I think.

Going to give this a little more time than usual before the first stage, expect that on Monday so we’ll have a nice and clean three weeks.
 
Mresuperstar
Wow cunego59, this is something else. Hats off to you sir. I'm a sucker for historic stats, so a great read even though I'm not even competing here this year.

lɒuÇ«iÆšÉ˜á—Ą will be cheering on Spanish legend Angel Madrazo and (some manager bias) the two top-tier Americans: Joseph Dombrowski and Taylor Phinney.
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https://twitter.com/Mresuperstar
valverde321
Amazing preview. Sums up the current contenders and includes history, so we know how things might look by the end of the race too. Never knew that two of Meiji/Rakutens former riders are so close to the top for days in Yellow and Days in Green (although we got them 1 year before their declines)

Pretty weak sprint field though. Apart from the top sprinters Hill stats, I'd say just about every PCT sprint race has a much deeper field, so will be interesting to see how it plays out. Maybe managers were scared away from bringing low MO riders that would potentially OTL on a MO stage and waste race days.
 
Tamijo
Fantastic preview, perfect for the largest race on the calendar.
 
SotD
Brilliant preview! I like how you have done the favorites looking at this season result a lot, although I would say that Taylor Phinney should be the main rival for Angel Madrazo here. After him I would say Morton and Dombrowski and then Lecuisinier and Sicard should fight for the last spot in the top 5. I hope Lecuisinier can be aggressive after the inevideble time loss of the TTT.
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cio93
The greatest race of the season, and the greatest preview of the season! Incredible work cunego, thank you very much.



This is make or break for our season.

After hopefully having cleansed the negative energy from the last two races where Herklotz and Demare failed to make an impact, we come here fully motivated and fully stacked to support Arnaud in his second home GT, and on a perfect route for a rider like him.


Luckily, only one of the three other big punchy sprinters (and only one good sprinty puncheur) has made the way to Belgium, which means Demare is the big gun on the startlist and we can realistically aim for several stage wins and green.
We don't want to expect 6 again like in last year's Giro, but we're confident we can take lots of points from this TdF if we play it right.



To set him up on all sorts of finishes, our leadouts are plenty and versatile.

Fabio Felline has the best sp/acc combination at "only" 74/78, with similar mo/hill stats to Demare which means they should be able to make it to any finish at about the same strength.

Second strongest leadout at 74/72 would be Luca Wackermann, who also comes with a good mo/hil spread and great 74fl to fight for the best position.

An alternative option for the third last rider is Remi Cavagna who I hope shows good synergy with his fellow countryman Demare, at a weaker 73/71 sp/acc but with great 76fl and surely acceptable mo/hil stats as well for the easier stages.


If we have to go a different leadout route on the hard stages where Demare will barely stay in the peloton, we have prepared the duo of Nikias Arndt followed by Yikui Niu.
Niu at 73/72 should be quick enough from a reduced field to make separation for Arnaud, and we've seen him overperform in the mountains already this season so we expect him to stick around for the tougher finishes.

And our absolute failsafe for any situation is obviously Nikias Arndt. At 71/75 sp/acc, he's easily good enough to take on responsibility whenever necessary and there's never going to be any excuse for him to not have enough energy to make the front group and lead Demare out with 79/76 mo/hil.
Furthermore, Arndt is obviously our guy for the mountain stages. With no TTT setup and an expected big loss in the TT, there's no point focusing on the GC and I hope he can therefore focus fully on a KoM jersey hunt. Mager and Dunne are his supports.




Our leadout is far from strong, and we set up this team in the last few seasons with the expectation of rarely having to create one in the first place.
Here, we have the pressure and likely the expectation of being one of the dominant sprint teams, and luckily, it looks like very few other teams have found roster space to accomodate stronger leadouts themselves.


Reimer is obviously a weapon for van der Lijke, but EA lacks a third decent sprinter to set him up. While Felline/Wackermann can't challenge Reimer, we can get ahead of their train by the time Reimer takes over.

Groenewegen has weaker sprinters on both leadout positions than we do, so it's not very likely he will be able to rely on them.

Nelson has Alaphillippe who certainly outspeeds us, but then again will Nelson even make the majority of sprint finishes? Furthermore, he too suffers on position #3.

Van Poppel is the lone sprinter on a GC-focused eBuddy team, but we all know train surfing can be a powerful strategy.
Stauff has Barbier as a great asset, but just like Nelson he will struggle to get to the flamme rouge in the first place.
Samolenkov has acceptable secondary stats, so we might have to deal with him on some finishes, while our former rider Bouhanni doesn't and we hope to not see him in the mix often.


Overall, the leadout quality is rather bad, which can mean one of two things:
We get slower sprints and ACC will be key to create separation (good for Demare), or the strongest sprinters will have to launch too early and it'll be a random slipstreaming clusterfuck (bad for Demare).



Stage 1 is obviously the most important stage for Puma already.

If we manage to win in Bruxelles, we take yellow into the first big puncheur test on stage 2, where only the best positioned riders on the final hill will challenge for the win after the descent. Yellow jersey AI would be immensely important for Demare to be up there.

This could then translate into a good stage 3 too, and stage 4 will require an attentive and well-supported Demare to keep him in the peloton to contest another selective sprint that can separate him from everyone but van der Lijke in the fight for green. We need preferential AI treatment there too.
 
tastasol
Holy macaroni, what a preview!

When I took this a win goal, it was unrealistic, but then we suddenly tried our luck with Phinney. Firstly I thought I would be going to for the Vuelta, but given our goal and since I'd like to have a good amount of money for training next year, the thought of the Tour gradually grew on me. A key point will be to get yellow early on, so the fact that I was fairly confident we could have the best TTT squad present, made me go for the Tour. The fact that it comes on stage five might be a problem though, for the likes of KorsĂŠth and Hansen. If it all goes to the plan, he will come to the ITT in Pau in yellow. Then he stands a decent chance of going all the way, especially if the race is ridden rather passive until the last mountain stages.

On paper Madrazo looks like the toughest competitor, but then again Sicard was flying in Dauphiné and Madrazo looked a bit under the expected level.

The team is more or less as good as it could be, with everything behind Phinney, so fingers crossed for Phinney to continue his good trend so far this season. He's been more or less infallible so far during his first two races for us, so a third successively GC win would be something Wink
 
tsmoha
Thanks for the amazing preview. One must love this kind of stuff and so do I! Hats off, mate.

Our Top-5 goal is doable and has to be the minimum achievement here. I like the preview for putting Morton on 2nd position, but obviously it will go down to daily form and luck to achieve this position eventually. Podium as my personal hope/dream/goal and given the latest performance by Morton and Smith, it's a realistic goal, I would say. Morton hasn't really overperform since joining us though. I remeber his 3rd place at the Giro, where he had a few good stage results, but never looked strong to enough to do better than this. Obviously, he's a stronger rider by now, but he has still to win a stage for us, if I'm not totally wrong! That would be great here, if we do not only see breakaways taking the (late) mountain stages.

Usually, I would be confident for those breakaways though, as I used to do quite well this year in that category. At least when Haig was our leader for the GC. With Morton leading the team, I guess, we won't join too many breaks (if he doesn't f**k up the GC early in the race).
 
TheManxMissile
It's our strongest GT lineup in terms of OVL, but probably the weakest for getting actual results. Ricki might contest in Week 1 before being eliminated, but he's not Ewan so not harm done at all. Julian hopefully can get in the right break and sprint away. And that's about it, too far back against the big TT guys to contest there, and no real breakaway riders, bar AC.

GT's, really not worth it for a Flat focused team at all.
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alexkr00
Wow, what an amazing preview. Very well done!

This is the biggest Grand Tour of the year for us. Obviously, I'm hoping Dombrowski will finish on the podium, but only Tirreno has looked good so far this year so it's definitely not going to be easy. Also, Van Poppel could be able to do some fine sprints looking at the startlist.

It's really hard to point to a big favorite here. I don't think the time - trials are long enough to give Phinney very much of an edge so he'll definitely have to do very well in the mountains as well if he wants this Tour. Madrazo seems to be back to his '12-'13 form, while Morton also seems to be doing better this year than in the previous season and then there's the home boys who have been doing well this year, especially Sicard.

Really a good idea to look at this year's results for the main contenders as it really puts things into perspective.
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DubbelDekker
Here we go; race of the year! And a preview that absolutely lives up to its importance. MG reporters are amazing people.

I expect Madrazo to have atleast one or two off-days where a couple of riders win significant time on him. But there's a good number of climbing stages so there's plenty of opportunity to compensate with big performances like in the Dauphine Ventoux TT. The list of strong climbers who are dangerous contenders if they find a rich vein of form, like Sicard in Dauphine, is very long though.

I'm super excited for this race. Going to enjoy every minute of it. Grin
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Fabianski
Stunning preview, thanks a lot! Hoping to be part of the greatest MG race one day, for now I'll just follow it from faaaar away Smile

Madrazo the obvious favorite - but he shouldn't have many bad days as he had one in Dauhpiné. Phinney won't be happy with so little ITT kms, maybe not the top race for him - but he could still have a good shot at the podium. Expecting a tight race for the first places!
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jandal7
Oh wow what an absolutely stunning preview - will have to dig into it properly later, just skim-read it now, but what a start to the Tour already. Was super excited when I saw you would take it cunego, and I can't wait for the reports! Looks like a really entertaining field, obviously cheering for Velits and Lopez here Grin Hopefully an open race, and what is awesome is no matter who of your Top 9 win it's a pretty special story for each of them as we don't have the traditional GT winners here (except Schleck, but him winning his third TDF on the way out is a cool prospect), so happy to cheer for all of them. Good luck to all the managers here, I can't wait for it to get going Grin

No loanees here for me but a few ex-riders, Salinas in support of Sicard and Velits leading Aegon big ones, but also hope Gilanipoor can get a free role at Isostar to bring his 80km solo mountain win tactic from Colombia last year into the big time Pfft
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Croatia14
That's outstanding. Lovely preview! Wonder why Phinney didn't go to the Vuelta though, him at 3 stars seems wrong imo.

I absolutely have nothing to do in this race, it will be another embarrassment. The very weak sprinter startlist may hint towards loads of breakaway wins. If not, I just don't understand anything anymore...
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Ripley
Couldn't agree more, simply a fantastic preview!
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roturn
That`s an incredible preview with lots of data and statistics and well written.

Doubt that Velits can make my top3 goal here but not having expected to get this really but had to make a GT goal.

Will be interesting if he can show his Dauphine form again but more likely he will fight for top15 and hopefully shows himself in the 3rd week going stage hunting.

Same with Dekker, who could hopefully give it a go for the KoM jersey.

Koep with his (I would need to check) 12th or 15th consecutive GT I think. Not sure he had any breakaway appearance in any of those. So let`s see if for once he can do something here.

Other than that Groenewegen obviously is strong enough for 1-2-3 stage wins on paper. In the end, no sprint train here which might either hurt him or give him a decent position in the end.

Boom, Dumoulin, Frison, Paillot for the TTT of which middle two surely won`t finish the race. The others though might be in for some early stage breakaways I hope which are too hilly for Groenewegen.

At the top Madrazo vs Phinney vs Lecusinier vs Sicard vs Dombrowski. Top 5 could be hard to challenge even though Morton and Schleck obviously can`t be underestimated. First showed great form recently and later has an impressive run by winning all his latest GTs.
 
cunego59
Thanks very much guys, I'm happy to see you like it Smile

SotD wrote:
I like how you have done the favorites looking at this season result a lot, although I would say that Taylor Phinney should be the main rival for Angel Madrazo here.

Yes, the order of riders after Madrazo went through numerous iterations and Phinney was first in line for a while and I think that would make sense as well. In the end, I put a lot of emphasis on resistance and recovery by putting Sicard and Lecuisinier above him. But it's only a guess, maybe Sicard having six points more in recovery has a big impact in the final week, maybe it has little to none, same with Lecuisinier's six points more in resistance. I could totally see Phinney on the podium or even winning it all and making my projection look a little silly, but I think that's one of the great things about this edition, so much can happen Smile
 
ember
Wow, what a preview! Very in-depth, informative/analytical, and also with a great design.

Thank you, cunego59! Can't wait to see the racing get going Smile

A top 10 with Galta here is the goal for us. Fingers crossed we get it through breakaway appearances in the final week, really. I'd much rather have it that way than him riding a defensive race from start to finish. If he does the latter, the top 10 also feels very difficult, as the lower top 10 placings usually get taken by breakaway riders.

He had a sensational Tour last season., getting in the right breakaways and winning two stages, as cunego59 mentions. We can only dream of something similar Smile
 
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