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Tour de France 2017
Every year, the Tour de France make us discover the most beautiful corners of the hexagon, from the beautiful mountains to the great plains of which only France has the secret to, the Tour 2017 promises once again to show us the beautiful moments of sport coupled with the riches of the French heritage.
The 104th edition of the Tour de France will be held from Saturday 1 July to Sunday 23 July 2017 and already a little surprise, the riders will race from Germany, more precisely the city Of Düsseldorf in this 21-stage, 3,540-kilometer race.
The Grande Boucle will therefore regroup once again many riders with distinct qualities and objectives and these three weeks of racing will have many questions towards team strategy and the shape of the cyclists.
The 104th edition of the Tour de France is likely to be very exciting and we will explain why! First of all, for the 4th time since the creation of the Tour de France, the riders will start from a neighbouring country, Germany. Düsseldorf will therefore launch the first round of the Tour with a 14-kilometer time trial, which will award the first yellow jersey of the race.
The Tour de France is also the discovery of small corners of paradise in the 34 departments selected for the race. Three neighbouring countries will be crossed: Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg. Another novelty and not least, for the first time since 1992, the organisers of the Tour de France decided that the five main mountains would be retained for the race. The riders will have to face the slopes of the Vosges, the Jura, the Pyrenees, the Massif Central and finish in the Alps.
Cyclists will travel 3540 kilometres divided equally into 21 stages including 9 stages of plain, 5 rugged stages, 5 mountain stages with 3 arrivals in altitude, 2 individual time trials and 2 rest days. A well loaded program spread over 3 weeks. The bonus system, which made its return in 2015 after seven years of absence will return. There will be 10, 6 and 4 seconds and will be attributed to the arrivals of the stages to the first three riders. Individual and team time trial stages therefore will not benefit from this system.
The traditional yellow jersey distinguishes the leader from the overall standings. Then comes the green jersey that is worn by the leader of the point’s classification. These points will be put into play during a single intermediate sprint in the stages but also at the arrival of each stages. To finish, the leader of the classification of the best climber can put on the famous white jersey with red polka dots. The points will be distributed following the passage from the top of each pass or coast and given to the three arrivals in altitude.
This 2017 Tour de France looks spectacular and has its share of surprises. It had not happened since 1987 and yet the organisers of the Tour decided so, the Grand Boucle will start with an individual 14km race along the Rhine. Thereafter, a 203.5km course awaits the runners who will start from Düsseldorf to finish their day in Liège before returning the day after in Luxembourg.
For the first time in 25 years, the tour de France will visit all the French mountains and will mainly focus on the eastern part of France. The route promises a beautiful ascents of summits that can be risky to even the best climbers. The riders will begin by visiting the Vosges and then pass by the mythical Planche des Belles-Filles which reserves beautiful slopes from 8.5% to 20%. The cyclists will also linger in the Jura and will criss-cross the Rousses in Franche-Comté.
After a stop in Chambéry, the riders will continue to visit the hexagon but this time in the southwest with a stage in the department of the Dordogne where the riders will be able to visit the beautiful cities of Périgueux, Bergerac and Eymet.
The Pyrenees will obviously not be forgotten with one of the harshest stages of the journey there, the day before the national holiday, linking Pau to the Peyragudes airport with no less than 214.5 km and slopes of 20% to go for the runners. The bunch will have the chance to discover the location of the James Bond credits "Tomorrow Never Dies". Excuse this bit! The Tour will then pass through the Massif Central, one of the French mountains which appears most often since the creation of the Grande Boucle. Le Puy-En-Velay and Romans sur Isère will be crossed and the cyclists will then join the Alps with arrivals at Serre-Chevalier and the Izoard pass.
The Grande Boucle will end with an individual time trial in Marseille which will conclude in the compound of the Phocéen club, the Vélodrome, the day before arrival in Paris on July 23rd. Many stages of the tour de France will echo the candidacy of France to the J.O 2024 with this stage in Marseilles which is an integral part of the Olympic project. The peloton will also pass through the nave of the Grand Palais, which will host the event in 2024.
The holder of the title with a time of 89h 04m 48 seconds and winner of the round in 2013 and 2015 risks an expected return. The English Sky Team is undoubtedly one of the best climbers of the circuit. Froome is in the unknown and although he had his first top 10 of the season during the Dauphiné he is far from his usual standards as in 2015 and 2016 when the English had 12 victories and 13 victories respectively. However, Cristopher Froome remains a formidable rider and he is the main contender to his own succession thanks to his qualities and his team which will most certainly put him in optimal conditions to win this Great Loop. A victory of Froome in this Tour is proposed at 11/8 with Bet365.
Former teammate Cristopher Froome and now runner for the BMC team also serves as a favourite in this competition. The Australian, racer and climber has several strings to his bow and is one of the most complete riders of this race. Richie Porte is in incredible form and remains on 6 wins this season including a Tour Down Under completed in 19h 55m 49 seconds. With a very good performance at the Critérium du Dauphiné, where he took the yellow jersey four times and took second place in the overall standings, Richie Porte ranks as one of the favourites of this Tour de France 2017. Cristopher Froome himself admitted it ... a way to get off the pressure? The Australian’s rating is proposed at 7/4 at Bet365 in case of victory.
With 6 wins this season, Nairo Quintana will take on this Tour de France as a favourite. Long in the wheel of Christopher Froome during previous editions, Quintana has made the Grande Boucle 2017 a priority in its season. The Colombian team Movistar who finished the Giro in 2nd place, decided not to run from then until the Tour de France. Almost a month of preparation in Monaco for the leader of the Movistar team. The Colombian is listed at 13/2 at Bet365.
There are many runners to be able to claim the coronation on July 23 in Paris, we think first of Jakob Fuglsang (16/1). If the Dane has benefited from a strategy error on the part of Team BMC and its leader Richie Porte to take the lead of the Dauphiné, it has not however proved unworthy for the runner of Astana with a time of 29h 05m 54 seconds. With his full season (he has already done 3 top 10 this season), his first place in the Critérium du Dauphiné and his experience (7th in the Tour de France in 2013), there is no doubt that the one who claims to be co-leader of The Astana formation with Fabio Aru will have a great playing card from current impressive form.
Fabio Aru (16/1), the Italian who had injured himself in April just before he could run the 2017 Giro, in which he was clearly favourite, is slowly returning to his best level. The Tour of Spain 2015 winner had a great performance at the Dauphiné by taking a beautiful 5th place and will be able to enjoy the good form of his teammate. It will not be far to reach his peak of form in July which leaves the door open to a possible feat of the 26-year-old Italian who still has not confirmed the hopes that were placed in him in 2015, his best Season so far since he had 3 wins.
Behind Alejandro Valverde ( score of 20/1) will leave the reins of leader of the Movistar team in Nairo Quintana. Even with his qualities as a climber, the Spaniard could not take on this position on his own and this return seems saving for Valverde who was not very much helped by his teammates during the Dauphiné, who finished at a modest 9th place. This season, the Spaniard remains on 12 victories, better than the 2015 season when he claimed 10 victories. It will be necessary to be very careful for Valverde, a discrete runner but someone who can truly create surprises.
Last but not least, Alberto Contador (7/4) who won the Grand Boucle in 2007 and 2009. The 34-year-old who has been back for several seasons will undoubtedly talk about his knowledge of racing and can see himself on the podium or even more
On the French side, Romain Bardet (proposed at 22/1) is definitely one of the only riders in the hexagon capable of hooking a top 5. Always very consistent in his performances, the rider of AG2R has not yet won any victory this Season and shows shortcomings in the time trial. However, the 26-year-old Frenchman has undeniable qualities in climbs and could have a say. Behind, Thibaut Pinot (125/1) will be as usual a fire-owl and will likely aim for a stage victory. He made a good Giro 2017 by finishing in 4th place, so the runner of the FDJ will be one to watch. Finally Pierre Rolland (400/1) who made a very good impression in the Tour de France in 2011 remains an offensive rider able to follow the best climbers. It will therefore be necessary to watch the cyclist with the greatest attention.
Clever people will be able to predict the winner of the Tour de France 2017 edition as the difference in level is reduced and becomes homogeneous between the runners. If Froome and Porte are favourites, it is necessary to take into account the shape of the route but also the climb which has less (5 against 9 last year) than the previous editions.
Article "Tour de France 2017" updated in 22/09/2017
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