Jul 4, 2014

Tour de France Stage 1 Preview

Stage 1 - Leeds to Harrogate


Expectations entering the stage: Most are expecting a sprint and possibly some early crashes as the roads them peloton will be racing on are much more narrow than the usual Tour de France roads seens in the early stages of the race. No matter the carnage, expect a sprint, with Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) and Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) the favorites. Still, this stage should be crazier than the average sprint stage, as for the second year in a row the yellow jersey is available to the winner.

Jersey's in play
  • Yellow Jersey - Stage winner takes the yellow jersey on day one
  • White Jersey - Highest placed young rider will take the jersey.
  • Green Jersey - The Stage winner will be the leader for this jersey, but he won't be wearing it as the Yellow Jersey is more important.
  • Polka Dot Jersey - With three climbs on the day, expect a fierce battle to get in the early breakaway to take the King of the Mountains and wear the Polka Dot Jersey in Stage 2.
GC items of note: Nothing of true significance unless there is a crash. If any GC men lose time to anything other than a crash or late puncture just before the 3km rule kicks in, they weren't really GC men anyway.

Stage pick: Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol)
For some reason Greipel has fallen behind Cavendish and Kittel in perception despite continuing to win at the same high rate he always has. That changes here as the finale is more uphill than it first appears and Greipel is much more able to cope with that kind of finish than Kittel or Cavendish.

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