Velo’s Official 2014 Tour de France Guide includes everything you’ll need to prepare for this year’s big event. With breakdowns of each stage, the jersey competitions, contenders, teams, and the exciting addition of La Course, the women’s stage, the Official Guide provides everything needed to prepare for the biggest road race in the world.
Some of the favorites for this year’s tour glory include Chris Froome (Sky), Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), and American Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp), recent winner of Critérium du Dauphiné. These riders, among a few others, are ranked in specific areas such as their ability to climb, time trial, in a tactical sense, and strength of the team.
The Official Guide breaks down each stage of the race’s 21 stages. The Grand Départ this year’s Tour takes place on July 5 in Leeds, Great Britian, and as tradition has it, the race will end in Paris on July 27.
While Froome may be the best stage racer in the sport, even he knows that he can be beaten, as he was at the Dauphiné. Froome discusses his history with the Tour, including his GC victory, the cobblestones in this year’s race, and areas in which he can still improve.
Other features focus on Froome’s biggest rivals, including Contador and Nibali, both of whom are committed to a victorious Tour. There is also the question of how will Tejay van Garderen perform at the Tour this year, after the BMC Racing rider’s somewhat turbulent early season.
Peter Sagan’s success at winning the green jersey for the past two years has been remarkable. Sprinters may often be one-dimensional in their riding abilities, but Sagan (Cannondale) has proven himself otherwise. With other contenders such as Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) and Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano), anything can happen, but it’s likely Sagan will remain at, or close to, the top of the points classification.
The King of the Mountain jersey just might be the hardest to predict in the Tour de France because of the factors that remain so subjective in the mountains. The 101st edition of the Tour de France won’t be any different — there’s no easy way to predict who will wear the polka dots.
The white jersey reserved for riders under 25 serves as a measuring stick of sorts for young riders who will likely be riding for a podium spot in years to come. This year’s favorites include Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) who rode to an impressive 15th on GC last year. Although, without Nairo Quintana this year, it’s unlikely any of these young riders will be challenging for the yellow jersey, too.
Tour organizers Amaury Sports Organisation are introducing a women’s stage at this year’s Tour. Twenty teams of six women each, for a total of 120 riders, will do 13 laps of the Champs-Élysées for the inaugural La Course. This race is an exceptional showcase for women’s racing, as provided by ASO after enormous efforts by a group known as Le Tour Entier, comprised of Marianne Vos (Rabo-liv), Emma Pooley (Lotto-Belisol), Kathryn Bertine (Colavita-Fine Cooking), and retired Ironman champion Chrissie Wellington.
The 101st Tour de France is sure to be an exciting one, so pick up Velo’s Official Tour de France guide today, and pick your contenders for the green, polka-dot, and white jerseys, as well as the final podium in Paris.