Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Samu analyzes Tour route

On the face of it, the Tour de France 2012 route has got something for everyone: one prologue, nine stages for the sprinters, two long individual time trials, five high-mountain days, four medium-mountain days and three summit finishes. Popular opinion has it that it favours the likes of Evans and Wiggins; riders strong against the clock and decent in the mountains. Here's Samu's take on it:

  • The mountains: The stages in the Alps will suit me to a tee I reckon. I really like the stage ending atop the Toussuire. The climbs preceding the final one - the Madeleine, Glandon and the Cruz de Hierro - are all long and hard but not overly steep. And in the Pyrenees we've got the Peyragades and the Bagneres de Luchón, with the Peyresourde also in there. I think I'll do well there.

  • The time trials: The two individual time trials total almost a 100 kilometres, and I feel that's an advantage for me as a lot of riders will lose loads of minutes there, maybe up to five in each one. I like the fact that they're long. Though, it's also an advantage for the crono specialists like Martin, Wiggins, Evans and, above all, Contador.

  • The lack of a team time trial: We've never really performed well in the TTTs (so it's a good thing there's no TTT this time around). The other teams gained a lot of time on us in that discipline.

  • The pre-race favourites: Evans, Wiggins and especially Contador are, to me anyway, the big favourites.

  • The lead-up to the Tour: I'll do the Dauphiné next year. And when I'm there I'll recce some of the stages for the Tour.

  • His overall impression of the route: I really like it. I'll aim to do as well as I did this year, or perhaps even better. The course is suited to an all-rounder who's good on the climbs.

1 comment:

Stephen said...

I think it's a decent route, more of an 80's/90's route than the climb-climb-climb ones of late. Samu can do a pretty good TT so no reason to think that he will do any worse than this year. Any climber wanting to win will have to pick a day and go for a BIG attack to get some time so this may be better than the past couple of years when it has looked like some were just content to wait and see what happened and hope for the best....


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