The Tour de France has never been so tight after 15 stages
The 104th Tour de France hasn’t disappointed everyone. Chris Froome is the current race leader, albeit by a slender margin. The French, and other nationalities may be experiencing a bit of déjà vu, it is a different story for British and Irish racing fans. Froome is accompanied by Irish rider Dan Martin, and British rider Adam Yates in the overall top-10.
Here are five things to look for in the final stage of le tour.
Nairo Quintana doesn’t look like he has got the legs or the appetite for this year’s tour. Quintana has moved out of the top-10 but don’t be surprised to him trying to take a stage victory. He may fancy his chances on stage 18. The Movistar might be well out of contention for the yellow jersey by then, it’s a steep finish to a long day in the saddle.
Cheers for the Irish
Dan Martin has ridden courageously, especially after his crash earlier on in the tour. Martin seems to be riding for fun. If the 30-year-old continues to race aggressively he may just move up a place in the General Classification. Martin is arguably one of the most popular riders at the tour, expect to see plenty of roadside support for him.
Team Sky to hold firm
It’s not just on the road where Team Sky are having to defend. Sir Dave Brailsford has been fighting his own little battle with a small section of the media. Froome was booed by the spectators on stage 15. Back to the racing, Team Sky have had to defend the yellow jersey for most of this year’s tour. It won’t be an easy task to defend the yellow jersey and at some point between Le Puy-en-Velay and Paris Froome and his teammates may have to dig themselves out of trouble.
Stage 16 starts uphill. As the riders make their way towards the latter part of the stage the will descend on to a false flat. After the rest day, don’t be surprised to see a re-energised rider attempt to clinch the stage victory in a solo breakaway.
A pure lung buster. That’s one way to describe stage 17. The riders will tackle two hors-categorie climbs and a category one climbs, the include, Croix de Fer, Col du Télégraphe and the Col du Galibier. Don’t bet against a tactical skirmish between the top-four riders. Any mistakes could be costly. This is the chance for Froome’s rivals to attack in an effort to put him under severe pressure.