Five Things to Watch in the Tour de France 2011

News & Results

06/30/2011| 0 comments
by Thomas A. Valentinsen
Mark Cavendish. Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti.
Mark Cavendish. Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti.

Five Things to Watch in the Tour de France 2011

Less than 48 hours from now the biggest cycling event of the 2011 season - the legendary Tour de France Grand Tour - will start in Passage du Gois La Barre-de-Monts. The three-week race is known for its many historic events and experiences and the 2011 edition is not likely to disappoint the millions of viewers who follow the event closely from all five continents of the world.

Less than 48 hours from now the biggest cycling event of the 2011 season - the legendary Tour de France Grand Tour - will start in Passage du Gois La Barre-de-Monts. The three-week race is known for its many historic events and experiences and the 2011 edition is not likely to disappoint the millions of viewers who follow the event closely from all five continents of the world.

While many an article in various media will describe the Tour de France route, the stages and not least focus on the battle between the favorites for the final overall victory - Andy Schleck, Alberto Contador, Cadel Evans and Bradley Wiggins' names are on the lips of most cycling fans these days - this article will provide you with five ideas for alternative things to keep your eye out for while you're glued to the television screen during the next three weeks like a wee baby to its mother's breast.

Internal Team Rivalry Between Sprinters - Mark Cavendish VS. Matthew Goss and Thor Hushovd VS. Tyler Farrar

No riders are as known for their dominating personalities as pro sprinters. Some call them arrogant, some call them little children who hate being defeated by rivals. Some blame them for being addicted to the limelight of the podium and the gorgeous podium girls. What makes the situation even worse is when a team arrive at a Grand Tour like the Tour de France with two major sprinters as part of the team roster. This is the case for two dominant teams this year: Team Garmin-Cervelo and Team HTC-HighRoad.

Garmin-Cervélo's Tour roster features both Thor Hushovd and Tyler Farrar. The Norwegian God of Thunder hasn't had much success so far this season and is feeling the pressure of the World Champion jersey. Rumor has it that he's also feeling neglected within the team and plans to move to another team from the 2012 season. Tyler Farrar had a very successful 2010 season with two stage victories in the Vuelta a Espana and the Giro d'Italia and not least was he victorious in the Vattenfall Cyclassics in Hamburg. Except for a stage win in the 2011 Tirreno-Adriatico, impatient young Farrar has mostly been watching the backs of competing sprinters when crossing the finish line in races so far this season. Rumored to have been the final rider to be selected for the team's Tour roster further increases the pressure on Farrar's shoulders.

Team HTC-HighRoad also arrives at the Tour de France with two prominent sprinters. Mark Cavendish and Matt Goss. While Mark Cavendish has been one huge disappointment so far this season, internal rival Matt Goss has shined impressively on the roads of Europe, California and Australia. Having the largest ego of all current pro sprinters, Cavendish will be hard to control in the team bus and in the team hotels if he doesn't win at least a couple of stages in the first week of the Tour. Will the team bet its money on the experienced sprinter who has failed so far this season, or on the

Pages

Your comments
Your comments
sign up or login to post a comment