A 2012 Tour de France Team Summary - Part 2
Twenty-two teams are contesting the 2012 Tour de France and I break down their chances. Part 2.
Westra who can time trial, winning the Dutch national championships in that discipline.
This team's only chance at Tour de France fame this year is with sprinter Marcel Kittel - one of the few men that have beaten Cavendish in a sprint. As a result he has a squad composed of lead-out men. Expect Kittel to be within a bike throw of Cav for the sprint finishes.
For a short while the cries of France could be heard as the team's leader Thomas Voeckler was complaining of knee pain threatening his chances for the Tour. However, it looks like Voeckler's knee is okay and you can see him and his ever flicking tongue aggressively racing at random points of the Tour. If I was a sponsor I'd get a Europcar sticker on that thing as it gets enough air time on TV.
This team got a wildcard invite only because, stating the obvious, they're French. And that's the only thing they have going for them.
Okay, that might be a little harsh as they have Estonian Rein Taaramae who was 11th last year. Interestingly David Moncoutie said earlier this year he wasn't racing the Tour de France and instead saving himself for the Vuelta a Espana and his quest for a fifth King of the Mountains jersey. I guess the directors didn't get that memo as the 37 year-old is on the squad as well.
Saur - Sojasun
An entirely French squad is going to be led by Jerome Coppel who finished in lucky 13th place last year. Stage winner Brice Feillu is back in the Tour for the first time since 2009 where he won a stage. Perhaps the squad will win something on Bastille Day, which would send the country into fits of uncontrollable jubilation not since since ... I don't know when. But I doubt it.
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