This Hammer series seems interesting, but I haven’t looked too deeply into the rules so I think I’m just going to go in and be surprised! So I have nothing to say, but I want to be impressed.
The Dauphine. I’m most looking forward to seeing what Richie Porte can do. If we are following usual trends here, now that it’s summer Chris Froome should be firing on all cylinders, he’ll have Tour de France form rollin’. But Richie Porte has looked good all season, even taking Froome’s number. I would never bet on Porte in a Grand Tour, because his luck is soooo bad, but he NEEDS to outright win this Dauphine if he’s going to have a chance at Froome. I think this is the crappiest spring Froome has had since……what 2012? 2011? Since before he won his first Tour for sure. No wins, hasn’t had the form on some mountain stages, Team Sky was jumped in a Catalunya stage as bad as last year’s Vuelta. Meanwhile Porte dominated the Tour Down Under, did claim a stage of Paris-Nice after blowing the overall in the crosswinds, and most recently dominated Romandie. Porte needs to beat Froome head to head at his best before this Tour.
I am excited to see what Orica can do here. Looks like they have close to their whole Tour team here, headlining with the great Estaban Chaves. Ok, I’ve watched so many of those backstage pass videos, I cannot stop laughing and smiling every time that guy is on screen. Best smile in the peloton, and the strange way he fits into that Aussie team will make any heart feel warm and fuzzy. That said……………..he’s missed the entire spring rehabbing his knee injury…..from what I understand? I’ve been pissed he hasn’t been racing, but I think Orica is pretty good about only releasing him when he’s fully ready. I just want to see him race and hone his form before the Tour. For the Tour, I don’t see anyway he wins it, a podium would be great for him, but I’d rather see him win the Vuelta outright at the end of the season. Which is why I wish he would have gone to shake up things at the Giro first, instead of doing back to back GTs. Simon Yates, he’ll be on form, but I don’t know what to expect. Orica has three GC riders that are all pretty good climbers, but with subpar TTs.
I think Contador’s washed up in GTs because of inevitable crashes and illnesses, I wouldn’t mind being wrong come July and seeing him win a final Tour and retiring on the spot. Other than that, I don’t really care what else he does. Especially at the Dauphine, he doesn’t even come to win, only hone form; so I don’t expect much from him here. He doesn’t even have Pantano (I figure going to Suisse, where it all started for him?) so I don’t like the team he has here. If Contador somehow manages to do the Tour, it will be because of Pantano’s assistance.
Everyone else: Sure, Bardet should do well. Aru, hmm, I could go either way, he’ll be shit or pretty good. I’m excited for Colbrelli in these sprints, I was becoming a real fan of his over the spring classics and I’m pissed he missed the Giro squad. Talanksy, eh, won’t do much. Bouhanni, he’ll be pretty good in the sprints. I’d like to see Coquard rock this. I’d like to see Demare do something as well (I loved that Stage 1 of Paris-Nice win). OOO Valverde, I’d love to see him on flying form and win EVERYTHING this whole season, I’ll talk about him another time though. Dan Martin should do well. I expect big things from Eddy Boss, he had an insanely bad spring, let’s see some results heading into the Tour; with Cav possibly out and Cummings not having the same season as last year, he’ll be someone that must step up at the Tour for DD. Kristoff, this isn’t his season, nothing significant so far, has friction with Katusha. That should be about everyone.
I figure these posts haven’t been that good recently, I’m just trying to keep up on stuff before the Tour here, I’ve been kinda busy lately.