Leading contenders for 2012 Tour de France championship

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Cadel Evans

Well, sports fans, we got a big race coming up. The Tour de France rolls out of Liege, Belgium, on Saturday, June 30, for its finish in Paris on July 22. Who are the favorites to win?

Bradley Wiggins

For starters, we know who to eliminate. Alberto Contador is sitting out for cheating and Andy Schleck is recovering from a back injury suffered earlier this year.

Given that, two names rise to the top — defending champion Cadel Evans and British cyclist Bradley Wiggins.

British bookies give Wiggins (Team Sky) the best odds at 5/4. He’s on a roll, you might say, with championships this year at Paris-Nice, the Tour de Romandie and Critérium du Dauphiné.

Cycling websites VeloNews.com and CyclingNews.com both favor Evans. Although he hasn’t had as strong a year so far as in 2011, he seems to be peaking at the right time. A victory at a tough stage at the Dauphine and a strong team (BMC Racing) prove that he might be the man to beat.

Further down

Ryder Hesjedal

The guy I’ll be rooting for is further down on most lists. The odds makers list British Columbia’s Ryder Hesjedal with the 9th best odds to win at 28/1.

CyclingNews doesn’t list Hesjedal in its top 5 contenders, and VeloNews puts him in the top 11.

Hesjedal won the 2012 Giro d’Italia in May, combining his strong climbing and time trialing abilities. He showed plenty of grit over the course of three weeks as he battled in and out of the maglia rosa, winning in the final stage time trial. His Garmin Barracuda team showed they could protect the jersey.

US cyclists don’t fare too well this year.

Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma Quickstep) comes in at 80/1 odds, due to his continuing recovery from a broken leg suffered in a bike vs. car crash.

Former teammate Chris Horner (RadioShack-Nissan) comes in at 150/1 odds. He wasn’t even on the team’s Tour de France roster until Monday; now he’s probably RadioShack’s best contender. Missing from RadioShack this year is team manager Johan Bruyneel, who must sit out because of doping allegations related to the US Anti-Doping Agency’s case against Lance Armstrong.


Top contenders

SB Nation

  • Bradley Wiggins 5/4
    Cadel Evans 9/4
    Denis Menchov 14/1
    Jurgen Van Den Broeck 22/1
    Vincenzo Nibali 22/1
    Chris Froome 25/1
    Frank Schleck 25/1
    Robert Gesink 25/1
    Ryder Hesjedal 28/1
    Samuel Sanchez 28/1
    Alejandro Valverde 33/1
    Pierre Rolland 40/1
    Jani Brajkovic 50/1
    Andreas Kloden 66/1
    Tony Martin 66/1
    Ivan Basso 80/1
    Levi Leipheimer 80/1
    Peter Velits 125/1
    Chris Horner 150/1

VeloNews

CyclingNews

  • Cadel Evans
  • Bradley Wiggins
  • Vincenzo Nibali
  • Frank Schleck
  • Robert Gesink

 

Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2012/06/23/leading-contenders-for-2012-tour-de-france-championship/

1 ping

  1. […] Personally, I’d like to see the Giro d’Italia winner, Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda) in the podium mix, mostly because he’s almost a neighbor as he hails from British Columbia. (Here’s a list of the favorites.) […]

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