Chris Froome will win the 100th Tour de France. We are here in Bourg d'Arud watching live (TV live) as the peloton makes its way toward the brutal HC climb up Mont Ventoux (‘God's Tomb') in todays stage 15. At the end of stage 14, Froome held an overall two-and-a-half minute lead over the riders Mollema (Belkin Pro Cycling) and Contador (Team Saxo-Tinkoff). He's untouchable for all other pre-tour favorites. Despite losing a third of his team to injuries, and missing time cutoffs, he still appears strong enough to survive to Paris.
The alps will feature heavily in the third and final week of the tour. Five stages before the final stage in Paris. He'll likely find himself alone up Mont Ventoux this afternoon (they are approaching the start of the climb as I write this with Movistar setting the pace to Ventoux), and for most of the remaining stages. But still....
Froome will win! Yawn. Again.
How to beat Froome: a past champion with the arrogance to take back yellow, and perhaps something to prove; a rider with attitude and enough inexperience and talent to crush the peloton in the mountains; a team deep enough to support their leader. What this tour needs is some attitude. Aggression. Surprise. We need to see more of the same from stage 12. Froome can be beat if teams and riders throw caution to the wind. Attacks must come from everyone, everywhere, all the time. Alberto Contador thinks he can take yellow and his attitude, and history, bodes well for an exciting final week. His team, Saxo-Tinkoff, and Belkin Pro Cycling are each represented by two riders in the top five. Both teams have the assets to attack Froome repeatedly. Movistar, led by rising star Nairo Quintana, will attack in the mountains — he will attack today up Ventoux. These three teams are the key to an exciting final week.
Then again. Froome will win.
Photo credit steephill.tv.