July 17th Stage 14, the tour de France is more than half completed and the clear winner is still yet to be decided. Stage 12 showed that Contador might not have much left in the reserves to win a fourth tour this year. As the Schleck’s attacked on the last climb of stage 13 and Condator had no response. Contador’s riding has shown that the tour of Italy may really taken a lot of him and ruined his chances for yellow in pairs. While Schleck has played the race smart as well as all of Leopard Trek. The team remains intact which is a rarity in this year’s tour with the horrific crashes that have ended Alexandre Vinokourov’s career (broken femur) as well as American Chris Horner’s, tour campaign. Team RadioShack has been hammered by injuries and crashes. The Radio Shack team came into the tour with 4 viable options to win the tour as well as the ability to win the team classification of the tour but with Chris Horner’s crash has made that goal unattainable. Thomas Voeckler of Europcar is now riding in the yellow jersey after taking it away in stage 8 from Thor and has rode with it for the last six stages. The Pyrenees will certainly cut the real contenders from the pretenders and the race should factor to four riders, Frank and Schleck, Cadel Evans, and Contador. The most likely winner of the tour will not distance themselves from the rest of the field until the high alp stages come and really splinter the race apart. If I had to pick the final podium today it would be the Schleck’s at one and two almost interchangeable at the top and Evans in the 3rd position.
Written by FTS Cycling expert Will Raschke