Dauphine is all done, now for the Tour
Cavendish vs Goss - Cav holds the upper hand in the Green jersey stakes - if he wants it Image: Graeme Watson
So the Dauphine is all done and Bradley Wiggins has taken Yellow. Cadel Evans has finished third, taking the Green Jersey.
Now, how does this affect the predictions going into the Tour de France? At the outset it is easy to say that Wiggins is the favourite and based on how he rode and how Sky went overall, I think this is a fair call.
Wiggins can TT, no doubt about that. And he also climbed quite well.
However, I think an important point to note is that the climbs at Dauphine are very short and there are not many of them compared to the Tour. Let’s see how Wiggins goes on the big climbs and also how his legs look in the TTs after some serious time in the saddle up the climbs.
I think he will be very competitive and there is no doubt Sky look very strong.
There is also a question over Wiggins’ ability to be a leader for the Sky team. It is also not clear what Mark Cavendish’s intentions are but if he decides to go after Green then Wiggins team is one, possibly two less. Wiggins comments after Stage 1 of the Dauphine did not strike me as a guy who copes very well with the media scrutiny either
Cadel on the other hand is a proven leader and humble in the face of the media. BMC is a strong team that have good unity. Their agenda is very clear. They nailed it last year and this was also when Cadel had a major mechanical that almost cost him his tour. Cadel was also pretty isolated in certain parts of the climbs last year and responded very strongly.
I also think a lot of the BMC guys used the Dauphine as a way to run into their last training block. They spent a lot of time on the front controlling the bunch and working.
The Green Jersey, the race within the race, also promises to be an absolute cracker. If Cav does go for it, he will have other Teams like Orica-GreenEdge and Rabobank there will a goal to committing a team to taking the Green Jersey. Cav would have not been thrilled to ride the entire Giro and win several stages and not come up with the Green.
Personally I think he will do a week or so at the Tour and then pull out and focus on the Olympics, where he is desperate to take Gold after missing out in Beijing in 2008 and then onto the Worlds. He has plenty of years left to take the Stage win records but Olympics in another four years might be a stretch.
Going to be a great Tour with plenty of big moments.
Until next time, clip in!
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