To coin a phrase drawn from American sports, sometimes life throws you a curveball. When you record a frankly top notch Tour de France preview for a podcast and the recorder cuts out after 20 minutes, that’s a prime example.
Such a fate befell myself, Inigo Hawkings and Nathan Hardy of the Quicklink Podcast team last night as, after around 75 minutes’ worth of prime content, we realised the technology had failed us. The course preview was safe, but our chat about the riders and our predictions is lost to the digital wasteland.
I don’t have time to give you a full preview of the 184 riders that will line up for the Grand Depart tomorrow, so here’s a speedy run-down: no over-thinking, no time for that. Just three words per rider (or team). Some are race predictions, some more overall thoughts, and some come from the lost podcast. All alphabetised for your convenience.
Have a read and why not share your own three-word predictions with me over on Twitter @writebikerepeat – I’d love to hear from you.
ALAPHILLIPPE, Julian: parcours a gift?
ARANBURU, Alex: Astana’s great hope
BUCHMANN, Emanuel: something to prove
CAMPANAERTS, Victor: value for money
CARAPAZ, Richard: do not underestimate
CAVENDISH, Mark: stage four winner?
CHAVES, Esteban: GC? Go on…
COSNEFROY, Benoit: spotty jersey owner?
DEMARE, Arnaud: so last year
EWAN, Caleb: sprint boss incoming
FROOME, Chris: invaluable resource, respect
GAUDU, David: coming of age?
GOGL, Michael: …and Michael Gogl
MARTIN, Guillaume: French curse prevails
NIBALI, Vincenzo: old guard, fading
PEDERSEN, Mads: inconsistent, chances remote
POGACAR, Tadej: nowhere to hide
PORTE, Richie: disrupting alphabetical providence?
ROGLIC, Primoz: tale of redemption
SAGAN, Peter: single-minded: only green
SOLER, Marc: leader in waiting
THOMAS, Geraint: just stay upright
URAN, Rigoberto: in-form rider?
VAN AVERMAET, Greg: forever golden Greg
VAN AERT, Wout: week one yellow?
VAN DER POEL, Mathieu: smash and grab
VAN MOER, Brent: my long shot
VINGEGAARD, Jonas: deadly if fit
YATES, Simon: here for Tourmalet
A few words on a few teams…
BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS: on a roll?
INEOS: too many chiefs
MOVISTAR: déjà vu again
TEAM DSM: teamwork = dream work
QHUBEKA NEXTHASH: everyone’s second team