The Spaniard will start as the pre-race favourite but it’ll be most interesting to see how he has recovered from his exploits in the Giro d’Italia where he blew the field away. Recovery is something he’s damn good at mind, because after breaking his leg at the Tour last year he came back and won the Vuelta A Espana two months later. He won the Route du Sud last month in his final tune-up so looks in peak condition.
The 2013 winner looks in ominously good form also, winning the Criterium du Dauphine recently and claiming a couple of stage wins in the process. He’s got the backing of arguably the best team and the steep climbs will be right up his alley.
The star of the 2013 Tour opted against racing last year, targeting (and winning) the Giro d’Italia instead.
He beat Nibali and Contador at Tirreno-Adriatico back in March and the route this year is perfect for him with so many climbs.
The defending champion was ruthless the way he dismantled all comers last year, winning in the end by over seven minutes and claiming four stages in the process. The big question then was ‘had Froome and Contador both been in the race (having crashed out) would they have lived with him?’
Fifth last year was an incredible result for the American, so fans Stateside are understandably getting excited about this fella. He lost the Dauphine by 10 seconds after a ferocious battle with Froome, but if he can show that kind of form again he won’t be too far off the podium. He was fifth last year and will seek to improve on that.