Tour de France: sprinters, surprises and Quick-Step

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What will happen this week in Le Tour?

Tour de France: sprinters, surprises and Quick-Step

Jon Sharpe accepts his 'commentators' curse' badge and sets out his thoughts on the next stages of Le Tour - laid out for the sprinters and attacking riders to have their fun before the first big summit finish.

After writing about who I thought would be likely to take the various classifications in my last post, it’s been said that I may have inadvertently placed the commentators' curse on them! While this might be true, I still hold firm with my decisions - although don’t ask me to pick your lottery numbers just yet!

The race has been throwing up some real surprises this past week and it’s this level of uncertainty that makes it exciting and keeps us coming back time and time again. There are already so many scenarios that could be played out (as there always should be), that I for one am hooked on this year’s race.

I still firmly believe that Quintana will show us how good a climber he really is, and will let rip in the mountains to claw back some of his time deficit."

Jon Sharpe, CTC Tour de France 'armchair pundit'

It’s been written about on other sites and blogs that the biggest losers so far have been Nairo Quintana and Thibaut Pinot. But I’m not so sure (well, not yet anyway). I still firmly believe that Quintana will show us how good a climber he really is, and will let rip in the mountains to claw back some of his time deficit. With Pinot now over six minutes behind, he’s in the perfect position to not be so closely marked and go on attacks, get himself into breakaways to secure plenty of King of the Mountains points and win the polka dot jersey.

As I look ahead and to the next handful of stages, it’s pretty clear they’re ideally laid out for the sprinters and attacking riders to have their fun before we reach the first big summit finish on Tuesday. With Tony Martin now wearing the yellow jersey, I’m fully expecting to see Etixx – Quick-Step take control of the race, not only to protect Martin, but to set Cav up with stage victories. Will Martin hold onto yellow until next week?  Or having just said that, have I just jinxed his chances?

Matt has headed over to France for a few days, and as if by coincidence, the TDF just so happens to pass by where he’s staying! Will he come back with stories of epic battles and bravery, or will he return with packets of Haribo and a yellow cap thrown from the publicity caravan? I hope both! 

Don’t forget to enter our Tour de France jersey competition where you could win some clothing from official sponsor Le Coq Sportif.

Do let me know your predictions too, just use the comments box below. 

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