Riders and sports directors split over final victor, but most tip Froome for yellow jersey

A short 22.5-kilometre time trial in Marseille, with a 1.2-kilometre climb to Notre-Dame de la Garde will decide the Tour de France. Riders and teams have their say on who will win it and the race overall.

Sky’s Chris Froome leads the race by 23 seconds over Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) and 29 seconds over Rigoberto Urán (Cannondale-Drapac).

Froome, who has yet to win a stage in the 2017 Tour, could prevail given his capacity recover and repeatedly perform over three weeks, and will surely be looking to take the win on the day to wrap up the overall victory.

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The Brit is certainly the favourite to all but secure his fourth Tour victory in Marseille, but some in the race think Urán could cause an upset.

“I think we could see a surprise with Urán,” general manager of Quick-Step Floors, Patrick Lefevere told Cycling Weekly. “He could win the stage win and the Tour.

“It’s only a 29-second gap to Froome. Do you remember the Giro d’Italia a couple of years ago? He put everybody back one minute and even more.

“I think he has the legs of [2014] when he finished second in the Giro and took the leader’s jersey. If I was Froome I would not sleep very well.”


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Away from the GC contenders, time trial specialists like Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin), Vasil Kiryienka (Team Sky) or Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) will be hoping to pick up a prestigious stage win.

“Chris Froome will win,” Orica-Scott sports director Matt White said. “He is the freshest out of all the guys. Only two or three could challenge him: Kiryienka, Roglic and Tony Martin.

“As far as the GC goes, we’ll see a GC change between Urán and Bardet: I expect Urán to finish second overall and Bardet third. All the other positions between fourth and seventh will stay the same. Yates is a better time trial rider than Meintjes, and he should keep the white jersey.”

Simon Yates sits seventh overall at 4-46 behind Froome, one spot ahead of white jersey rival Louis Meintjes (UAE Team Emirates) at 6-52.

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“Roglic will win the time trial and I think Froome will hold his advantage and win the overall,” Team Sunweb sports director , Aike Visbeek explained. “But I am not ruling out an upset by Urán.”

“It’s going to be hard to beat Froomey, I reckon he will win the overall,” said Michael Albasini (Orica-Scott). “In the time trial there is Tony Martin as the favourite. I hope for a win by Stefan Küng, a Swiss national mate.”

“Froome is the favourite for the overall, he will ride a good time trial as well,” Nikias Arndt (Team Sunweb) added. “I really hope that Tony Martin has good legs and can win it, but Froome and Roglic will challenge him. If I had to pick one over the other, it’s Roglic.”

Out of the time trial specialists, many tipped the Slovenian Primoz Roglic. He won the stage over Col du Galibier on Wednesday and took a Grand Tour time trial victory in Chianti at the 2016 Giro d’Italia.

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“I hope the overall changes in favour for Romain, but we must be realistic and say that Froome is the favourite,” said Bardet’s Ag2r La Mondiale team-mate, Jan Bakelants.

“I think the time trial will go to Roglic. He has won a lot of time trials this year and he is clearly in good shape based on what he did on the Galibier, that was quite amazing after being in the break all day. There were 25 kilometres slightly downhill with headwinds to the finish line and he kept off the big guns. He’s clearly strong and I think he saved his legs the last few days.”