Meet the three Tour veterans who’ll be joining us for analysis of this year’s race in each week’s magazine.
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It’s 25 years since Stephen Roche matched only Eddy Merckx in claiming the triple crown of victories in the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and the World Championships, but he remains as attached and relevant to the sport as ever. Although busy running his businesses, the Irishman has been riding his bike a lot lately, and this weekend is due to complete Hot Chillee’s London to Paris ride. Roche can be an outspoken pundit and retains a very strong personal interest in the bunch. His son Nicolas is a leader at the French Ag2r team.
Tours ridden: 10.
It’s only a year since he packed up racing to take up a sports director job at the Garmin team but Charly Wegelius has settled into the role very quickly. After blogging for us from the Giro d’Italia, we knew we wanted more of his insightful analysis and wry look at things. Having spent years riding for others as a domestique, the Finnish-based Brit very much understands the importance of a whole team’s contribution to an individual’s success.
Tours ridden: 3.
In all its internationalism, it’s easy to forget what a French institution the Tour is. Despite its global coverage and corporate bankrolling, it’s survival entirely depends upon the backing of a nation. Cédric Vasseur, however, is more than just our token Frenchman offering the local perspective on the race. A former stage winner and yellow jersey wearer, he now works as a commentator for Belgian TV and is not afraid to say what’s he thinks.
Tours ridden: 10.