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2015 Tour de France favorites – race days/wins

Chris Froome – 27/5

Andrew Talansky – 32/1

Joaquim Rodriguez – 33/3

Wilco Kelderman – 34/1

Vincenzo Nibali – 36/1

Nairo Quintana – 36/2

Tejay van Garderen – 36/1

Bauke Mollema – 37/0

Rui Costa – 39/2

Alejandro Valverde – 41/7

Thibaut Pinot – 42/2

Romain Bardet – 43/1

Alberto Contador – 44/4

Rider of the week

Vincenzo Nibali claimed back-to-back victories at the National Championships, thus becoming the 14th Italian rider to do it, and the first since Giovanni Visconti (2011). Just like in 2014, the Italian opened his account in the one-day race, but this time on a different parcours. If last year’s edition took place on the course of the now defunct Trofeo Melinda, this time the riders tackled the Milano-Torino route, a race revamped by RCS Sport in 2012. The 219-km long event included two climbs, the final one being the Superga hill – 5 kilometers, 9% average gradient – where all was to be decided.

Having his Astana team at the front setting the pace once the race entered its closing kilometers, the triple Grand Tour winner decided to give it a go from the penultimate ascent, thus forcing an important selection. Caught by Francesco Reda and Diego Ulissi, the “Shark of Messina” distanced his rivals on the descent, before the two of them joined him once again on Superga. At one point, Nibali looked to have been cooked as a result of his numerous attacks, but it wasn’t so, as he pushed clear with around two kilometers left and this time left everyone behind for good.

In the end, the 30-year-old Italian won with a comfortable cushion and reassessed himself as one of the top contenders for the Tour de France, with exactly one week before the start of the event. What’s even more important is that Vincenzo Nibali looked to be very slim and in an excellent condition, after a kind of disappointing Criterium du Dauphiné, where he came just 12th in the general classification. Having won the National Championships for the second time in his career and being close of hitting top form, it remains to be seen if the Sicilian will continue on an identical road with the one of last year and take another victory in cycling’s biggest race.

2015 National Championships Stats

– Lampre-Merida and MTN-Qhubeka are the teams with the most titles, 5 each; they are followed on the podium by Etixx-Quick Step, Movistar and Tinkoff-Saxo – 4, and Androni Giocattoli, Katusha, IAM, Sky and Trek – 3

– Seven pro riders have made the double (road race and individual time trial): Edvald Boasson Hagen, Tsgabu Grmay, Gert Jõeäär, Bob Jungels, Nikolay Mihaylov, Peter Sagan and Serghei Tvetcov

– FDJ is the only World Tour team without a national champion

– Same FDJ missed on the French title for the first time in four years

– Androni Giocattoli, Bora-Argon 18, CCC Sprandi Polkowice, Cofidis, Cult Energy, Europcar, MTN-Qhubeka, RusVelo, Southeast and Topsport Vlaanderen are the Pro Continental teams which have at least one national champion

– Emanuel Buchmann (Germany), Luka Pibernik (Slovenia) and Eugert Zhupa (Albania) are the neo-pros who’ve won a title

– Of all the pro national champions, ten got to take back-to-back victories

– Steven Tronet (Auber 93) became the second French champion riding for a Continental team, after Dimitri Champion (Bretagne-Schuller), in 2009

– In Great Britain, Peter Kennaugh brought Sky its 5th road race win in six attempts since the team was created

– 26 national champions will ride the Tour de France this summer

The 2015 National Champions

Country Individual time trial Road race
Albania Eugert Zhupa Redi Halilaj
Australia Richie Porte Heinrich Haussler
Austria Georg Preidler Marco Haller
Belarus Vasil Kiryienka Andrei Krasilnikau
Belgium Jurgen Van Den Broeck Preben Van Hecke
Bulgaria Nikolay Mihaylov Nikolay Mihaylov
Canada Hugo Houle Guillaume Boivin
Colombia Rigoberto Uran Robinson Chalapud
Czech Republic Jan Barta Petr Vakoč
Denmark Chris Juul Jensen Chris Anker Sørensen
Eritrea Daniel Teklehaimanot Natnael Berhane
Estonia Gert Jõeäär Gert Jõeäär
Ethiopia Tsgabu Grmay Tsgabu Grmay
France Jérôme Coppel Steven Tronet
Germany Tony Martin Emanuel Buchmann
Ireland Ryan Mullen Damien Shaw
Italy Adriano Malori Vincenzo Nibali
Kazahstan Alexey Lutsenko Oleg Zemlyakov
Latvia Gatis Smukulis Aleksejs Saramotins
Lithuania Ramunas Navardauskas Aidis Kruopis
Luxembourg Bob Jungels Bob Jungels
Namibia Gerhard Mans Dan Craven
Netherlands Wilco Kelderman Niki Terpstra
Norway Edvald Boasson Hagen Edvald Boasson Hagen
Poland Marcin Bialoblocki Tomasz Marczynski
Portugal Nelson Oliveira Rui Costa
Romania Serghei Tvetcov Serghei Tvetcov
Russia Artem Ovechkin Iuri Trofimov
Slovakia Peter Sagan Peter Sagan
Slovenia Jan Tratnik Luka Pibernik
South Africa Daryl Impey Jacques Janse van Rensburg
Spain Jonathan Castroviejo Alejandro Valverde
Sweden Gustav Larsson Alexander Gingsjö
Switzerland Silvan Dillier Danilo Wyss
United Kingdom Alex Dowsett Peter Kennaugh
U.S.A. Andrew Talansky Matthew Busche
Venezuela Yonder Godoy Juan Murillo

Who will win the Tour de France?

2015 Tour de France Startlist

AG2R: Jan Bakelants, Romain Bardet, Mikael Cherel, Ben Gastauer, Damien Gaudin, Jean-Christophe Peraud, Christophe Riblon, Johan Vansummeren, Alexis Vuillermoz.

Astana: Lars Boom, Jakob Fuglsang, Andriy Grivko, Dmitry Gruzdev, Tanel Kangert, Vincenzo Nibali, Michele Scarponi, Rein Taaramäe, Lieuwe Westra.

BMC: Damiano Caruso, Rohan Dennis, Daniel Oss, Manuel Quinziato, Samuel Sanchez, Michael Schär, Greg Van Avermaet, Tejay van Garderen, Danilo Wyss.

Bora-Argon 18: Jan Barta, Sam Bennett, Emanuel Buchmann, Zakkari Dempster, Bartosz Huzarski, Jose Mendes, Dominik Nerz, Andreas Schillinger, Paul Voss.

Bretagne-Séché: Frederic Brun, Anthony Delaplace, Brice Feillu, Pierrick Fedrigo, Armindo Fonseca, Arnaud Gerard, Pierre-Luc Perichon, Eduardo Sepulveda, Florian Vachon.

Cannondale-Garmin: Jack Bauer, Nathan Haas, Ryder Hesjedal, Kristijan Koren, Sebastian Langeveld, Daniel Martin, Ramunas Navardauskas, Andrew Talansky, Dylan van Baarle.

Cofidis: Nacer Bouhanni, Nicolas Edet, Christophe Laporte, Luis Angel Mate, Daniel Navarro, Florian Senechal, Julien Simon, Geoffrey Soupe, Kenneth Vanbilsen.

Etixx-Quick Step: Mark Cavendish, Michal Golas, Michal Kwiatkowski, Tony Martin, Mark Renshaw, Zdenek Stybar, Matteo Trentin, Rigoberto Uran, Julien Vermote.

Europcar: Bryan Coquard, Cyril Gautier, Yohann Gene, Bryan Nauleau, Perrig Quemeneur, Pierre Rolland, Romain Sicard, Angelo Tulik, Thomas Voeckler.

FDJ: William Bonnet, Sebastien Chavanel, Arnaud Démare, Alexandre Geniez, Matthieu Ladagnous, Steve Morabito, Thibaut Pinot, Jeremy Roy, Benoit Vaugrenard.

Giant-Alpecin: Warren Barguil, Roy Curvers, John Degenkolb, Tom Dumoulin, Simon Geschke, Koen de Kort, Georg Preidler, Ramon Sinkeldam, Albert Timmer.

IAM Cycling: Matthias Brändle, Sylvain Chavanel, Stef Clement, Jerome Coppel, Martin Elmiger, Matthias Frank, Reto Hollenstein, Jarlinson Pantano, Marcel Wyss.

Katusha: Giampaolo Caruso, Jacopo Guarnieri, Marco Haller, Dmitriy Kozontchuk, Alexander Kristoff, Alberto Losada, Tiago Machado, Luca Paolini, Joaquim Rodriguez.

Lampre-Merida: Matteo Bono, Davide Cimolai, Rui Costa, Kristijan Durasek, Nelson Oliveira, Ruben Plaza, Filippo Pozzato, Jose Serpa, Rafael Valls.

LottoNL-Jumbo: Robert Gesink, Wilco Kelderman, Steven Kruijswijk, Tom Leezer, Paul Martens, Bram Tankink, Laurens ten Dam, Jos Van Emden, Sep Vanmarcke.

Lotto-Soudal: Lars Ytting Bak, Thomas De Gendt, Jens Debusschere, Tony Gallopin, André Greipel, Adam Hansen, Greg Henderson, Marcel Sieberg, Tim Wellens.

MTN-Qhubeka: Edvald Boasson Hagen, Stephen Cummings, Tyler Farrar, Jacques Janse van Rensburg, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, Merhawi Kudus, Louis Meintjes, Serge Pauwels, Daniel Teklehaimanot.

Movistar: Winner Anacona, Jonathan Castroviejo, Alex Dowsett, Imanol Erviti, Jose Herrada, Gorka Izagirre, Adriano Malori, Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde.

Sky: Chris Froome, Peter Kennaugh, Leopold König, Wout Poels, Richie Porte, Nicholas Roche, Luke Rowe, Ian Stannard, Geraint Thomas.

Tinkoff-Saxo: Ivan Basso, Daniele Bennati, Alberto Contador, Roman Kreuziger, Rafal Majka, Michael Rogers, Peter Sagan, Matteo Tosatto, Michael Valgren.

Trek Factory Racing: Julian Arredondo, Fabian Cancellara, Stijn Devolder, Laurent Didier, Markel Irizar, Bob Jungels, Bauke Mollema, Gregory Rast, Haimar Zubeldia.

World Tour standings after the Tour de Suisse

Individual

1 – Alejandro Valverde – 350 points

2 – Alberto Contador – 307 points

3 – Richie Porte – 304 points

4 – Rui Costa – 274 points

5 – Simon Spilak – 269 points

6 – Geraint Thomas – 267 points

7 – Joaquim Rodriguez – 252 points

8 – Alexander Kristoff – 245 points

9 – John Degenkolb – 233 points

10 –Fabio Aru – 212 points

Teams

1 – Katusha – 980 points

2 – Sky – 955 points

3 – Etixx-QuickStep – 861 points

4 – Movistar – 784 points

5 – Tinkoff-Saxo – 575 points

6 – Astana – 553 points

7 – BMC – 522 points

8 – Orica-GreenEdge – 456 points

9 – Lampre-Merida – 440 points

10 – Giant-Alpecin – 402 points

Nations

1 – Spain – 1138 points

2 – Australia – 666 points

3 – Great Britain – 629 points

4 – Italy – 607 points

5 – Colombia – 599 points

6 – France – 589 points

7 – Netherlands – 562 points

8 – Belgium – 384 points

9 – Slovenia – 293 points

10 – Germany – 279 points

2015 Tour de Suisse Stats

– Simon Spilak became the first ever Slovenian rider to win the race

– Slovenia is the 16th country to give an overall champion in the Tour de Suisse

– Same Spilak is the first rider since Levi Leipheimer, in 2011, to take the GC without scoring a success in a stage along the way

– Peter Sagan joined Ferdi Kübler and Hugo Koblet in an all-time stage wins classification, with 11 victories

– The Slovak also holds the record for the most points jerseys, five, all won in a row

– IAM Cycling’s Stefan Denifl became the first Austrian to win the mountains classification

– Tom Dumoulin took both individual time trials; not since Gerrie Knetemann (1979) a Dutch rider has managed to notch at least two stages at one edition

– Winner in Risch-Rotkreuz, Kristijan Durasek is the first Croatian cyclist to nab a World Tour success

– Gotthardpass featured in the race for the 37th time, thus extending its record in the history of the Tour de Suisse

– 120 riders have completed the race, the fewest since 2012

Rider of the week

Simon Spilak’s Tour de Suisse campaign began on the wrong foot, as the 28-year-old Slovenian went off-course in the prologue and ended up losing 19 seconds. Fortunately for him, things were on track just a couple of days later, once the peloton hit the Rettenbachgletscher, the sole mountain top finish. There, on one of the toughest climbs the riders have had in the menu this season, Spilak attacked and although he was eventually reeled in, still hang on for a third place which brought the always so important bonifications.

In the final day of the event – a 38,4-km long individual time trial around Bern – Katusha’s rider gave his all and produced a more than impressing performance, rolling in home second, ahead of Swiss ITT champion Fabian Cancellara, but more important, concluding the race against the clock with an 18-second buffer on Geraint Thomas, his main rival for the yellow jersey. In the end, Spilak – often described as a nice enough character, but not a man of many words, focused soley on cycling – finished five seconds ahead of the Welshman in the overall classification and earned his biggest triumph to date.

A one-week race specialist, Spilak could now find himself in a significant point of his career, as he’s still young and has room for improvement, which can help him finally become a big favorite every time he enters in such races as Paris-Nice, Tour de Romandie or the Vuelta al Pais Vasco. For the moment, he’ll savour his victory, one few would have guessed a week ago. By taking the GC last Sunday, in the 79th running of the race, he became the first ever Slovenian cyclist to get the victory in the Tour de Suisse, and with it, a success that has eluded him since he claimed the 2010 Tour de Romandie (after the disqualification of Alejandro Valverde).

Tour de France roadbook

TdF roadbook

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