Tour de France favourites: form ranking

From CyclingNews.com

 

Rating 10 contenders in May

 

1. Richie Porte (BMC Racing)

Previous rank: 5th

Overview: The season may be long but momentum is a prized currency and one that Porte has squirreled away with a number of impressive performances. In Romandie he was light years ahead of Froome and several other Tour contenders with an assured display in both the mountains and against the clock, and if, unlike last year, BMC Racing don’t leave their best GC asset at the side of the road, he will surely challenge for the podium this July. Up next is the Dauphiné, a race in which he could and should have made the podium last year.

Highlight: Winning the Tour of Romandie at the end of April to make it two WorldTour stage races out of three in 2017.

Lowlight: The cold day in Paris-Nice still raises question

 

2. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

Previous rank: 2nd

Overview: Valverde hasn’t raced since winning Liège-Bastogne-Liège in April, meaning for the first time since the season began he hasn’t topped headlines or added to his palmares in over a month. Heading into June, the Dauphiné marks a switch for the veteran, too, with the emphasis shifting back to stage racing and a chance to add to his phenomenal run in week-long races, which includes wins in País Vasco, Catalunya, and Ruta del Sol. And while the Dauphiné is a step up in terms of competition there’s no doubt that Valverde will fancy his chances at winning a third crown to add to his titles from 2008 and 2009.

Highlight: Polishing his Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Flèche Wallonne trophies at home.

Lowlight: A dry month of May but a rest was surely needed.

Next race: Critérium du Dauphiné

 

3. Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo)

Previous rank: 3rd

Overview: While Nairo Quintana has been flogging himself at the Giro d’Italia, Contador has been quietly going about his business both at home and in Tenerife, topping up his form ahead of, quite possibly, his final Tour de France. Well rested and motivated, he heads to another Dauphiné where he will look to take on Porte and Chris Froome for the top step on the podium. Last year Contador started brightly, wining the opening prologue at Les Gets before being pushed off the podium in the mountains but this year he will be looking for a consistently strong performance in which he starts on the front foot and maintains that level all the way through.

Highlight: Sadistically watching Quintana tire himself out at the Giro and knowing – first hand – how that might hamper the Colombian in July.

Lowlight: Still to win a race in 2017.

Next race: Critérium du Dauphiné

 

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